Kidega Kenneth was one of the 1,513 students who graduated at Gulu University on 11th January 2020. He satisfied the requirement for the award of the degree of Masters of Science of Food Security and Community nutrition of Gulu University. As part of the support to the Mastercard Scholars at Masters level, RUFORUM gives a four months Field Attachment Programme Award (FAPA) to selected MSc students upon completion of their courses. This fund is to help them manage a short-term project related to their research work.
Kidega’s field attachment programme focused on enhancing community knowledge and uptake of Indigenous Micro-organisms (IMO) technology , he worked with Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutions (TVET) students of Kitgum Agriculture and Vocational Institute, community knowledge workers and smallholder farmers in Kitgum district in northern Uganda.
“Sharing the research findings brought more joy, love and hope for agriculture to the participants especially the TVET students because they practically participated in setting up the experimental unit, trapping the IMO, making the IMO solution and laying the deep litter floor IMO bed.
All these made conformed to them the power of the University in research and the ability of discovering new knowledge to solve problem being faced in the community that can help enhance livelihoods. The TVET students thanked Gulu University for availing them the opportunity to understand how research works and, they requested Mr Kidega Kenneth to send their plea to the University to not only send more trainers but also award them with a certificate of participation in IMO technology for pig production.
On the other hand, smallholder farmers in communities where the research findings were disseminated and IMO technology for pig production trainings were conducted appreciated the new knowledge brought to them. The research findings motivated the existing pig farmers to continue with pig keeping and, more non-pig farmers were willing to venture into piggery enterprise after the dissemination and training. Smallholder farmers showed much interest in the technology by turning up in big numbers especially women, being attentive and asking relevant questions concerning the technology. They also requested for more trainings on pig management if they went ahead to implement. To them, the technology appeared to be a promising way of enhancing livelihoods. Above all, both the TVET, community knowledge workers and farmers were very grateful to RUFORUM and Gulu University for the great Initiative taken to facilitate the student to disseminate his research findings to communities in other districts (Kitgum) beyond the scope of his study. It enables farmers’ knowledge to be enhance uniformly across the region. The TVET management further requested Gulu University to continuously send them more Agricultural graduate students for their research results dissemination in order to better enhance the livelihood of smallholder farmers situated far from the University.