NARO Uganda unleashes new modern agricultural innovations to boost production

NARO Uganda unleashes new modern agricultural innovations to boost production

The National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) Uganda has released new modern agriculture techniques and varieties that will boost production in Uganda. This was revealed during the First Quarterly Media Brief at Colline Hotel in Mukono yesterday.

The media briefing focused on updates about the fall army worm management, vaccine management, transgenic development.

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NARO is a body corporate established by the NAR Act 2005. It has a mandate to conduct agricultural research on crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry resources.

It is made up of 16 PARIs (7 NARIs, 9 ZARDIs)

It has 893 Staff representing 89.7% of the total establishment (646 male and 247 female)

Currently, it has 293 Scientists; 97 PhD, 171 MSc, 25 BSc

Budget performance FY 2016/17; approved UGX 114.13B, released UGX95.55B, releases spent 93.10%

Key Research Interventions For Agricultural Transformation

Food, nutrition, health and agro-industry

Breeding for improved performance

Managing pests and diseases for increased resilience and productivity

Post-harvest handling and value addition

Sustainable land management options

Farm power and mechanization

Technology promotion, and commercialization

Institutional: policy, human, funding, etc

During the press briefing, Dr. Yona Baguma, Deputy Director General of the organization said as far as genetically Modified Crops is concerned, they have products (maize, cassava, rice, sweet potato) that are waiting for the law to become effective.

He also revealed that NARO has developed varieties that will be resistant to fall armyworm “preliminary results are positive”. “We so far covered 57 districts “the prevalence is more in Northern Uganda, than Central and South Western”

The research organization has also developed faster growing strain of Nile Tilapia (from 0.52g/day to 2.47g/day) and distributed to farmers.

“In fact if you are very keen, you can see it growing bigger during the day in water,” Dr. Yona Baguma said.

“We have developed faster growing strain of Nile Tilapia (from 0.52g/day to 2.47g/day) and distributed to farmers” – Dr. Yona Baguma.

“We have done a lot with Cassava in this country. Ethanol, bio-degradable bags, impala beer are some of the value added products we have brought to the table from cassava,” Dr. Baguma

“In the fight against hidden hunger, NARO has developed bio fortified Iron& Zinc rich bean varieties that will be adopted across Africa,” Dr. Baguma

Dr. Yona also revealed that NARO is planning on the following;

Broaden partnerships to accelerate generation of technologies and innovations for agricultural transformation

Provide enabling environment and operational modalities to hasten delivery of research products for inclusive growth

Swiftly integrate ICT applications in the research process as a decision support tool in REAL Time

Build critical capacity to support World Class research in the 21st Century

Enhance capacity for effective M&E

Ahead of 2025, NARO is planning on working on the following;

Improved Food and Nutrition Security for Health

Increased Yields/Genetics/Game Changing Traits

Increased Dietary Quality

Improved Food Safety

Increased Early Seed Generation

Reduced Poverty

Improved Human Health — drudgery, pesticide use

Improved Animal Health – vaccine and drug dev..

Increased Profitability — value addition

Increased Resilience – coping capacity, insurance regimes

Ahead of 2025, Dr. Yona said there are Essentials
For Research For Impact (R4I) and these are;

A national discovery and innovation fund

Strong public private partnership for Entrepreneurship development

Clusters of applied technology and business incubators

Partnerships for technology prospecting,  selection, access transfer, innovation and business development

Enabling policies and regulatory mechanisms for agricultural research to deliver impactful results

A comprehensive and fully functional M&E system

A reference National Agricultural Knowledge Hub

Not he presented was positive, as he concluded Dr. Yona listed the Gaps and Challenges, the organization is facing.

Underfunding for agricultural research

Weak promotion of research findings

Budding but uncoordinated communication

Slow migration to ICT support services

Delay in enactment of essential policies and laws

Inadequate preparedness to manage pest outbreaks

Untamed impacts of prolonged drought

Inadequate M&E framework and

Uncoordinated efforts within the sector.


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