National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) has started an initiative to work alongside media organizations in order to enhance information dissemination to the public.
To kick off the project, the agricultural research body has partnered with Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC), which broadcasts in 16 different languages across the country through its various platforms.
Through this partnership NARO hopes to permeate society and create awareness on modern agricultural practices translating into agricultural productivity and profitability.
At the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations, it was noted that as a Regional Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Research in Sub-Saharan Africa, NARO is cognizant of the fact that for Uganda to attain Middle Income status, smart agricultural practices will have to be prioritized for adoption.
This is what will move the 69% subsistence farmers to the cash economy.
In his remarks, the NARO Director General Dr. Ambrose Agona noted that over the years, NARO had generated over 1000 agricultural technologies and ground breaking agricultural research interventions that have stayed disasters like widespread famine resultant from emerging pests, diseases and climate change.
Despite being hit by different epidemics like the Cassava Mosaic disease, Coffee Stock Borer, Banana Bacterial Wilt, the Fall Army worm to mention but a few, Ugandan farmers have always had enough grain and seed for self and even aid to other countries in some instances.
He further explained that this was because at the heart of that experience, NARO scientists have ensured that there are stress tolerant seed and breed varieties available for different ecological zones in addition to recommendation of Pest and Disease management packages.
“NARO’s research on the Fall Army Worm has been recognized by Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) as one of only two case studies in Africa that have been successful in the management of the Fall Army Worm. These are some of the research interventions that we intend to showcase on this program on a weekly basis and we thank Uganda Broadcasting Corporation for agreeing to partner with us to reach the masses with development content.” Dr. Agona said
It is worth noting that only last year 2017, NARO scientists concluded tests of 2 candidate tick vaccines for cattle in the region that could save the country billions of shillings in foreign exchange spent on importation of vaccines, once mass production is undertaken.
The Managing Director UBC, Mr. Winston Agaba welcomed the initiative by NARO and commended them for adhering to the President’s call to Ministries, Departments and Agencies to communicate developments and progress being undertaken by the government of Uganda.
He said, “NARO is the first agency to utilize the National Broadcaster as it ought to be utilized and I encourage other agencies to take advantage of the program revamp that is ongoing at the National Broadcaster. The weekly episodes will air starting May 13th, 2018 over the weekends when everyone is able to watch, learn and practice what they will have learnt.”