The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Country Representative to Uganda Dr. Antonio Querido, led a delegation of FAO representatives to the RUFORUM Secretariat. The courtesy call was part of the visit of the FAO Director South-South Cooperation Division Mr Ye Anping. Other officials from the FAO included Liu Zhongwei, Senior Programme Officer, Resource Mobilization and Private Sector Partnership, Charles Owach Assistant FAO Country representative, and Martin Ameu.
Mr Anping visit to Uganda was to participate in a consultation workshop for formulation of a project on Strengthening Agribusiness Incubation Ecosystems in Africa. At RUFORUM, the team included Prof Adipala Ekwamu Executive Secretary, Dr. Florence Nakayiwa Deputy Executive Secretary, Dr. Anthony Egeru Manager Training and Community Development and Ms Evaline Acan Communications and advocacy Officer. Present for the engagement was Dr. Richard Edema the Director of Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI)-. The African Centre of Excellence supported by the World Bank.
The meeting discussed the areas of mutual interest between RUFORUM and FAO. Specifically, how universities under the RUFORUM network could be a platform to facilitate agricultural transformation through south – south cooperation. Further, how universities in Africa can tap into the vast experience of universities in China and how the linkage between university and community to improve livelihoods could be advanced using the China model. The FAO team noted that there were several opportunities that link RUFORUM to the FAO, and that the FAO has embraced South–South and triangular cooperation (SSTC) as a key delivery modality to catalyse agricultural development, food security, rural development, poverty reduction and nutrition, and FAO provides a platform for resource mobilization (financial, human, technical, policy) for different entities. Examples were abound how south-south collaboration has been enhanced for the transformation of Agriculture in Africa and the global south. Such examples include policy dialogues, human capacity development, technical assistance, plant breeding and others. They further noted that the best opportunity for resource mobilization was through the country programs that articulate areas of focus and support. FAO Uganda Chapter had developed a business portfolio that was aligned to the National Development Plan III. This would be a key tool in taking forward the joint efforts between FAO and RUFORUM.
RUFORUM has an MoU with the FAO to promote agricultural transformation on the African Continent.