Stakeholders plan for Prolinnova in Uganda
From 18 – 22 August, 2003, 21 people met in Mbale, Eastern Uganda, to plan for Prolinnova in the country. They represented stakeholders from agriculture research, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), NGO’s and NGO umbrella networks, farmers and policy makers. For a number of reasons, research was slightly underrepresented (only Serere Agriculture and Animal Research Institute). The workshop was officially opened by the Local Council Chairman of the Mbale district, an opening that received TV coverage during the National News. The workshop was later also addressed by the Dr. John Aluma, Deputy Director General for National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO). Three farmer innovators joined the discussions of the workshop and a photo display of farmers’ innovations further enriched the discussions.
During the first part of the workshop, participants shared experiences in participatory agricultural development and developed a joint understanding of how they could support and promote local innovation. Twice participants went out and met with farmer innovators in the field to try and learn what they are doing and how they could be supported e.g. through Prolinnova. A simple 10 point description-assessment tool was used to discuss and compare local innovation(s). The last 2 days, through a number of rounds of intensive group work, the participants managed to set priorities for Prolinnova in Uganda and developed a comprehensive set of activities for each of the following 3 broad areas:
- Supporting local innovation/participatory research and extension
- Exchange, collaboration and networking
The editing committee is now working hard to polish this up into a full-fledged proposal, including budgets. It was agreed that resources for Prolinnova Uganda could partly be mobilized from a number of specific Uganda based sources and internationally, complemented by time and resources from the partners themselves.
The workshop participants agreed that there should be an advisory body/ steering committee for advocacy, supervision/overseeing implementation, planning, M&E, harmonisation with national policies & upcoming initiatives, and resource mobilisation. The present NGO-MAAIF core team, co-opting one or two from NAADS and NARO, will be responsible for work planning, implementation, M&E, publicity, technical advice, fundraising, international links, networking, and communication. Environmental Alert will continue to host the coordinating unit.