Uganda Biosciences Information Center (UBIC) is an information hub of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO). Our goal is to become the premier hub for information and knowledge sharing on agricultural biosciences research in Uganda. We develop, produce, and disseminate information on modern biosciences innovations and advances in agricultural research in Uganda to facilitate informed decision-making.
UBIC was established in 2013 and is hosted at the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) ―a NARO institute at Namulonge in Wakiso district. Currently, UBIC’s activities are mostly supported by the Next Generation Cassava Project (NEXTGEN website).
Better agricultural outcomes
To foster public understanding of agricultural research for informed decision-making
A hub for information and knowledge sharing on agricultural biosciences research in Uganda
Who We Are
Uganda Biosciences Information Center (UBIC) is an information hub of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO). UBIC exists to bridge the information and communication gap between scientists and their stakeholders with a special focus on modern agricultural biosciences. Agricultural scientists have developed a spectrum of new technologies and processes to address perennial and problematic challenges and needs in agriculture, including: pests and diseases, climate change effects, and product quality.
UBIC’s goal, mission and vision feed squarely into NARO’s broader goal of enhancing the contribution of agricultural research to sustainable agricultural productivity, sustained competitiveness, economic growth, food security and poverty eradication.
Why We Exist
Our job is to help Ugandans to understand, appreciate, and use novel and innovative technologies to improve agriculture and boost food security, while ensuring better land use and a cleaner environment. Our outreach and communication activities are geared towards advancing Uganda’s march to middle income status by 2040 through modernised agriculture.
Our goal is to develop, produce, and disseminate information on modern biosciences innovations and advances in agricultural research in Uganda to facilitate informed decision-making.
UBIC uses effective communication and information dissemination strategies to ensure that Ugandans and other end-users are aware of and can adequately use the agricultural innovations that can mitigate some of the most pressing challenges in agriculture such as pests and diseases, climate change, and food and nutrition insecurity.
We work with many stakeholders to help increase public awareness and understanding of modern biosciences which can be used for agricultural enhancement. We endeavour to:
Influence target audiences to make informed decisions about biosciences application and regulation
UBIC works with farmers, students, scientists, policy makers, religious and cultural leaders, and the media providing a platform for dialogue and information dissemination on modern biosciences for evidence based and informed decision–making.
In line with this, we devote a significant amount of resources in advancing a favourable, responsive and robust regulatory climate for agricultural biosciences research, development and technology transfer in the country. Our principal focus currently is to ensure equitable access especially of NARO’s biotechnology research products by the intended end-users.
Strengthen biosciences training in the formal education system of Uganda
UBIC acknowledges the critical importance of capacity building to ensure sustained impact. Through our schools’ outreach and mentorship programme, we seek to magnify the relevance of modern biosciences and support their integration into the formal education system.
We develop and donate teaching aids to science educators and contribute biosciences literature and materials to support curriculum development by the National Curriculum Development Center. We conduct essay writing and drawing competitions, outreach sessions and seminars in primary, secondary schools and tertiary institutions, as part of efforts to groom future leaders in science.
Conduct Biosciences outreach and communication capacity building
Our mandate on knowledge sharing is inspired by the need to facilitate balanced, fact-based and objective discourse on modern biosciences in Uganda. We strive to serve the information needs of different stakeholders, in an effort to satisfy Uganda’s hunger for credible, nuanced information on biosciences and biosafety.
Through our outreach program, we endeavour to achieve this through sharing knowledge and information on agricultural biosciences research in Uganda, streamlining biosciences communication through grassroots sensitization workshops for policy makers, religious and community leaders, media, students and educators as well as farmers and their associates. Science communication training is done for scientists and journalists.
Facilitate knowledge sharing and partnerships among biotech communication partners locally and internationally
Establishing and growing strategic partnerships to leverage unique expertise and share resources and experiences is vital to our work. Over the years, we have strengthened our partnerships and formed new alliances with like-minded institutions that help extend our reach.
UBIC is part of national and international networks such as Uganda Biotechnology and Biosafety Consortium, Alliance for Science, and International Services for Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA). Through these, we help to advance Uganda’s science agenda and support international cooperation for advancements in modern biosciences for agriculture.
Joshua Raymond Muhumuza is an Outreach Officer with UBIC. He is biotechnology graduate of Makerere University, who has amassed a wealth of experience working with UBIC first as a volunteer intern then a Research Assistant before assuming his current role. He has working experience in strategic communication and planning, technology stewardship, grassroots mobilization, website/online and social media content management, and agricultural extension work. Joshua is also trained in food safety and biosafety.
Ronald holds a degree in Agriculture from Gulu University, certificates in project planning, management, monitoring and evaluation and media skills for scientists. Ronald is an award winner in the 6th Annual National Biotech Essay writing contest organized by UBIC. Ronald is enthusiastic about promoting modern agricultural sciences.
Barbara has a PhD in Plant Breeding, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology and a doctoral specialization in Environmental Science and Policy from Michigan State University, USA. She is an environmental safety specialist, with keen interest in promoting sustainable use and conservation of biological diversity to address agricultural challenges. Barbara has over 15 years’ work experience in supporting and establishing a functional biosafety system and in science communication. Barbara is also enthusiastic about interesting the youth to learn, use, and promote modern agricultural sciences.
Peter has a Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from Makerere University. He is passionate about science communication with a focus on modern biosciences. He has over 3 years of experience in grassroots mobilization, science advocacy and entrepreneurship.
To engage educators and learners so as to interest students in agricultural- related sciences and courses. We aim to share integrate the advances in agricultural research and applied technologies in the teaching materials and in the curriculum
For targeted stakeholders’ groups to promote dialogue and communication for increased understanding and decision-making on new agricultural technologies
For various local, regional and international stakeholders to expose them to the research activities at NARO, and to farms to showcase agricultural innovations
To engage youth in formal education system in the discussion of relevant technologies for agricultural improvement in Uganda.
To increase positive media presence of agricultural innovations and technologies by interacting with media through meetings, engagements in NARO activities, and media programs.
Are produced and disseminated to create awareness about advances in agricultural innovations and technologies such as hybrids and biotech crops