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Mak to partner with Belgium in agricultural production and vocation skills training

Mr. Alexandre commended Makerere University for championing vocational skills training in Uganda. I recognize Makerere University for its unmeasured effort to provide hands-on skill to the youth and farmers prioritizing agriculture. We acknowledge the important research undertaken by the Institution to solve farmers' problems and the great innovations done from Makerere University geared towards improving Uganda's agricultural sector, he said.

The Belgium Government has immensely invested in building capacity of Makerere Universitystaff especially in the area of Food and Agricultural Engineering and other related science subjects. According to Mr. Alexandre Brecx, every year the Government of Belgium sponsors students and staff from Makerere University to pursue their studies (graduate, postgraduate and research programmes) in Universities in Belgium.

On behalf of Makerere University, Prof. Noble Banadda, the Head, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and an alumnus of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium acknowledged support from the Government of Belgium that has enabled staff from Ugandan Institutions of Higher Learning to upgrade academically. He recognized the tremendous support the Government of Belgium is extending to Uganda through ENABEL to improve the agricultural sector of Uganda. He looked forward to a fruitful partnership between Makerere University and the Embassy of Belgium to Uganda that will lead to knowledge transfer in Agricultural Engineering and technological Incubation.

We have the leading agricultural college in the region. It is also well known in capacity building and hands-on skills however, we need more knowledge and skills on mechanization, irrigation, equipment maintenance, agricultural and food processing equipment fabrication and welding. I am aware that Belgium mastered the art of these skills and we hope that when a partnership is sealed, we shall learn from them, said Prof. Banadda. Led by Mr. Tweyambe Chrysestom- the Farm Manager at MUARIK, the delegation visited the Engineering workshop where machinery and other agricultural tools are fabricated. They also visited the feed processing unit, the soil mixing and sterilization unit, the dairy chain, the banana plantation and the goats breeding unit. Throughout the tour, visitors interacted with students from Ssese Farmers Institute; who are undertaking their internship training at MUARIK.

Makerere University Agricultural Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK) is an arm of Makerere University that interfaces with the National Agricultural research system (NARS). Seated on 650 hectares of land, the institute is being managed as a multi-disciplinary facility for training, research, outreach, and production under the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. The Institute is located 19 kilometers North-West of Kampala off Gayaza Township on the Kampala-Zirobwe Road. It houses;

The Center for Continuing Agricultural Education Centre (CAEC),

A Biotechnology Lab renowned globally for undertaking continental plant breeding programmes

The Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI) focused on an African continent free from hunger and malnutrition through the provision of improved varieties of food crops in Africa

The Graduate Training and Research Laboratory, with state-of-the-art facilities aimed at enhancing the quality of analysis of practical field work for graduate students

The Modern Poultry Unit (KOICA) comprising three (3) sub-units with a capacity of five thousand (5000) birds each, a brooder house, a drying shed for dehydrating chicken manure and a microbial facility to grow microorganisms to be used in the fermentation of chicken manure

The Coffee Value Addition Centre (CURAD) focused on agri-business incubation to create employment opportunities for students.

The Dairy Value Chain Unit and the Feed Mill

Source: Makerere University

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