The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) awarded Uganda Christian University funds to undertake activities for a project entitled ‘designing and implementing a university-based extension and technology dissemination programme for grain legumes and dryland cereals innovations in eastern Uganda’’. This project will directly contribute to the university outreach initiatives that have a mission to transform communities one at a time.

This project will focus on sorghum and cowpea as dryland cereal and legume crops respectively in Eastern Uganda to build a robust university outreach system that enables development, adaptation and application of a range of decision support, business development, systems analysis and stakeholder engagement tools needed to unlock dryland cereal and legume utilization opportunities.

Through this project we will put in motion the following changes:

Build a cohort of young people in leadership and innovative ideas and who are capable of bringing change to their community.

Establish an extension system that efficiently responds to value chain challenges for sorghum and cowpea in Eastern Uganda.

The project is built on existing programmes of Masters of Science Agriculture and Rural Development and Masters of Science in Agribusness and Entrepreneurship. Under this project, Uganda Christian University through the Department of Agricultural and Biological sciences have the sole responsibility to supervise, direct and control the conduct of the project activities. The expected outputs are; two Masters and eight undergraduate students will successfully complete their dissertations by August 2019.

The two Masters Students are working on research projects entitled: “Viability of sorghum-cowpea intercrops as a striga and maruca pest management option” and “Participatory evaluation of cowpea genotypes for leaf and grain attributes”. These students will also be presenting their research studies to the farmers, District Agricultural Officers and Research Scientists from NaSARRI-NARO who are going to be hosting these studies on 16th/May/2019.

In preparation to establish an extension system that efficiently responds to value chain challenges and sorghum and cowpea, students have been taken through m-Omilimisa training (by Mr. Daniel Ninsima, the Managing Director); an electronic application for agricultural extension where farmers can send in queries concerning agricultural production even after the students have left and students can respond to them with the help of lecturers/ experts.