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    The School of Agricultural Sciences (SAS)

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    The School of Food Technologies, Nutrition and Bio Engineering (SFTNB)

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    The School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences (SFEGS)

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    The Department of Environmental Management (Former MUIENR)

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Optimisation of multiplex PCR and in vitro techniques for detection and elimination of sweetpotato viruses


In sub-Saharan Africa, sweetpotato (Impomoea batatas L.) production is greatly constrained by sweetpotato virus disease (SPVD) complex. This study was conducted to assess the incidence of viruses in healthy-looking sweetpotato in Uganda and to optimise modern technologies for virus diagnosis. A collection of healthy-looking sweetpotato vines from central Uganda were serologically assayed for sweetpotato viruses and the positive samples were confirmed by RT-PCR. A multiplex RT-PCR assay was optimised for simultaneous detection of Sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus (SPCSV), Sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV) and Sweet potato mild mottle virus (SPMMV). The use of in vitro thermotherapy was also investigated as a means of eliminating sweetpotato viruses. Four viruses namely SPCSV, SPFMV, SPMMV and SPCFV were detected mostly as single infections in the healthy looking plants. SPCSV (70. 6%) recorded highest incidence followed by co-infection of SPFMV and SPCSV (8.3%). Based on shoot survival and effectiveness of virus elimination, the best results were obtained by exposing plantlets to daily temperature regime of 32 oC for 8 hr of darkness and 36 oC for 16 hr of light for four weeks. Meristem-tip culture combined with thermotherapy allowed elimination of SPFMV and SPMMV in 77% of plants that were previously infected with the respective viruses. However, elimination of SPCSV was unsuccessful.

key Words Multiplex RT-PCR, thermotherapy, tissue culture

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Nutrient retention in pristine and disturbed wetlands.


Wetlands in Uganda experience different forms of human pressure ranging from drainage for agriculture and industrial development to over harvesting of wetland products. In order to develop sustainable management tools for wetland ecosystems in Uganda and the Lake Victoria  Region, water quality analyses were carried out in a rural undisturbed (pristine) wetland (Nabugabo wetland in Masaka) and two urban wetlands that are experiencing human and urban development pressure (the Nakivubo wetland in Kampala and Kirinya wetland in Jinja). The former wetland forms the main inflow into Lake Nabugabo while the other two border the northern shore of Lake Victoria, Uganda. Nabugabo wetland buffers Lake Nabugabo against surface runoff from the catchment, while Nakivubo and Kirinya wetlands provides a water treatment function for wastewater from Kampala City and Jinja town respectively, in addition to buffering Lake Victoria against surface runoff. Water quality was assessed in all the wetland sites, and in addition nutrient content and storage was investigated in the main plant species (papyrus, Phragmites, Miscanthidium and cocoyam) in Nakivubo and Kirinya wetlands. A pilot experiment was also carried out to assess the wastewater treatment potential of both the papyrus vegetation and an important agricultural crop Colocasia esculenta (cocoyam). Low electrical conductivity, ammonium– nitrogen and ortho-phosphate concentrations were recorded at the inflow into Nabugabo wetland (41.5 lS/cm; 0.91 mg/l and 0.42 mg/l respectively) compared to the Nakivubo and Kirinya wetlands (335 lS/cm; 31.68 mg/l and 2.83 mg/l and 502 lS/ cm; 10 mg/l and 1.87 mg/l respectively). The papyrus vegetation had higher biomass in Nakivubo and Kirinya wetlands (6.7 kg DW m_2; 7.2 kgDWm_2 respectively), followed by Phragmites (6.5, 6.7), cocoyams (6.4, 6.6) and Miscanthidium (4.0, 4.2). The papyrus vegetation also exhibited a higher wastewater treatment potential than the agricultural crop (cocoyam) during the pilot experiment (maximum removal degree of ammonium– nitrogen being 95% and 67% for papyrus and yams). It was concluded that urbanisation pressure reduces natural wetland functioning either through the discharge of wastewater effluent or the degradation of natural wetland vegetation. It is recommended that wetland vegetation be restored to enhance wetland ecosystem functioning and for wetlands that are not yet under agricultural pressure, efforts should bemade to halt any future encroachment.

