Research

NARO Research Agenda

NARO’s research agenda is guided by 10-year strategic plans that spell out research priorities over the period. The last strategic plan cycle, that stretched from 2008/09 to 2017/18, focused on the improvement of agricultural production and productivity.

The current strategic plan, themed: “Market Oriented Research Spurring Agro-Industrialization”, started in 2018/19 and will end in 2027/28.

To ensure inclusivity, a broad based team comprising different stakeholders including the private sector, universities, MAAIF, NARO Secretariat and PARIs developed this strategic plan through a countrywide consultative process.

Classification

The NARO Research Agenda is classified into two broad areas of Technical and Institutional Research.

Under the Institutional Research Agenda, the focus is more on policy and partnerships, research capacity (human and infrastructure) and funding and funding diversity.

NARO operates under the Medium Term Expenditure Framework where funding is obtained from the Government of Uganda.

The Technical Research scrutinizes farm power and mechanization specifically to help move the majority of farmers from subsistence to commercial agriculture through the adoption of affordable agricultural mechanization.

Between 2008 and 2018 NARO’s agricultural engineering arm released nine (9) designs of agro-machinery prototypes and one (1) drying method. These include the fishing kiln, thresher, water pump.

Also carried out under Technical Research are food nutrition, health and industrial health, genetic resources harnessing and management, market and marketing enhancing technologies, post-harvest handling and value addition studies plus production and productivity, technology development, access and application.

Technology and Innovations

While agriculture is one of the key sectors in Uganda’s economy accounting for about 25% of the GDP and 65% of total export earnings while employing about 70% of the population, it remains largely subsistent.

In fact, the rate of growth of the sector is no longer in tandem with that of the population. One of the major reasons is because of the limited application of technologies in agriculture.

As such, NARO continues to emphasize increased utilization of improved technologies and innovations in agriculture. This is one of the four strategic results of the current strategic plan, whose overall desired result in the end is to ensure that different segments of Ugandan community are practicing transformative agriculture, spurring markets and contributing to industrial development.

Ongoing Research Projects:

So far, significant progress has been achieved in the implementation of the new NARO Strategic Plan. These achievements have contributed to the country development indicators, the development plans and the government’s future socio-economic commitments to Ugandans. They have also been incorporated in research related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of ending poverty, ending hunger and achieve food security, gender equality and taking action to combat climate change.