By Rogério Júnior
A conferência do RUFORUM que está a decorrer em Maputo vai ao seu segundo dia, e a melhoria da agricultura continua sendo o foco de toda a discussão. O Centro Internacional de Agricultura e Biociências- CABI, organização intergovernamental e sem fins lucrativos apresentou sua visão e missão no sector agrário numa sessão em paralelo com cinco outras que aconteciam simultaneamente.
“a missão é melhorar a vida das pessoas em todo o mundo, fornecendo informações e aplicar conhecimentos científicos para resolver problemas da agricultura e do meio ambiente”. Disse Washington Otieno, cordenador da CABI que na ocasião afirmou o maior comprometimento daquela organização em fazer a diferença para o futuro das pessoas na arena da alimentação.
By Ruth Aine Tindyebwa
What do you need to make sure that the African woman has what she needs to do the farming?
How many engineers do we need?
The women are the majority farmers. How much will it cost?
These were the questions very heartily asked by Ms Graca Machel as she talked to the East and Southern University Vice Chancellors, Ministers of Agriculture and graduate students gathered in Maputo this week. Also in the audience were lecturers from universities that are teaching Agricultural disciplines. As she talked I could only think: why are we not moving from where we are at to bigger heights and development in agriculture? Food security continues to be a huge issue in this time and age for Africa. A conversation that we are not supposed to be having. But now that we are having it; hopefully we acknowledge what has to be done and the fact little is being done. And this is where I think that our governments need to take initiative and help the projects that are taking place already in the communities to be then replicated elsewhere.
Women should share success stories to bridge the gap of lack of role models in agriculture”
Women have a tendency to think Agriculture is a man’s field. The fact that women make up a quarter of students in university agriculture programs is evidence enough to support this myth. This is quite ironic considering during the opening ceremony, a number of keynote speakers including Mrs. Graca Machel stated that women make better agriculturalists. Little attention is given to the roles women play in agriculture let alone, their specific needs and priorities.
The poor representation of women in higher education programs is due to some of the assumptions made about agriculture which include that it is ‘dirty’, ‘labor intensive’ and ‘not suitable for women’. This has contributed to the negative perceptions toward agriculture by women. Issues about girls dropping out of secondary school were also raised and the factors attributed to this include the social pressure to get married, girls not encouraged to take science subjects, lack of financial resources and career guidance. The main question asked during the session was: ‘How can girls be encouraged to join agricultural sciences?’.
A number of solutions were discussed. Creating incentives like awards and scholarships for excelling students was found to be a key strategy in motivating girls to study sciences. The African Women in Agricultural Research for Development (AWARD) program that engages young women from about 11 African countries gives an opportunity for career development and mentorship for young women. It was also observed that at secondary school level, agriculture is too key to be an optional subject. It is high time educational institutions transition to making it a core subject so as to capture the attention of young women while they are young.
The gaps in policy were also discussed such as lack of gender policies in universities and lack of investment in agriculture with the key issue being ‘how to integrate gender and research?’. Women in agriculture as the faces of success were called on to form agents for change alliances to help influence policies and networks of advisers to guide fellow women and girls. The session organized by innovATE and Virginia Tech was a platform for addressing important gender issues concerning women in the agricultural sciences with the hope of finding ways to encourage girls and women to join.
By Richard Powell, RUFORUM Communications Consultant
One of the enduring images of agriculture in Africa is that of the aging women, bent forward at the hip, using a rudimentary hand-held hoe to cultivate her nascent, subsistence crops, often constrained in her role by negative patriarchal cultural norms and values.
This stereotype may be increasingly redundant as traditional gender roles and divisions slowly mutate with changes in market places, such as the migration of men to non-agricultural job opportunities. However, in agriculture – as in many areas of life on the continent – there remains an imperative to appreciate the enduring importance of women in society. Continue reading “Seeing the big picture through the eyes of women “
Arrancou na manhã de hoje em Maputo a cerimónia de abertura da conferência bianual do RUFORUM com lema ”Celebrando a contribuição das instituições de ensino superior e seus parceiros para o desenvolvimento da agricultura em África”.
O painel constituído por Orlando Quilambo (reitor da Universidade Eduardo Mondlane), Graça Machel (Presidente do FDC), Adipala Ekwamo (Secretario Executivo do Ruforum), Nkosazana Dlamini (Presidente da Comissão da União Africana) entre outras personalidades internacionais vão analisar a segurança alimentar e a erradicação da fome em África.
Em gesto de abertura, Orlando Quilambo, saudou o público presente manifestando o interesse que a Univ
ersidade Eduardo Mondlane tem na promoção do sector agrário Moçambicano através da pareceria que há onze anos estabelece com o RUFORUM.
By Zenon Niyomwungere
Initié en 1992, avec 10 universités de l’Est et du Sud de l’Afrique la Fondation Rockefeller a octroyé des bourses de Master aux étudiants membres dans les filières agricoles pour faire face au défi de la sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle. . Ce projet a évolué et est devenu par la suite, (en 2004), un réseau universitaire nommé le Forum des universités régionales pour le renforcement des capacités dans l’agriculture (RUFORUM) ayant des objectifs de renforcer les capacités des étudiants de niveau master et doctorat à travers la promotion du genre féminin, l’attribution de bourses universitaires (innovation dans la recherche agricole). Continue reading “Presentation du RUFORUM au reporteur du medea social”
By Victoria Mbigidde, Jackie Nnam, Pauline Atim
All roads are leading to Mozambique, as over 600 academicians and practitioners from more than 30 countries around the world are gathering for the 4th RUFORUM biennial conference. It was previously Uganda in 2012. The theme this year held is “Celebrating the Contribution of Tertiary Agricultural Educational Institutions and Partners to Africa’s Development”.
