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The Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) Executive Director’s Mission to Uganda

Between the 4th and 8th of March 2019, the BvAT ED Dr. David Amudavi was in Uganda on a partner identification mission. BvAT is currently seeking to establish partnerships with organizations in Uganda to collaborate with on the BMZ-GIZ sponsored project “Knowledge Centre for Organic Agriculture in Africa” in Uganda. This is a project that will be supporting three centers of excellence in organic agriculture in Africa (Eastern Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa) to enhance production in line with organic principles and standards and stimulate market linkages. BvAT will oversee the East African center and hence the need for this mission to identify collaborators.

On this trip, Dr. Amudavi was armed with a meticulously developed checklist of requirements to look for in identifying the most appropriate partners. Some of them were; passion and commitment for (ecological) organic agriculture, availability of sound administrative and financial systems and support infrastructure such as office space. The list is long, but these were some of the paramount requirements. Dr. Amudavi met and held discussions with four institutions; The Makerere University, Uganda Martyrs University, RUFORUM and Pelum Uganda.

The Makerere University;

Makerere University, Kampala is Uganda’s largest and third-oldest institution of higher learning, first established as a technical school in 1922. In 1963, it became the University of East Africa, offering courses leading to general degrees from the University of London The university has been a partner in the Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative for Africa being responsible for Pillar 2 (Information and Communication).

On his visit, Dr. Amudavi was at the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences of Makerere University and held meetings with Prof Fred Kabi of the Department of Agricultural Production and later with Prof. Johnny Mugisha, Dean School of Agricultural Sciences.

Photo: From L to R: Prof. Johnny Mugisha, Dr. David Amudavi and Prof. Fred Kabi
Photo: From L to R: Prof. Johnny Mugisha, Dr. David Amudavi and Prof. Fred Kabi

Uganda Martyrs University

Uganda Martyrs University (UMU) is a private university affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda. It is licensed by the Uganda National Council for Higher Education. UMU’s main campus is in Nkozi, Mpigi District, in the Central Region of Uganda, approximately 82 kilometres west of Kampala, on the highway between Kampala and Masaka. It has 10 other campuses located in different parts of the country. It consists of seven faculties, one institute, four centers, five departments, and two schools.

During the visit, the ED held meetings with:

  1. Fr. Joseph N. Ssembatya – Ag. Deputy Vice Chancellor, Finance & Administration
  2. Julius Mwine – Coordinator of the African Center of Excellence on Agroecology and Livelihood systems
  3. Joseph Ssekandi – Dean, Faculty of Agriculture
From L to R: Dr. Joseph Ssekandi, Rev. Fr. Joseph N. Ssembatya, Dr. Amudavi & Prof. Julius Mwine
From L to R: Dr. Joseph Ssekandi, Rev. Fr. Joseph N. Ssembatya, Dr. Amudavi & Prof. Julius Mwine

RUFORUM

The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), established by ten Vice Chancellors in 2004, is a consortium of 105 African universities operating within 37 countries spanning the African continent. RUFORUM is coordinated by a Secretariat hosted by Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. The organization evolved from its predecessor, the Forum on Agricultural Resource Husbandry (FORUM) program of the Rockefeller Foundation. RUFORUM is registered as an International Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and has mandate to oversee graduate training. In July 2014, RUFORUM signed a cooperation agreement with the African Union to support the implementation of the new African Union for Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa, 2024 (STISA 2024). Dr. Amudavi met with the RUFORUM, Prof. Adipala Ekwamu who requested for more information and promised to look around for more relevant partners.

Pelum Uganda 

PELUM Uganda is a network of Civil Society Organizations that have chosen to work together to improve the livelihoods of the poor. Since 1995, PELUM Uganda has been working to improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and the sustainability of rural communities, through the fostering of ecological land use management. We: Share skills and knowledge about good practices and techniques, through a broad network of likeminded organizations; Undertake research and demonstration projects; and advocate for policies that better support small-scale farmers.

On his visit, BvAT ED held talks with meeting with; Stella Grace Lutalo – The Country Coordinator, Ezra – Programme Officer, Library for Food Sovereignty, Marilyn Kabalere – Programme Officer, Advocacy and Erick Kizito – Programme Officer, Sustainable Farming Systems

From L to R: Ezra, Marilyn Kabalere, Erick Kizito, Stella Grace Lutalo and David Amudavi
From L to R: Ezra, Marilyn Kabalere, Erick Kizito, Stella Grace Lutalo and David Amudavi

The entire BvAT family is very excited about the opportunity of running this knowledge center and the ED expressed optimism that his trip will yield suitable partners to work with in the attainment of the project’s objectives. The team will be critically analyzing the data he came back with to aid in selecting ideal partners.

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