September 23, 2022, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) organized its maiden agricultural innovations exhibition at its town campus in Mbarara city.
The exhibition was organized by the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies (FIS) in conjunction with the Centre for Innovations and Technology Transfer (CITT) under the theme ‘’Higher Technical Education in Africa for an innovative and skilled labor force towards Agriculture transformation’’
The chief guest was Hon. Frank Tumwebaze the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, and other dignitaries which included Hon. Robert Kakyebezi Mayor for Mbarara city, Robert Kanusu Deputy RCC in charge of Mbarara city North division.
During the expo, students pursuing Bachelor of Agricultural livelihoods and Farm Production and other external exhibitors from Bishop Stuart University, Mbarara City Traders’ Association exhibited a number of agricultural products.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Medard Twinamatsiko, the Director of CITT explained the role of agricultural exhibitions as a platform where several agriculturalists showcase their innovations and learn new methods and skills that can increase their farming yields. He also briefed the Minister and the gathering about the uniqueness of the agriculture program offered at MUST.
According to Dr. Medard Twinamatsiko, the Bachelor of Agricultural livelihoods and Farm Production’s curriculum was designed to allow students work with communities through a program called the Students Community Twinning Project (STP). In STP, students work with selected communities for a period of one full year to identify agricultural challenges and are able to come up with solutions in form of projects. This has resulted in the development of these communities. Our students are able to learn the real agriculture outside the lecture rooms. Through this wonderful programme, we were able to develop an organic fertilizer i-soft which is friendly to the environment and affordable to all farmers,’’ Dr. Twinamatsiko explained.
The Dean Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, Dr. Rogers Bariyo requested Hon. Tumwebaze and his ministry to support the Faculty with machinery such as tractors and an Agriculture laboratory which are crucial for students to conduct practical lessons but also help the University save on transport costs incurred to transport students to modern agricultural labs in Kampala.
Prof. Celestino Obua, MUST Vice-chancellor commended Hon. Tumwebaze for loving his University as an alumnus and also investing in his home area Mbarara. He revealed that FIS was transformed from the faculty of Development Studies under the guidance of President Yoweri Museveni to produce problem solvers and job creators. He pledged full support towards the sustainability of FIS projects.
Later on, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze launched a locally produced organic fertilizer made by a team led by Dr. Medard Twinamatsiko and directed the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) to work with MUST to ensure that the fertilizer is fully authorized to be on the market for other farmers in the country to use.
In response to the requests submitted by Dr. Bariyo, Hon. Tumwebaze assured to offer a 90- Horsepower tractor to the FIS Agriculture Department to support them with mechanization needs. On the Agriculture laboratory, he explained that it will be integrated into one of the Ministry’s projects so that one can be based at MUST.
On behalf of the government, Hon. Tumwebaze declared that MUST shall receive any form of support it needs because it’s a public university that contributes to the country’s development.