Capacity development activities on agricultural risk management (ARM) aim to drive a sustainable institutional and behavioural change towards agricultural risks among different stakeholders. The Platform for Agriculture Risk Management (PARM), the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and Makerere University have developed in partnership an advanced ARM training course to create a pool of certified ARM experts among the extension service to support farmers across Uganda.
Cover photo: Participants and organizers from the College Agriculture & Environmental Sciences, Makerere University, and representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture (MAAIF) and PARM, after successfully completing a pioneer 5-day PARM Sponsored Course on Agricultural Risk Management at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
From 27th to the 31st March 2017, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) at Makerere University delivered the pilot ARM training course with the support of PARM and the participation of the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF). Participants were from Uganda and Rwanda.
The aim of the pilot ARM training course was to build a pool of ARM experts able to use the knowledge acquired to improve risk management in Uganda and train other stakeholders. The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Directorate of Agriculture Extension Service (DAES), is willing to add in the already existing MoU with Makerere University the delivery of more advanced ARM training course in the future, as envisaged in the ARM Capacity Development Strategy for Ugandan Extension Service.
PARM CD activities in Uganda
Uganda is a country exposed to different risks in agriculture related to production and postharvest, markets, infrastructure and institutions.
As part of the overall initiative, PARM supported capacity development (CD) activities on agricultural risk management oriented towards the understanding of the structure of risk management cycle considering the diversity of risk sources and risk management options, from agricultural practices to improved seeds, irrigation or financial tools.
As part of the CD activities, two general ARM seminar ARM were held in 2015 in Kampala and Mbale aiming at raising awareness and providing basic knowledge on ARM.
An advanced ARM training course has been also organized and delivered in partnership with Makerere University targeting extension service. The 5-days training has successfully delivered in March 2017 with the aim to create a pool of certified ARM experts among the extension workers to support farmers across Uganda.
Makerere University Pioneers Advanced Agricultural Risk Management Training Course
Prof. Bernard Bashasha, Principal, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, formally opened the training course on Agricultural Risk Management (ARM). The course has been hosted at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) premises. CAES has a strong reputation of high performance for teaching, research and outreach programmes in the field of agricultural science and business related subjects.
The duration of the course was one-week. The target audience was composed by extension workers, public officers, financial institutions. CAES has carried out face-to-face teaching and led work group exercises, with external experts as guest lecturers. Active learning and experience sharing were adopted as training approach.
The course aimed to be Training of Trainers (ToT). The trainees were targeted to be equipped with facilitation and training skills by CAES/MAAIF to conduct the future decentralized training on ARM at district, sub-county, farmer and farmer-group levels.
The CAES faculty has developed the curriculum and related training material of the advanced ARM training course including the following topics:
- General Concept of Agricultural Risks and Risk Management;
- Risk assessment / measurement and Prioritization;
- Risk Management Tools including:
- Farm level postharvest handling
- Warehouse receipt systems
- Commodity exchanges
- Improved technology
- Financial and insurance tools
- Integrating Gender in Agricultural Risk Management
A Participant Action Plan has been also developed by to follow ARM actions and trainings of the participants to the ARM course in the field.
Chief Administrative Officers, District Production Officers, District Local Council Chairpersons, and Resident District Commissioners, have been invited for the first day for awareness creation and buy-in workshop.
In the future, the course will be considered to be included in Makerere University/CAES graduate and postgraduate programmes. The overall vision is to create a country self-sustained capacity on ARM placing CAES as centre of excellence for Uganda and, potentially, East Africa.
MAAIF and Makerere/CAES Partnership on ARM training courses: the way forward
Agricultural activities in Uganda urge for a push towards a more value chain and business oriented approach, and the extension service needs to accompany this change. The advanced ARM training course at CAES/Makerere University was timely designed this purpose.
To ensure the sustainability of the process, MAAIF is willing to establish a knowledge-based partnership on ARM with Makerere/ CAES.
Strengthening capacity on ARM is in fact crucial to make the job of extension service more effective and efficient in delivering information, best practices, and technologies to farmers in Uganda.
After the first ARM training, DAES/MAAIF is willing to add in the already existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Makerere University the organization and delivery by Makerere/CAES faculty of more advanced ARM training courses in the future, as envisaged in the ARM Capacity Development Strategy for Ugandan Extension Service.
ARM training courses can be financed by Agricultural Technology and Agribusiness Advisory Services Project (ATAAS)/IFAD project for 2017.
The main components of the ARM capacity development strategy in Uganda for the future will therefore be:
- ARM concepts and practices included into extension policy, strategy and delivery in Uganda;
- ARM training course provisions in partnership with Makerere University/CAE;
- Institutionalization of the ARM course into academic program of Makerere University.
- Capacity Development and Agricultural Risk Management in Uganda – Factsheet (coming soon)
- ARM Capacity Development Strategy for Ugandan Extension Service – Full Concept Note (coming soon)