Deputy Speaker’s visit to NARO

The Rt Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, visited NARO’s National Livestock Resources Research Institute on November 9, 2023. This visit was to monitor and acquaint himself with the work being done by NARO. This was on invitation from the Hon. Frank Tumwebaze (Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries).

The Deputy Speaker was accompanied by the members of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, led by their Chairperson, Hon. Janet Okori-Moe, and the Chairperson of the Oversight Committee. The delegation was received by Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, Hon. Hellen Adoa (Minister of State for Fisheries), Dr. Swidiq Mugerwa (Deputy Director of General Research Coordination), Dr. Stevens Kisaka (Director of Corporate Services), and other NARO directors of research.

The delegation visited the Aflasafe production facility, feed meal, zero-waste platform, vaccine production facility, and embryo transfer unit under the guidance of Dr. Swidiq Mugerwa. Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, in his remarks, said he was glad to visit and experience NARO.

“I have not seen any agency that is as organized and welcoming as NARO.” He spoke.

The Deputy Speaker was glad to learn more about NARO, especially in the area of food security, since it is the only way, we can transform our economy. Coupled with the interventions of the Parish Development Model (PDM), Uganda is on the right track.

He promised to come back to visit NARO and offered his total support, apart from the GMO bill. Seen technologies that benefit people while making money.

He reiterated that food security is a cornerstone of any country and a sustainable pillar for the transformation of development and peace. Without food security, even the military would be vulnerable.

To achieve sustainable food security, aspects of science, technology, and innovation need to be addressed, one of which involves teaching farmers to enable them to adopt and practice modern farming methods.

In regard to funding, he said the Maputo Declaration states that;

each country in Africa should allocate at least 1% of its GDP to agriculture.

This, however, is not yet happening in Uganda, given the latest statistics on the funds allocated to the agricultural sector. Premising on this, he requested parliament through the chief guest to allocate at least 300 billion shillings annually to NARO, though 500 billion shillings would be ideal to support agricultural research and development efforts.

Dr. William Olaho, chairperson of the NARO governing council

In his remarks, he appreciated the Hon. Thomas Tayebwa for visiting NARO and urged parliament and other leaders of government to come and see what NARO is doing. He said NARO stands to address the challenges of our time and has experienced tremendous growth from 1995, when it was instituted, to date.

For this, he was thankful to the Government of Uganda for all the support, which was a deliberate action by President Yoweri Museveni.

Regarding the challenges of food insecurity, Dr. Olaho said research is at the forefront of addressing issues of quality and quantity, albeit with shortcomings in the area of adequate human resources, equipment, and infrastructure.

The need to roll out technologies to end users, integrate crops and livestock, mechanization, and water and soil all need to be addressed continuously.

Dr. Olaho said that with all the required support, NARO will be seen as a role model in the region. He concluded by requesting the Deputy Speaker to handle the issue of the biotech and biosafety bill that has been on the table in parliament, as some of NARO’s critical work has stalled due to the delay in passing the bill.


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