Embrace STI for better Production, Value Addition – Scientists

Sunday, November 7, 2021

MAKERERE: Researchers under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) under the Presidents Office have called on Ugandans to embrace Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) as vital drivers for socio-economic development and transformation.

This was recently during the presentation of the concept paper for the National Science week under the theme; “The Future of STI in Uganda: Breaking the Silos and Leveraging Synergies for a skilled and Sustainable Workforce for National Economic Transformation” at the Centre for Biosecurity and Global Health under the College of Veterinary medicine, Animal Resources and Bio security at Makerere University.

According to Justus Rutaisire the Director of Corporate Services of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), the entire sector of agriculture; livestock, crops, fisheries, forestry, soils and cross cutting issues should focus on adding value to their products in order to address the issue of post-harvest loss of farmers through STI. 

Rutaisire  said on live-stock, NARO is developing vaccines to deal with ticks, FMD vaccine.. a vaccine against African swine fever so that farmers don’t use a lot of chemicals treating their live-stock. He added that NARO has better rations for mixing feeds and advised farmers to pick the formulation and mix their feeds to get better yields, high quality milk and quality meat. 

He advised farmers to process value added products like bread, cakes, and pop corn etc from crops by using STI in order to avoid post-harvest loss. 

He called on farmers dealing in Forestry to plant bamboo which is another hard wood timber and revealed that in four years, you can get hard wood timber from bamboo as compared to waiting for 30 years. Bamboo can be processed in various products including furniture, paper, bi-fuel which are availed through use of STI. 

Umar Lule Sonko the Director of Research and Development at the Banana Industrial Research and Development Centre formerly (PIBID) Presidential Initiative on Banana Industrial Development advised farmers to harness the value chain to create more jobs for all the actors in the value chain through STI.  

He added STI enables researchers to use apps to predict weather, which helps farmers to know the weather and avoid planting crops during the wrong season.

Dr. Margaret Kahwa Saimo a Senior lecturer at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio security Makerere University (COVAB) and also a researcher appealed to the young people to take an interest in the innovations and technologies that are being built in Uganda so that ‘we’ don’t look at only the technologies invaded from outside.