Keywords Wetlands _ Nutrient retention _Wetland degradation _ Wastewater treatment

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Impact of Agricultural Training on Young Farmers in Uganda.


The District Agricultural Training and Information Centres (DATICs) component has been providing agricultural production training, information and skills to farmers and out-ofschool youths; promoting linkages between farmers, agricultural advisory services and agricultural research. To supplement the financial donor support, the DATICs have been involved in commercial production to transform into autonomous training and information centres. This was a cross-section study that involved interviews, group and key informant discussions and observations utilizing structured questionnaires. Qualitative data were analyzed by frequencies and percentages while quantitative data were subjected to a descriptive statistical analysis. A “before and after” analysis was used to compare what the graduates were doing before and after the training. From the study findings, the following recommendations could be used to address the gaps and challenges in achieving DATICs objectives: The DATICs should identify more and viable income generating avenues; There is need to design Farmer School programs and courses/modules to cater for a diversity of clients including opening up to other clients who may not be members of youth clubs but able to pay the fees.; A day-scholars option could be explored and more females should be encouraged to attend the training; The offered courses/modules could be formalized to be recognized by the Ministry of Education and Sports; and national offices need to work closely with DATICs to identify and plan viable projects/program for sustainability of the DATICs.

Key words: Rural Development, Out of School Youth, Agricultural Training Impacts, Training

Curriculum, Value-Added Processing

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Sustainability of sanitation programmes in Uganda. Keynote address presentation. In: Proceedings of the International IWA Conference ‘Sanitation Challenge


The ROSA project proposed resources-oriented sanitation concepts as a route to sustainable sanitation. To make ROSA a success, the following points should be reached at the end of the project:

1) people like the systems implemented and use it, and
2) the systems continue to run after project funding ends. 

In general, this implies that the sanitation systems have been implemented in a sustainable way. Resources-oriented sanitation concepts have been introduced and applied in ROSA’s four pilot cities: Arba Minch (Ethiopia), Nakuru (Kenya), Arusha (Tanzania), and Kitgum (Uganda). The local project team for each city is comprised of the municipality administration and/or the entity responsible for sanitation issues and a local university. ROSA has been successful to launch large-scale implementationprojects that are funded by the Dutch SPA programme in two cities, Arba Minch and Nakuru. A summary of the main outcomes of ROSA has been published in a special issue of the “Sustainable Sanitation Practice (SSP)” journal that is available for free from the journal webpage. The ROSA issue (issue 4) was available in July 2010, additionally; selected ROSA topics have been published in the first 3 issues of the journal. For more detailed information visit the ROSA website.

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Linking forest tenure and anthropogenic factors with institutions and theeffectiveness of management in Mpigi forests, central Uganda


This paper reveals the investigated effects of forest tenure and physical and socioeconomic correlates on conservation and management of forests in the Mpigi District, central Uganda. Tree diversity was surveyed in 156 nested plots of 20 m ×50 m. Tree density, mean diameter at breast height (dbh) and evidence of illegal forest use were used as indicators of forest conditions and the efficacy of forest management. The stand structure characteristics (i.e. tree density, mean dbh and basal area of trees) were higher in private forests than in Central Forest Reserves (CFRs) and Local Forest Reserves (LFRs) due to effective regulation and monitoring measures by private forest owners. Diameter size for all species combined followed the inverse J-shape, typical of mixed-age stands. Forests in close proximity to a dense human settlement and far from roads were heavily used, suggesting a high likelihood of population pressure on forest resources and limited capacity of forest owners and managers to effectively control and halt degradation in forests far away from agencies. A high proportion of plots in LFRs (81%) had signs of illegal forest use compared to CFRs (67%) and private forests (45%), even in LFRs and CFRs that were located closer to forest management institutions. Tenure alone did not ensure that forest condition is maintained but other factors such as distance to maintained roads and human pressure on the resource were also important. Management of forests in Mpigi needs to recognise and adequately address human impacts and improve the capacity of forest agencies and owners to monitor and regulate harvesting of forest produce.

