On August 24, 2004 the Deputy Director General of Uganda’s National Agriculture Research Organisation (NARO) , Dr. John Aluma, opened a training for researchers and field extension workers from NGOs, NARO, UNCST, the National Agriculture Advisory Services(NAADS) and Makerere University Soil Science department. The Training is organised by Prolinnova-UGANDA and is facilitated by Sara and Fred who recieved these skills in a recent training at IIRR (Participatory Innovation Development: A Training of Facilitators’ Course – June 14-25, 2004). A total of 30 participants were invited.
In his opening remarks Dr. Aluma:
- applauded the vision of Prolinnova, which he continuously equated to the same vision that has now led to a new NARS in Uganda, with a new NAR policy and legal framework. The new policy calls for “thinking beyond the box”- hence innovation.
- Informed the participants that the importance of Innovations in Agriculture reasearch and natural resource management has been highlighted recently by the President of Uganda himself, who infact directed the operationalisation of the Innovations fund, now set-up in the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology in order to encourage farmers to be innovative and to commercialise the innovation.
- informed the participants that gone are the days when Agriculture research was thought about in terms of commodities and departments apportioned in that direction. The new way now is based on 5 different themes, all of which are supportive of the Prolinnova approach, they are:
- Understanding people (Diagnosis that respects peoples demands)
- Linkages and partnerships (which is a truely Prolinnova focus)
- Sustainable NAtural resource management
- Technology options (arising from the above three)
- Linking policy and markets
- The Uganda National Council of Science and Technology has also developed an Action-framework focussing on Innovations with emphasis to documentation, validation and commerscialisation (again the Prolinnova way)!
- Informed members that under the new NARS, NARO will set up competitive research grants which he urged participants to take advantage of.
The training lasted four days and added value to our agricultural research and extension.