On March 9th, I attended the CGIAR-NARO Stakeholder Consultation Workshop themed “Future of Agriculture Research in Uganda” in Kampala, Uganda. The meeting was attended by different stakeholders representing researchers, Non Governmental Organisations, development agencies, farmers’ organizations and private sector. I was excited to form part of this diverse group as YPARD representative.
The overall objective of the consultation was to carry out dialogue and engagement with partners and stakeholders in Uganda in order to understand and align with the national priorities and actions related to research and its impact.
CGIAR representative (Jason) gave an overview of CGIAR, their worldwide interventions and strategic areas of focus. On the other hand, NARS represented by Yoona gave a historical background of research in Uganda showing remarkable growth over the years. It was interesting to note from the reactions of the audience though they commended the efforts of the researchers, they felt the research results are not properly disseminated to reach the end user and thus impact is not very easily felt.
I got the opportunity to remind the participants to incorporate youth in their research development agenda and ensure that some of the technologies developed address youth aspirations given our demographics. According to USAID Youth Map Uganda (2011), 78% of the Ugandan population are youths of whom 63% are unemployed (NDPII, 2015/16-2019/20).
During the group discussions, I participated in the “partnerships” group where we were looking at why current partnerships are not effective both during execution of research and final dissemination. It was agreed that research partners should clearly define their respective roles and should not be seen to compete but rather to complement each other. It was also agreed that effort should be made to involve other stakeholders including the youth in research especially the private sector who may be in position to fund research but at the same time use the research results.
Photo Courtesy: CIAT