WOUGNET participated in the Consortium meeting led by Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) for the Launch of “Market-led User-owned ICT4Ag Enabled Information Services (MUIIS) project” from 22nd – 23rd October 2015 at Serena Hotel Kampala.
The project period runs from 2015-2018 using satellite generated data to improve production and marketing prospects for producers involved in maize, soya beans and sesame value chains. It was awarded by Netherlands Space Office (NSO) on call for proposals 2014 as part of the Geo data for Agriculture and Water Facility (G4AW) for initiatives to improve extension services using satellite data.
Partners engaged in the MUIIS Launch included: Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), AWhere, the East African Farmers’ Federation (EAFF), EARS Earth Environment Monitoring, the eLEAF Competence Center (eLEAF) and Mercy Corps Uganda. 350,000 Ugandan smallholder farmers are targeted to benefit; with 35% being women, aimed at a 25% increase in food crop yield, 20% increase in farmers’ incomes and 10% decrease in the risk of using agro-inputs.
Ms. Carol Kakooza, the Executive Director Mercy Corps Uganda welcomed participants and acknowledged the Different dignitaries present and yet to arrive. She then handed over to Ben as the lead Coordinator from CTA who made an overview of the project, highlighted the target, precaution and the period for project implementation.
The Guest Speaker, Honourable Mike Kennedy Ssebalu was invited and requested to make a speech on behalf Mr. Steven Mushri. He greeted participants and thanked CTA for the opportunity offered. In his speech he shared his experience on knowledge as information and explained his current state of trailing for a second term in the East African Legislative Assembly. He acknowledged founders and other personalities present and interconnected the chance for Ugandans to benefit from this project. Honourable Ssebalu appreciated efforts of all parties involved for the team spirit. He further endorsed the aspect of capacity building to farmers since it is under the country’s Agenda to match equal participation and input to the surrounding EAC countries’ economies as it hints to progressive production and viability for ascertained innovativeness.
The Chief Guest, Dr. Francis Opolot Okasai from Ministry of Agriculture was invited and launched the project to be implemented. During the period of the launch, other Consortium partners walked in and signed the inscription. Dr. Francis guaranteed participants that Uganda will suit any affirmatives made through allocation of the project. He noted that it was paramount that data being analysed, be disseminated with priorities in human resource, marketing on agricultural commodities and alerting farmers on information need. Interviews were also conducted on dignitaries by the media following suggestions made further after the launch.
Collaborations were made with various partners using the methodology of group discussion which involved different identified needs for the project. These included finance and insurance, data, capacity building and information service, among others. Members identified different gaps and solutions for further progress and group presentations were made. WOUGNET participated in three groups of information services, capacity building, Finance and insurance. WOUGNET shared the work being done and managed to get contacts from collaborators such as AWhere Inc, Business Development, SE, AGRA and others. WOUGNET collaborated also with Daniel Ninsiima a staff from Makerere University, Agricultural Department who managed to travel to the field and demonstrated the Agricultural access platform from SESAKAWA Agricultural experts to WOUGNET’s farmers in the North, this opportunity will be explored time and again.
Compiled By: Atim Sarah
Program Assistant Gender and ICT Policy Advocacy