ProGrov Project: Spearheading Cutting-edge Research & Innovations in Organic Value Chains

The ProGrOV Ugandan partner Makerere University are collaborating with Agriit Institute to explore all avenues in bringing light to the research on organic agriculture in Uganda as initiated by ProGrOV.

By Rushongoka Wa-Mpiira and Fred Kabi, PhD

The growing organic agriculture sector is an example of private/market led development. The rationale for the project is that organic agriculture has the potential to improve yields and natural resource management and link farmers to niche high value markets for improved rural livelihood.

The project, now in its 5th year, has been involved in investigating   the potential of Organic Agriculture for improving productivity, growth and sustainable development in existing organic value chains in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania through research. Emphases have been geared towards addressing development of agro-ecological methods, governance and management of organic value-chains, and capacity development in participatory and interdisciplinary approaches.

In Uganda, three PhD and two Msc students have been doing research and innovations along the organic value chain under the project. The project in Uganda is addressing the challenges and bottlenecks along the organic pineapple value chain. Two PhD and one MSc. Students at Makerere University (MAK) have conducted research in the Agro-ecology and Agricultural Productivity component. The third PhD student and one MSc student have conducted research under the Value Chain and Agribusiness Development component (read more about this on the Agriit Institute blog).

Makerere University in partnership with NOGAMU, PELUM Uganda and Uganda Martyrs University are working on the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative under the flagship name – AllOrganic UG.  At Makerere University we are documenting and aggregating the findings and critical information from projects like ProGrOV and such similar projects involved in organic agriculture research. Critical information from the organic value chain in Uganda and indigenous knowledge which need to be disseminated in a usable manner has been compiled.

One of the major channels we are employing for dissemination is our AllOrganic web portal that will be a central platform for sharing researched information about organic agriculture. As a way of taking Makerere University closer to the communities, we are also leveraging on the social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp to increase online organic agriculture visibility. Through our different associates and collaboration with Agriit Institute, an ICT for Agriculture (ICT4Ag) specialty organization -, we are leveraging the power of ICTs to revolutionize the entire organic agriculture value chains in Uganda.

Read the entire blog entry written by Rushongoka Wa-Mpiira and Fred Kabi, PhD