Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom (BKK) and NARO Bulindi ZARDI have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see improved agricultural technologies and innovations demonstrated and scaled out in the kingdom to improve the wellbeing of her people.
Speaking during the MoU signing ceremony on June 9th, 2023 at the kingdom headquarters in Hoima city, attended by various BKK Ministers and some BuZARDI Staff, the Prime Minister, Owek. Andrew Byakutaaga, said that this partnership is fundamental to achieving the vision of King Solomon Gafabusa Iguru I of making Bunyoro-Kitara a great and prosperous kingdom.
“It is important for us to contribute to the wellbeing of the King’s subjects and then the culture issue, which is our main mandate, will just flow because people will be very happy, food and nutrition secure, confident and comfortable,” he explained. According to a report published by Uganda Bureau of Statistics in 2022, the multidimensional poverty level in Bunyoro sub-region is 45.7 percent, which is above the national multidimensional poverty level estimated at 42.1 percent. Although the sub-region is ranked second in maize production in the country, Owek. Byakutaaga noted that maize growers are some of the poorest. He said that farmers are getting only half of what they are supposed to produce due to poor agronomic practices and post-harvest losses.
In actualising the King’s vision, Owek. Byakutaaga said that one of the things they thought about was improving household incomes (a desirable home – Ekka ekwesiimisa) through promotion of agriculture because homes are the foundation of the kingdom.
He was relieved when he learnt from the Director of NARO Bulindi ZARDI, Dr. Sylvester Dickson Baguma, that NARO has generated several livestock breeds and crop varieties that are high yielding, tolerant and some resistant to diseases and pests and has developed good husbandry practices that enhance productivity and household incomes. Dr. Baguma assured the kingdom officials that NARO Bulindi ZARDI is committed to ensuring that the King’s dream becomes a reality. He added that partnering with the Kingdom will enhance technology promotion and outreach and improve peoples’ awareness of what is available. The signing of the MoU was witnessed by the Chairperson Advisory Committee of NARO Bulindi ZARDI, Dr. Mary Rwakaikara Silver and the Minister for Production-BKK, Mr. Wilson Wairindi.