- February 3, 2021
- Posted by: Albert Muhumuza
- Category: news
Outgoing Ag.Director Dr. Alice Turinawe (2nd) hands over the report to the Incoming Ag. Director Dr. Okello Robert Cyrus Ongom (3rd) witnessed by the Principal CAES and Ms. Joan Mutekanga
The Ag. Director Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute (MUARIK) Dr. Alice Turinawe has handed over the office to the incoming Ag. Director Dr. Okello Robert Cyrus Ongom. The Ag. Farm Manager Mr. Tweyambe Chrysostom has also handed over to Dr. Lwasa Stephen.
The handover ceremony was held at MUARIK on 2nd February, 2021 witnessed by Makerere university Internal Auditor Ms. Joan Mutekanga, the Principal CAES Prof. Bernard Bashaasha and other staff from CAES and MUARIK.
Outgoing Ag. Director Dr. Alice Turinawe has served the MUARIK from 1st August 2018 up to 11th January 2021.
Dr. Turinawe thanked Makerere University and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences for giving her the opportunity to serve as well as the predecessor and entire staff for the support accorded to her during her tenure.
“I wish to thank the Principal CAES, Prof. Bernard Bashaasha for his efforts in ensuring that MUARIK has the support needed for the smooth operation. I thank my predecessor Prof. Phinehas Tukamuhabwa for the support I received while starting work at MUARIK AS Director,” She remarked.
Dr. Turinawe highlighted some of the key achievements under her term of office including:- expansion of the banana plantation by an additional 7 acres rising to 14 acres, commencement of the renovation of the poultry unit, increase of the acreage of soybean from 7 to 14 acres and expansion of pasture gardens by planting 25 more acres .
Other achievements recorded included improvement of the coffee plantation, elimination of illegal water connections, increased hosting and training opportunities from schools that raised revenue and increased number of student and staff projects.
To keep MUARIK standards and expectations, the outgoing Ag. Director expressed the need to improve on all infrastructure and internet access, safeguarding of the land borders, improving staffing and skilled labor, financing units to the required capital and prioritization of the research arm of the institute.
“MUARIK needs to be included in the university central budget in order to be able to run efficiently as a teaching and research institute.
For MUARIK to take up and consolidate its position in agricultural research, it will require recruitment of full time scientists dedicated to core research at MUARIK. Alternatively, academic staff should be identified and mandated to dedicate a percentage of their time to research at MUARIK”, Dr. Alice proposed.
The incoming Ag. Director, Dr. Okello Robert Cyrus Ongom thanked the principal’s office for the responsibility given, saying, he was happy about the appointment and takes it seriously because of the importance of the institution.
“I will give it my best. I will work hard and ensure MUARIK is research led. I am passionate about MUARIK because I know what to do in research and training at Makerere. I know MUARIK can do well like other institutions and will give my input in research, training, production and outreach”, The Incoming Ag. Director pledged.
Dr. Ongom said, he was aware that there is no money but, will find ways to lobby for resources through NGO’s adding that he had talks with the Dutch people who had shown interests in the institute.
“I request to work together with Dr. Alice Turinawe if I am to be successful and move forward. I accept the appointment and will give my best and work from Monday to Sunday. Please accept my calls”, Dr. Ongom reiterated.
In his hand over report, the outgoing Ag. Farm Manager Mr. Tweyambe Chysostom expressed the need to increase the institutional capacity building and advised the successor to be keen on land encroachment, lobby university management to address staffing gaps and harmonization of the crop, livestock and stores records.
Mr. Tweyambe Chrysostom clocked the mandatory retirement age of 60 year having served the Makerere university for 30 years. He served as Assistant foreman crops (1990-2009), worked as Ag. Assistant Farm Manager Livestock (April 2009-2014), a training coordinator (1991-2002 and, then 2014 to date. He also served as member University Council for two terms (2001-2005) and (2005-2010)
“I am indebted to thank all of you for the immense support that has made me serve with credit up to this time”, Tweyambe remarked.
The incoming Ag. Farm Manager, Dr. Lwasa Stephen is not new to MUARIK and had worked with the institute and spent energy while youthful working at the farm.
Dr. Lwasa thanked the outgoing Ag. Farm Manager for preparing the report as a good guide.
“Thanks for talking up the mantle amidst challenges. I also thank the outgoing Ag. Director for the guidance and being able to achieve together with other staff”, Dr. Lwasa appreciated.
Dr. Lwasa re-echoed the need to address the staffing issues, issues of the budget, mobility, roads improvement, improvement of the machinery and establishment of systems to ensure checks and balances.
Report compiled by:
Principal, Communication Officer, CAES