RUFORUM is a consortium of 42 member universities in East, Central and Southern Africa, with the core mandate to build a pool of high level scientists who are able to respond to the demands of small holder farmers. With specific focus on capacity building in tertiary education, RUFORUM has devoted its self to rising a new generation of dynamic and vibrant graduates able to address emerging challenges in relation to food security on the African continent. Through the Community Action Research Projects, RUFORUM links Universities to African farmers by carrying out action research in identifying and addressing food security related issues. Continue reading “RUFORUM goes to Maputo”
Capacity building is at the heart of what RUFORUM does. For the last two days, RUFORUM with the help of 2 consultants: Maureen Agena, Ruth Aine Tindyebwa and Apio Joan [RUFORUM Communications Officer] has been training youth in agriculture in different social media aspects. They constitute the social media team that will take part in the 10 years celebrations of RUFORUM and the Biennial conference that starts in Maputo, Mozambique today.
Jacqueline Nnam, is from Uganda. She is an information, communication and knowledge management practitioner. She is currently undertaking a Masters in Agricultural Information and Communication Management at the University of Nairobi. She is passionate about the application of information to achieve development objectives in Africa, especially in the fields of agriculture and sustainable development. “I am a strong believer in home-grown solutions for development and the integration of indigenous knowledge and practices with modern science”, she says.
Por: Berta Madime, Cacilda Francisco, Natalia Alifoi, Rogério Marques e Vanila Amadeu.
Alusivo aos dez anos do RUFORUM realiza-se em Maputo de 21 a 25 de Julho do ano em curso a quarta Conferência Bianual com o lema “Celebrando a contribuição das instituições educacionais da agricultura terciária e parceiros para o desenvolvimento da agricultura em África”.
O evento contará com presença de personalidades nacionais tais como José Pacheco (Ministro da Agricultura), Graça Machel (Presidente da FDC), Alberto Vaquina (Primeiro Ministro de Moçambique), Orlando Quilambo (Reitor da Universidade Eduardo Mondlane). Continue reading “Maputo acolhe a quarta conferência bianual da RUFORUM”
BY HAUMBA Eric Nelson, MSC LIS Candidate, Makerere University, Uganda
While riding on a rural road in eastern Uganda, I found a lady selling mangoes and oranges along the road. I stopped to buy from her thinking that prices would be lower than in the city. To my shock, she quoted a price in the same range as that of my urban market. It was later revealed to me that she used her phone to always keep abreast of the city prices in order to get a fair deal from the middlemen who buy from her.
Traditionally, radio and occasionally television were the major communication technologies used to reach out to farmers and it was a largely one way approach availing them weather information and advertising input suppliers. Extension services were always physical face to face activities that also had a patronizing approach. Farmers had challenges learning easily from one another especially across different geographical locations. Continue reading “Current trends, challenges, lessons and key enablers for using ICTs in Agriculture for Uganda”
The author, Prof. Mabel Imbuga is the Vice Chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) a member of the RUFORUM Network
Higher Agricultural education is becoming increasingly important in sub-Saharan Africa. Providing a high quality higher education network that is reliable, secure, adaptable, scalable and fault tolerant has become fundamental in higher education. Higher education institutions’ access to networks is therefore critical in supporting the core mission of training, research and innovation. Networks and innovations are pivotal in enhancing reputation, competitiveness, client satisfaction, revenue, and accountability. Consequently, networking capabilities are now used in diverse and creative ways to facilitate strategic goals such as creating unique student learning environments, operating successful e-learning programs, leveraging early adoption of emerging or experimental technologies, providing life long link to alumni, enabling cutting edge research and commercilization of research innovations. This paper emphasizes the importance of improving networking and Innovation systems in Higher Agricultural institutions particularly in the areas of teaching, research and extension. A number of examples will be given based on Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) experience.
Role of Networks and Innovations in Teaching
Networks in teaching: A great deal of energy and enthusiasm currently surrounds creating and/or joining education and research networks due to the significant increase in the demand for higher education in the last two decades. For instance, in Kenya the number of public universities have grown from 7 in 2010 to 32 in 2014. At the state and regional level, JKUAT alone has 7 campuses and centres in Kenya, and regional campuses in Arusha, Tanzania; Kaduna, Nigeria; and Kigali, Rwanda. JKUAT is extending its networks to South Sudan and Somalia Republic. This calls for a model of moving toward a regional facility based network. These regional networks provide JKUAT with connectivity to external networks. It is in the same spirit that JKUAT hosts a RUFORUM funded MSc in Research Methods and PhD in Food Science and Technology. ANAFE has developed an innovative agribusiness curriculum which is being piloted in a number of universities in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Kenya the program is being piloted at Rongo University College, University of Eldoret, Taita Taveta University College and JKUAT. From the experience of ANAFE activities in UniBRAIN tracer studies, revision of agricultural programs and imparting soft skills to students have a significant role in enhancing the entrepreneurial and practical skills of the students. Such regional programs are a catalyst to greater staff and student mobility as well as internationalization and/or harmonization of curricula. The INTRA ACP Academic staff and student exchange program, which builds on the African Union’s Mwalimu Nyerere programme for Africa, is based on this concept. In this Programme JKUAT is a partner in Agriculture and Engineering projects which includes more than 20 Universities in African. Over a hundred student and staff are currently participating in this program.