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.
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
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.