UFAAS organizes Africa’s first e-Agricultural Extension Symposium: Minister launches an e-registration process for agricultural extension workers

UFAAS CEO (Front Centre), The Minister of Agriculture (Back centre) and the team after the Launch of the e-Agricultural Extension Symposium 2020. (Photo: UFAAS)

 

The Uganda Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (UFAAS), The African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) in partnership with the Ministry of Agricultural Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and other partners have been organizing national agricultural extension events since 2013.

This year 2020, the event/Symposium was organized under the theme “Positioning Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services for Resilient Agriculture and Food Systems” on 20th -30th July, 2020.  The 10-day event adopted a virtual approach to ensure compliance with the SOPs of COVID-19 prevention issued by the Ministry of Health. It included face to face presentations, synergetic webinars, and discussions on different media channels. Regarding attendance, the Symposium  attracted 930 participants (273 women, 930 men) on Zoom, and several others through the various platforms such as radio, and social media outlets.

The purpose of the Symposium was to provide a forum for the different AEAS actors and stakeholders to deliberate on how AEAS can effectively and efficiently contribute to agriculture and food systems, amidst the natural calamities of Covid 19, Floods, Landslides, Desert Locusts and others.

It was opened by Uganda’s Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, at the MAAIF headquarters in Entebbe, Uganda; and virtually through Zoom.  At this event, the Minister launched two landmark products- the e-registration process for extension workers in collaboration with UFAAS, and a database for Sustainable Land Management in collaboration with Uganda LandCare Network.  Remarks were given by UFAAS Chairperson-Mr Henry Nsereko, UFAAS CEO-Mrs Beatrice Luzobe, and Mr Max Olupot, representing the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS), also the main sponsors of the event. A keynote address was delivered by Mr Charles Ocici of Enterprise Uganda.

Mr Max Olupot, AFAAS giving remarks at the Launch of the Symposium. (Photo: UFAAS)

 

In his speech, the Minister applauded UFAAS, and all partners for organising the symposium, and assured them of The Government of Uganda’s support to the sector. “…This Symposium is timely when the World is facing the Covid19 pandemic. “The Government of Uganda will continue to step up Agricultural Extension, picking lessons from engagements like this symposium” Hon. Ssempijja said.

He called upon the extension fraternity to build public trust in communities they serve in order to improve efficiency of the system.

Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja giving remarks during the launch of the symposium. Inset: Zoom screen for online participants.

 

Webinars

Daily thematic webinars were an integral part of the Symposium, and these took place from 21-28, July, 2020. The themes were: Climate Smart AEAS-Capacity and needs of actors; Mainstreaming Sustainable Land Management in AEAS; Youth Engagement in AEAS and Agri-preneurship, Emerging Competitive e-extension Models, AEAS support to Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture; Extension Education, Agricultural Inputs delivery, and Farmers’ perspectives.

The Symposium ended on 30th July with a synthesis of the issues that came up from the webinars, perspectives from the various regional hubs. Outputs from the symposium will be packaged into a communique and shared with the partners.

Mrs Beatrice Byarugaba, Director of Extension at MAAIF giving closing remarks at the e-Extension Symposium. (Photo:UFAAS)

 

Partners

The event was supported by: The African Forum for Agricultural Advisory ServicesEuropean UnionInternational Fund for Agricultural DevelopmentSasakawa Global 2000Voluntary Efforts for Development ConcernsMakerere UniversityUganda Land Care NetworkMarula Creative ConsultancyUSAID’s Developing Local Extension Capacity projectFarm Radio InternationalFarmers mediaNational Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS); and Self Help Africa.

Updates can be found on UFAAS Twitter  and the hashtag #AgExtUG2020 ( Facebook / Twitter ).

 

Uganda launches an e-registration process for agricultural extension workers in the country

Right: MAAIF’s Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Sempijja, flanked by Mr Henry Nsereko, UFAAS Chairperson (L), and Ms Connie Acayo, Assistant Commissioner at MAAIF (c) during the launch of the Symposium 2020. (Photo: UFAAS)

Uganda is one of the countries in Africa that will accredit agricultural extension workers in Africa. This was highlighted by the Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja during the launch of the e-registration process at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF ) recently. The e- registration process was launched during the opening of the Uganda National Agricultural Symposium on July 20, 2020 an event organised by the Uganda Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services(UFAAS), The African Forum for Agricultural advisory services (AFAAS), and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).

 

About the registration process:

Uganda’s agricultural extension policy (2016) acknowledges a pluralistic approach. The process for registration and accreditation of Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services (AEAS) is part of the strategy aimed at establishing a high quality, well-coordinated and harmonized pluralistic agricultural extension delivery system for sustainable development. This is provided for in the guidelines and standards to guide and regulate the sector players.

The aim of the registration is to promote professionalism, accountability and ethical conduct among the actors for increased efficiency and effectiveness of the agricultural extension system in the country. This is in line with the Vision of the Africa Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS)- Agricultural Advisory Services that effectively and efficiently contribute to sustained productivity and profitability and growth of African agriculture for poverty reduction.

The registration of extension workers in various regions of Uganda will be done in phases, and each extension worker will be assigned a unique code.

This e-registration system was developed under a Memorandum of Understanding between MAAIF and UFAAS.

Above: The Minister registering for the extension work. Inset: The registration system showing the Ministers’ registration details as as Extension Worker No. 1 in Uganda (Photos: MAAIF)