Leading new innovation for enhanced agricultural productivity Pushing Scientific Research
Utilizing natural resources that favor enhanced aquaculture production Investing in Infrastructure Development
To disseminate new and improved technologies for mass adoption Demonstrations and Exhibitions

ABOUT US

Mukono ZARDI is one of the nine Zonal Agricultural Research Institutes (ZARDIs) under the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO).

ZARDIs were established under the 2005 National Agricultural Research System Act of 2005 and are all semi-autonomous. Over the years, the institute has transitioned from a District Farm Institute (DFI) to an Agricultural Research and Development Centre (ARDC) and finally to its current state.

 

MUZARDI is located in Ntawo village within Mukono district, 20km East of Kampala and 2km off the Jinja-Kampala highway. It has two stations, one in Mukono that sits on 41 hectares and a satellite station in Kamenyamiggo, Lwengo district that sits on 320 hectares. Mukono ZARDI is mandated to carry out adaptive agricultural research and technology dissemination in the Lake Victoria Crescent Agro-ecological Zone.

LEADERSHIP

Mukono ZARDI is led by a Director of Research who is overseen by the Advisory Committee that comprises of five members selected from both the public and government sector.

The workforce is categorized under three programmes; Crop and Natural Resources, Technology Promotion and Outreach and Livestock Research programmes. These are headed by programme heads.

OPERATIONAL AREA

Mukono ZARDI operates in 22 districts of the Lake Victoria Crescent Agro-ecological Zone, covering the entire central region of Uganda that include: Kampala, Wakiso, Mubende, Kalangala, Mukono, Kiboga, Nakansongola, Luwero, Nakaseke, Gomba, Mpigi, Kalungu, Masaka, Lwengo, Kayunga, Buvuma, Buikwe, Kyankwanzi, Mityana, Butambala and Bukomasimbi.

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COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENTS & OUTREACH

For the institute to create a lasting impact in the Lake Victoria Crescent Zone, it carries out several outreach activities that enhance technology transfer among clients. These are through exhibitions, agricultural shows organized within and beyond the Zone, farmer exchange visits, farmer and school competitions, open days and field visits. These are carried out in partnership with farmers, district extension staff, Non-Governmental Organizations and local governments in the 22 districts of the Zone.

Capacity Building 

At least 4,000 local and international visitors receive agricultural skills and knowledge at MuZARDI’s two stations annually. These include interns, secondary and university students, primary pupils, volunteers, farmers, Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) officers, NGOs and CBOs.

 

The interns are mainly students from neighboring universities and institutions like Makerere, Kyambogo, Muteesa 1 Royal, Nkozi, Uganda Christian University and Busitema. One day tours are also organized for both primary and secondary school children. Individual farmers similarly make day-to-day consultations on agricultural practices and agri-business enterprises.

 

Internally, the institute has continued to boost its human resource performance by regularly providing Masters and PhD scholarships to its workforce in both local and international universities. Study leave is always granted.

Training Facilities 

The institute organizes trainings for its diverse stakeholders including farmers, students, NGOs, CBOs and district local governments

Though some of these are conducted at various venues especially at district or sub-county headquarters, the majority are done at the Institute.

With its spacious training rooms, classrooms and big conference hall complimented by the Institute’s sparkling, serene and picturesque scenery, Mukono ZARDI provides the perfect setting for any trainee.

There are five dormitories and several guest rooms offering boarding facilities to workshop participants. Additional services provided on request include secretarial services, LCD projectors, public address systems, a stand-by generator, internet services and satellite television. Also guaranteed are tasty meals from a fully functional kitchen.

Reaping the Benefits of the KR Coffee Varieties 

Coffee wilt disease (CWD) is a fungal disease that causes low yields in the production of Robusta coffee varieties commonly grown in the Lake Victoria Crescent zone.

The disease spreads quickly and widely through infected coffee plant debris, infected farm tools and soil. Unfortunately, once infected, a tree will die since there is no cure. Control measures include uprooting and burning infected coffee trees on site as soon as symptoms are seen and then disinfecting farm tools using flames or Jik solution (5%).

However, with the increasing global demand of coffee, it was important that a lasting solution be found to fight the disease.

