About the Conference

The National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) and the College of Agriculture and Environmental Studies (CAES) of Makerere University, will hold a Joint Agricultural Research Dissemination Conference from 21st- 24th November 2016 at the Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala, Uganda. The conference will create a platform and forum for disseminating, and showcasing novel, and modern agricultural research findings in form of technologies, practices and other innovations targeting socio-economic transformation of developing countries including Uganda. It will underscore innovative strategies to enable the agriculture sector prominently contribute to Uganda’s efforts to achieve the upper middle income status. The conference will comprise of keynote addresses from distinguished international personalities, oral and poster paper sessions and exhibitions of ready-to-use technologies and innovations.

More than 600 participants from various institutions of agriculture and other related sectors in Uganda and globally are expected to attend the conference. Participants will include: researchers, scientists, farmers, private sector players such as seed companies, agro-input dealers, processors, marketers, policy makers, agricultural extension workers, Non-GovernmentalOrganizations, Community-Based Organizations, members of the civil society, financial (macro & micro) institutions, as well as development partners.

Introduction

The agricultural research system in Uganda is challenged by the need for effective contribution to the socio-economic transformation of the people of the country. Its contribution needs to increasingly be visibly evident at grass-root level through effective knowledge, innovations and products. In addition, there must be evidence of functional and synergistic partnerships between and among service providers along the agricultural research value chain, all working within an enabling policy environment. The national agricultural research system, especially National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) and Makerere University’s (MAK) Colleges of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences(CAES), College of Veterinary medicine, Animal resources and Biosecurity (COVAB) to mention but a few, have generated a number of technologies/innovations/products which need to be exposed to intended users that include policy makers, extension agents, producers, processes and consumers for uptake and utilisation. It is against this background that the two institutionshave planned to spear-headed a joint conference to provide a platform for stakeholder awareness of the new innovations, hence their dissemination. This conceptnote spells out the key elements of the proposed conference arrangements (objectives, organisation, structure and content).

Conference Objective

The objective of the conference is to enhance the contribution of agricultural research and innovation towards sustained agricultural transformation in Uganda to achieve improved livelihoods

Conference theme

The theme for the conference is “Agricultural Research and Innovation for Socio-Economic Transformation”. Knowledge sharing on it will be organized under five sub-themes as described below:

Conference sub-themes

1. Advances in agricultural innovations for increased competitiveness
The sub-theme focuses on generation and development of technologies and innovations that directly or indirectly address the challenges faced by stakeholders in the agricultural sector, with the main aim of increasing the sector competitiveness. It considers current research findings in areas of crops, forestry, livestock and fisheries with regard to variety/breed improvement, agronomy, protection, nutrition, value addition and marketing. Papers on interventions in water (for crop, animal and fisheries resources) and farm mechanization will also be covered under this sub-theme.

2. Partnerships for enhancing utilization of agricultural innovations
This sub-them will cover aspects of partnerships and collaborations aimed at enhancing generation, uptake and utilization of research results/outputs by the various intended beneficiaries that include farmers, processors, traders, agro-input dealers, extension agents, consumers, policy makers and development partners to mention but a few. It examines among others the roles, synergies, challenges and opportunities of partnerships in enhancing the contribution of agriculture to food and nutrition security, household income, health and employment. Additionally, it considers the innovations in building capacity for generation to utilization of agricultural research products.

3. Closing the gender gap in agricultural transformation
This sub-theme seeks to examine the advances in skilling the different gender categories, especially women and youth, for effective participation in the agricultural transformation, and the associated implications. It also addresses issues of social and environmental safeguards that are gaining prominence and could have influence on agricultural competitiveness.

4. Strengthening enabling environment for agricultural transformation
The sub-theme seeks to explore challenges and creative mechanisms for addressing the gaps in formulation and implementation of agricultural policies, laws and environments, including institutional arrangements, with the aim of strengthening the enabling environment for generation, dissemination and utilization of agricultural research products for a nation’s socio-economic transformation. It will feature presentations and discussions on effects of policies on agricultural development, markets, economics, financial services, and business development, among others.

5. Mainstreaming evaluation research in agricultural initiatives
This subtheme aspires to tap knowledge and experiences on evaluation research (ER), and provide useful feedback about key regional initiatives undertaken, with focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. Information from this sub-them is aimed to influence decision-making or policy formulation through the provision of empirically-driven feedback. Sponsors, donors, client-groups, administrators, staff, and other relevant constituencies are expected to benefit from papers featured in this sub-theme.

Conference exhibition

The NARO-MAK conference will be a high-level agricultural dissemination conference that will showcase to the world, some of the best and newest agricultural products and technologies from Uganda. Interested exhibitors are encouraged to book space and get a valuable opportunity to showcase and demonstrate the leading role and commitment of their respective companies or organizations, in transforming agriculture in Uganda.

Running of the conference

The conference is programmed to accommodate presentations of scientific papers(oral and poster) and success-stories, exhibition of physical innovations/technologies/products of research and related development aspects, in addition to information/knowledge materials. In order to stimulate subsequent discussions, all plenary sessions will be preceded by at least one keynote presentation or lead paper. This will be presentations persons with wide experience on topical issues of concern to at least Sub-Saharan Africa. All these will be delivered in four days; 21st – 24th November 2016. The conference programme will be produced and availed in advance of the conference start date.

Agricultural research systems performance challenges to, among others, be addressed

 Policy limitations to performance of agricultural research
 Bottlenecks to effective delivery of research products and services to key stakeholders especially farmers
 Leveraging synergies among partners and research service providers (institutions, private sector, NGOs, farmers and farmer organizations, local governments, development partners, etc) for meaningful impact on the agricultural sector
 Building critical expertise to drive agricultural science, technology and innovation for rural development
 Making agricultural research and extension/innovation systems work for accelerated agricultural transformation (directions, interconnections among partners for future agricultural research)
 Matching research with stakeholder needs
 Relevance of research to stakeholder needs (role of funding agencies, academic requirements, challenges in political environment, role of basic research)
 Gender responsiveness of agricultural research and dissemination
 It is envisaged that through discussions on the above and other issues, the conference will generate recommendations that will be part of a communiqué to various interest groups, especially policy makers.

Expected participants of the conference

It is anticipated that owing to the emphasis of the conference on effective dissemination of research results, and dialogue on issues that can bolster the contribution of the agricultural research systems to socio-economic transformation of the country, up to 500 participants will be enlisted for the conference. These will include among others:
 Farmers
 Policy makers at different levels
 Private Sector (agro-input dealers, manufacturers, food processors, food exporters, traders, financial institutions, insurance institutions, etc.)
 Media houses
 Civil society (NGOs, CBOs, CSOs,etc)
 Development Partners
 Government institutions (universities, ministries, departments, governmentagencies, etc.) with work related to agriculture

Conference registration fees

A uniform non-refundable registration fee of US$150.0 per participant is will be charged to cover your conference materials and meals during conference sessions.

Conference venue and date

 Venue: Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala
 Date: 21st – 24thNovember2016

For more information, contact the conference secretariat through:


NARO-MAK 2016 Conference Secretariat,
National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO)
P.O. Box 295, Entebbe, Uganda
Tel: +256 414 320325
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


NARO-MAK 2016 Conference Secretariat
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)
P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
Tel: +256 414 542277
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Keynotes

                

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