Keywords: anthropogenic factors, forest condition, forest tenure, Uganda

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of groing indigenous goats fed diets based on urban market crop wastes.


The effect of feeding diets including market crop wastes (sweet potato vines (Ipomoea batatas) and scarlet eggplant (Solanum aethiopicum)) on growth and digestibility was studied using 32 indigenous intact growing male goats. Adding elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum), maize bran and Leucaena leucocephala leaves, four isocaloric and isonitrogenous diets (Sweet potato vines, Solanum, Mixed and Control) were formulated. After the growth trial, 12 goats were randomly selected for a digestibility trial with the same diets, and 8 goats for a feed preference test comparing the market wastes and elephant grass. Crude protein (CP) intake was highest (P<0.05) for the Control (48 g/day) and lowest for the Sweet potato vines diet (23 g/day). Average daily gain was between 11.0 and 14.2 g/day, and similar between diets. The DM and CP digestibilities of the diets were 0.56 and 0.56 (Control), 0.62 and 0.56 (Mixed), 0.59 and 0.49 (Sweet potato vines), and 0.54 and 0.45 (Solanum), respectively. Faecal and urinary N excretions were highest in goats fed the Sweet potato vines and Solanum diets. Eggplant wastes were the least (P<0.05) preferred. On average the goats spent 5% of their 8-hour time eating eggplant wastes, 34% on sweet potato vines and 36% on elephant grass. Growth performance and N retention were low due to the low intake of feed, especially eggplant wastes.

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More Articles ...

  1. Euphorbia hirta
  2. Flueggea virosa
  3. Senna didymobotrya
  4. Zanthoxylum rubescens
  5. Zanthoxylum leprieurii
  6. Zanthoxylum chalybeum
  7. Botanical-Medicinal Dictionary for East Africa.
  8. Socio-economic determinants of farmers’ adoption of rotational Woodlot technology in Kigorobya Sub-county, Hoima District, Uganda.
  9. Farmers’ Adoption of Rotational Woodlot Technology in Kigorobya Sub-county of Hoima District, Western Uganda.
  10. Legal recognition of customary forestry in Uganda: An approach to revitalizing ethnoforestry.
  11. Competitiveness of crossbred chicken and its implications for poverty reduction in Eastern Uganda
  12. attitudes, resource rationalization and dairy intensification in Uganda: Stochastic dominance with observed and optimal net farm benefits.
  13. Genetic variability for tuber yield, quality, and virus disease complex traits in Uganda sweetpotato germplasm.
  14. Effect of proportion of component species on the performance of the nakati (Solanumaethiopicum) + ebugga (Amaranthuslividus) mixture.
  15. Division of labour in Nakati (Solanumaethiopicum) production in central Uganda.
  16. Comparison of research on sesame (Sesamumindicum) and nakati (Solanumaethiopicum) at Makerere University.
  17. Primate populations and their interactions with changing habitats.
  18. Long-term perspectives on forest conservation: lessons from research in Kibale National Park. In: Science and Conservation in African Forests
  19. Nutritional Characterisation of some tropical urban market crop wastes.
  20. Performance of groing indigenous goats fed diets based on urban market crop wastes.
  21. Genetic diversity, husbandry, selection criteria and verification of kinship assignment of Ankole cattle populations in Uganda.
  22. The Ankole cattle in Uganda: productivity and morphology in three production systems.
  23. The potential of Ankole cattle abattoir ovaries for in vitro embryo production
  24. Indigenous chicken flocks of Eastern Uganda: I. Productivity, management and strategies for better performance.
  25. Honey quality as affected by handling, processing and marketing channels
  26. Linking forest tenure and anthropogenic factors with institutions and the effectiveness of management in Mpigi forests, central Uganda

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