- July 29, 2022
- Posted by: Mariam Kasemiire
- Category: Uncategorized
While notable strides have been made to enhance household food and nutrition security, reduce poverty and improve household incomes through agriculture, Northern Uganda is still lagging behind due to the long-term insurgency that left many households disintegrated. Uganda’s Vision 2040, the National Agricultural Extension Policy (NAEP), the National Agricultural Policy (NAP) and the National Agricultural Extension Strategy (NAES) strategically place agriculture as a key driver to achieve socio-economic transformation in the country. The Northern Uganda Region has immensely benefited from massive investments in agricultural infrastructure, but dismal efforts have been made to enhance actual service delivery. As a result, functional extension systems that efficiently and effectively respond to challenges that farmers experience along the value chain of key agricultural commodities have not been given adequate attention in the region. Consequently, the farmers continue to be constrained in terms of accessing inputs and advisory services on modern agronomic practices and market opportunities. Although the district and sub-county extension officers are expected to provide this service, they have inadequate knowledge and skills to enable them render improved and relevant advisory and support services to farming communities.
The training programme
To address the challenge, Makerere University College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) through the Northern Uganda Development Initiative, it will effective 5th September 2022 provide training services to technical staff of local governments in the region. The trainings to be conducted at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK) will end in January 2023.
DINU is a Government of Uganda programme supported by the European Union (EU) and supervised by the Office of the Prime Minister. DINU is a multi-sectoral programme aimed at improving livelihoods in 41 districts in the five sub-regions of Acholi, Karamoja, Lango, Teso, and West Nile for a duration of six years (2017-2023). The 150.6 million Euro covers interventions in three interlinked sectors; (1) Food Security, Nutrition and Livelihoods; (2) Infrastructure (transport, logistics, water; and (3) Good governance.
Objectives of DINU
- To increase food security, improve maternal and child nutrition, and enhance household incomes through support to diversified food production and commercial agriculture, through improving household resilience – notably to climate change, and through women empowerment
- To increase trade of commodities within the region, in the country and within neighbouring countries through improved transport infrastructure
- To strengthen capacity, gender-responsiveness, good governance and the rule of law at the level of local government authorities and empower communities to participate in improved local service delivery
Through a programme titled; “Provision of Training Services to Technical Staff of Local Governments for improved Extension Service Delivery to Farmers in Northern Uganda”, a total of 543 extension workers will be trained in the areas of Integrated Pest and Disease Management, Climate Smart Agriculture and Postharvest Handling, Animal Feed Formulation and Dry Season Feeding, Fish Feed Formulation and Feeding, Animal Breed Improvement through Artificial Insemination, Fish Breeding and Hatchery Management, Apiculture (Queen raring and breeding and value addition in honey), Farmer Institutional Capacity Development, Agribusiness and Market Linkages, and Financial Management.
The trainers will mainly be members of staff from CAES with a few co-options of staff from the College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB), and the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University.
The training is expected to contribute to the broader objective of DINU targeting to consolidate stability in Northern Uganda, eradicate poverty and under-nutrition, and strengthen the foundations for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development. Specifically, the training is expected to improve extension service delivery to farmers through enhanced performance of local production departments, community-based services, as well as trade, industry and local economic development departments of local governments in the targeted sub-regions of Northern Uganda.
At Makerere University, the training programme is coordinated by Dr Bernard Obaa and Dr Christopher Mawa from the Department of Extension and Innovation Studies, CAES. The programme is overseen by the Principal of CAES.
Meeting to discuss the implementation plan
On 27th July 2022, the programme coordinators met at the office of the Prime Minister in Kampala to deliberate on the implementation plan. At the meeting, the Makerere team was briefed on the financial management process and expected visibility plan. The meeting was attended by several staff from the Office of the Prime Minister including, Ms. Pamela Kabahasi, National Programme Coordinator; Mr. Joseph Dramadri, Agribusiness Officer; Mr Isaiah Kitimbo, Communication and Visibility Officer; Mr Ronald Kasozi, Finance, Administration and Contracts Advisor; Mr. Poul Lassen, Chief Technical Advisor; and Mr. John Bosco Birenge, Technical Advisor, Karamoja.