Therefore, MUZARDI scientists introduced the Coffee Wilt Disease resistant varieties KR 1-7 lines at both the Ntawo and Kamenyamiggo stations, where they are multiplied and disseminated to famers in the zonal districts.

In addition, farmers visiting the Ntawo and Kamenyamiggo mother gardens and nurseries also receive training in proper coffee management practices.

During the previous FY 2019/20, KR clonal plantlets totaling to 17,061 and 4,605 plantlets of elite coffee were sold to farmers.

Helping Farmers Adopt NARO Technologies through the Domino Project 

While research technologies are disseminated using various uptake pathways, poor quality planting materials are still a big problem in the Lake Victoria Crescent Zone. Additionally, several technologies developed by NARO still remain on the shelves.

The Domino Project seeks to establish the adoption rate of selected technologies by farmers in the Institute’s neighbouring communities in a distance range of 10km, 20km and 30km from the Institute.

For that reason, farmers have been categorized into two groups – one that is using the technologies and the other that is not. The project has also classified farm typologies and their implication for technology adoption besides identifying the factors limiting or enhancing  it. Subsequently a model will be developed to enhance  its adoption.

So far, in some community interactions carried out in the districts of Lwengo, Luwero, Buikwe and Bukomasimbi, many farmers said there was a need to develop strategies that would enhance technology adoption.

Quality Banana Planting Materials to Enhance Food Security 

Banana is one of the most important food crops in Uganda. It is currently being grown by about 75% of the farmers on 1.3 million hectares.

With most of what is produced consumed locally, the banana crop is also a good income source for farmers all year round in addition to providing soil surface cover and reducing soil erosion on steep slopes. It also acts as a principal source of mulch for maintaining and improving soil fertility.

However, the majority of the small holder farmers in Uganda obtain suckers from the informal seed sector. This means that many multiply, select and distribute the suckers.

This practice though increases the risk of the fast spreading of pests and diseases such as Banana wilt. Subsequently, productivity is affected both in terms of quantity and quality, threatening the food sector in the long-term.

Mukono ZARDI scientists have as a result established two on-station mother gardens at Ntawo and Kamenyamiggo to provide disease-free planting materials to farmers.

Selected banana cultivars of Mbwazirume, Kisansa, Mpologoma, NAROBAN 5 and Nakitembe, which are all high-yielding, were planted for multiplication and dissemination to stakeholders in the Lake Victoria crescent zone.

Farmers visiting the Institute on one day tours and some of those within the neighbourhood have been able to receive practical skills on proper banana management.

FIELDS OF RESEARCH

Crop and Natural Resources Research Programme

  • Urban and peri-urban farming for income and food security
  • Agro forestry with high value technologies like apples
  • Soil management research
  • Seed and planting material multiplication of improved plant varieties

Livestock Research Programme

  • Aquaculture research and management technologies
  • Piggery research
  • Poultry research
  • Research on beef and dairy cattle management on small acreage

Technology Promotion and Outreach Programmes

  • Training and consultancies for improved agricultural technologies & soft skills
  • Promotion and provision of outreach services for NARO technologies
  • Provision of internships and volunteering opportunities for young scientists
Get In Touch

For more information contact:

The Director of Research Mukono ZARDI

P.O Box 164, Mukono.

Telephone: +256 0414 290232

Email: director@muzardi.go.ug

Webpage: www.naro.go.ug/muzardi

Twitter: @Mukonozardi

Facebook: @muzardi

Other Services at MUZARDI
  1. One-day training tours; Mukono ZARDI offers trainings that are conducted under the one day tour programme.
  2. Conference facilities; the Institute also offers workshop services that include a training and conference rooms, hostel, television, catering unit and beautiful gardens.
  3. Corporate responsibility: With its own football pitch, Mukono ZARDI supports a local youth team NARO Ntawo FC that benefits the youth in the community.
Who we work with
  • District local governments in the LVCAZ;
  • Community based organizations and NGOs;
  • Farmers, youth and women groups;
  • Schools and universities like Kyambogo and Makerere Universities;
  • Other NARO institutes;
  • Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD),
  • International universities