Last month, IITA Director General Nteranya Sanginga, led a delegation to the German embassy in Uganda where he requested the German Government’s support in promoting IITA’s work. This visit followed the launching of the Uganda Youth Agripreneurs (UYA) scheme. To establish the agreements that were reached during this courtesy visit, His Excellency Dr Peter Blomeyer, German Ambassador to the Republic of Uganda, visited the IITA Uganda Station in Naguru on 28 July.
Dr Victor Manyong, IITA East Africa Hub Director, received Dr Blomeyer and gave a short introduction on IITA and its work in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr Blomeyer learned more about IITA Uganda through the presentations by the research team in Kampala which highlighted IITA’s research and focus in tackling various agricultural challenges in this country in areas such as crop productivity and health, sustainable intensification, climate change, policy planning, livelihood systems, and gender and the youth in agriculture.
“The problems are complex and so there is a great need to employ a holistic approach,” Dr Blomeyer said after listening to the presentations. He was impressed by the diversity of expertise at IITA. He also promised to link IITA’s climate change adaptation initiatives to an ongoing project sponsored by the German Government in Uganda.
Dr Blomeyer then travelled to Nabbale Sub-county of the Mukono district where he met the UYA and visited their newly opened resource center and 5-acre farm in Nakanyonyi village. The Agripreneurs described their different enterprises and indicated their plans to acquire an irrigation system that would allow them to produce vegetables throughout the year and later to expand into livestock-keeping and fish farming.
“Agriculture excites me but I am particularly thrilled by IITA’s approach through the Agripreneur scheme which encourages educated young people to engage in agriculture as a way of enriching themselves. I shall invite the Agripreneurs for a meeting where they would be linked with other programs dealing with issues of irrigation as well as capacity development,” he promised.