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Agricultural Minister Tumwebaze Demands Solutions-Driven Research from NARO :: Uganda Radionetwork

Agricultural Minister Tumwebaze Demands Solutions-Driven Research from NARO

Minister of Agriculture Frank Tumwebaze (Centre) in a photo opportunity with the new NARO Governing Council Members. Courtsey Photo

Audio 4

    Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries has tasked the National Agricultural Research Organisation to do research that solves problems or risk closure. 

While speaking at the inauguration of the fifth Governing Council for NARO at the ministry’s head office in Entebbe today, Tumwebaze said NARO must do research that will solve problems in the agriculture sector, more so food and feed security. 

The governing Council chaired by Professor William Olaho Mukani has 14 members including the Permanent Secretary ministry of agriculture Maj Gen. David Kasura Kyomukama and Dr. Ambrose Agona, the Director General of NARO.

Other members are Professor James Kajete, Dr. Sylvester Dickson Baguma, Sharon Akullo Atoo, Joly Masika Kateeba, Olivia Nankunda Mpuuga, Rev.Dr. Susan Awino, George Edward Onya, Rehema Nanvuma Wandera and Dr. Samuel Mugasi who is the Executive Director of the National Agriculture Advisory Services-NAADS.           

Established in 2005, NARO is charged with guiding and coordinating all agricultural research activities in the country.   It is currently carrying out a number of projects like climate smart agriculture and Feed the Future which aims at promoting the use and commercialization of improved technologies with yield and nutritional characteristics amidst threats from diseases and pests for crops and animals.       

NARO is overseen by the council as its governing body, whose new members started their term on Monday.                   

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Tumwebaze has now tasked the new council members to ensure NARO’s research is useful to farmers. He also wants NARO’s research made accessible to the farmers so that they can grow food throughout the year instead of relying on the two rainy seasons in most parts of the country.

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Tumwebaze says NARO and its 16 research institutes across the country should be more available to the farmers and also advise the ministry of agriculture on various policies that will eventually result in food and feed security.

THe minister cited the example of NARO making fertilizers since the Sukulu Phosphate factory in Tororo has failed to produce results.  

“After all, it was initially NARO’s idea and NARO can produce the fertilizers themselves,” he said.     

Last month, President Yoweri Museveni said the 620 million US Dollar phosphate project collapsed due to corruption.         

Tumwebaze says NARO can take over the factory and make the fertilizers, since government expected it to generate 300,000 metric tonnes of organic fertilizer annually. 


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Professor William Olaho Mukani, the incoming chairperson of the NARO Governing Council, says the team with the management will work hard and ensure farmers benefit from the organisation’s research. He added that the government and other key stakeholders including NARO must address climate change, population explosion among other challenges to the agricultural sector. 

The 70-year-old Olaho boasts over 30 years in the agricultural sector including ten years at the agriculture ministry and six years at NARO.       

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Most of the council members are either agricultural economists led by Professor Dr. James Kajete or farmers like Sharon Akullu Atoo, Jolly Masika Kateeba, Kenneth Katungisa and George Edward Onya. 

Onya is the former Resident District Commissioner for Serere and Kaberamaido and representing Uganda National Farmers Federation.       

Meanwhile, Olivia Nankunda Mpuuga a teacher,  representing Uganda Local Governments  Association –ULGA and is a former Speaker of Gomba district for ten years.

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