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Scholarly Research


Project Report on A Pedal-Operated Seed Cleaner (PoS-Cleaner) To Boost Post Harvest Grain & Legume Quality, Increase School-Study time & Create Financial Freedom in Rural-Uganda. Submitted to Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF)

Prepared by: Dr. Peter Tumutegyereize (PhD)- CAES, Dr. Julia Kigozi (PhD)- CAES, Mr. Isaac Oluk- Badaye Tech Ltd, Mr. Ismael Mayanja- UC, Davis (USA), Mr. Wilber Akatuhurira- CAES, Mr. Thomas Buyinza – ISU-UP, Ms. Maureen Mbeiza -ISU-UP, September 2020

Seed CleanerPost-harvest handling processes such as drying, threshing, and storage have progressed among small scale farmers in developing countries. However, there is still a lag in technology interventions addressing cleaning. It is uncertain whether this lag is attributed to technology access or the unnecessity for cereal and pulse cleaning technology. This work assessed the effect of access on the use of improved cleaning technologies for seeds as compared to drying, threshing, and storage technologies among key farmers in Kamuli district, Uganda. Challenges and opportunities to access and use postharvest handling technologies were taken into consideration. A needs’ assessment survey in postharvest handling technologies was done. Pre-set questionnaires were administered in face to face interviews to 200 farmers who had been purposively selected. This was followed by developing five pedal-operated seed cleaners (PoSCleaner) that were distributed to five farmer groups, but positioned at host farmers’ residences based on intermediated technology use and technology acceptance approach. Findings suggest that ownership, awareness, and distance, which are measures of technology access, influence technology use to a greater extent. There is a maximum distance which farmers with quantities of produce for cleaning may not go beyond to access the services of the available improved cleaning technology in the area. Irrespective of the positioning of the cleaners limiting their flexibility in terms of movement from one household to another, produce cleaning using the improved machine was found necessary given that farmers with 200-800 kg of produce for cleaning endured to push it on bicycles to and from, over a total distance of 3-4 km to access and use. Capitalizing on this maximum distance, farmers can access and use technologies expensive for them to own, if positioned within a radius of 1km. This would improve timely unit operations, reduce postharvest handling losses and exposure to dust during cleaning. Pedal-Operated Seed Cleaner Project Report (PDF)

Impact of nutrition education centers on food and nutrition security in Kamuli District, Uganda

Ikendi, Samuel, "Impact of nutrition education centers on food and nutrition security in Kamuli District, Uganda" (2019). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 17032.

Samuel IkendiAchieving food and nutrition security is among the goals of many public-private partnerships in Uganda. This study examined the impacts of Nutrition Education Centers’ (NECs) training programs on food and nutrition security in Kamuli, Uganda. Using a comparative approach, the study explored the relationship between participants’ affiliation with NECs, dimensions and quality of their participation, as well as their household characteristics, and food and nutrition security. The study was based on survey of 454 households, 606 children aged 0-59 months from two sub-counties. Anthropometric measures were also taken off caretakers, children, which were transformed into Z-score using WHO-Anthro. Respondents were categorized into NEC participants (NEC and Non-NEC clients) and Non-participants and data were analyzed using IBM-SPSS 24. Results showed that Non-NEC clients were more food secure and had better dietary diversity than NEC clients and Non-participants, however, their caloric intake was not higher than the former. Food security was also influenced by household’s participation in programs, availability of livestock, land acreage owned, WASH facilities conditions, meals eaten during food scarcity, time taken to collect water, membership of burials and festival groups, and days of illness of adult males. Samuel Ikendi GroupFor nutrition security, NEC clients and Non-participants mothers had better health than Non-NEC clients. However, the former had more underweight mothers than the two groups. Incidence of underweight was associated with education and age at first pregnancy. Children of Non-participants and NEC clients had higher cases of stunting and underweight than Non-NEC. Wasting significantly affected NEC and Non-NEC than Non-participants. Recommendations for improving the program include participatory planning involving community, cultural and government officials in design of activities, decision making to strengthen implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Expanding microfinance project to increase livestock distribution and continue to empower households in records keeping involving production. Help farmers access high value staple crops to increase food production and incomes, in addition to encouraging clients to have vegetable gardens. Collaborating with Water User Committees, district health, and development departments to improve monitoring households’ WASH facilities. Collaboration with health workers, Village Health Trainers to educate and encourage households to adopt improved maternity practices and monitoring of children.

Ugandan children washing hands. Uganda Service Learning Projects, 2019

Iowa State University students work with students from Makerere University on one of eight bi-national team projects (agroforestry, beekeeping/youth entrepreneurship, hygiene and sanitation, irrigation, post-harvest loss reduction, poultry, school feeding, and soil improvement) as part of the Creating a School Garden: Service Learning in Uganda Program.  Projects are aimed at enhancing the school gardening program and addressing issues faced by the schools while allowing students to practice working cross culturally to solve problems.  After completing their projects students prepare posters to showcase the issue or problem in the school gardening program, what they did to address the issue, and what potential impacts may be.  These posters are presented to the Iowa State University and Makerere University communities during events in fall semester, and are used by the subsequent service learners.

 to prepare for their bi-national team projects. Click here to see the posters created by service learning students that visited Uganda in 2019.

Promoting production and utilization of grain amaranth for improved nutrition and health in Uganda

boy writingDorthy Masinde Co-PI
McNight Foundation. January 2010 - December 2014

This project seeks to promote production and utilization of grain amaranth in Uganda, to contribute to alleviation of malnutrition, food insecurity and poverty of resource poor farmers.  Following a baseline survey to determine current knowledge, attitudes and practices, on-farm experimentation will be undertaken in seven agro-ecological zones of Uganda to determine the best areas and conditions for grain amaranth production.  Participatory experimentation will be undertaken to develop acceptable recipes and suitability for incorporation into baked products, flours and other commercial foods.  The results will be used to design crop production and use recommendations to be disseminated using farmer-to-farmer approaches and other extension mechanisms.  Commercial utilization of amaranth will be promoted through training and support of entrepreneurs.  Participating organizations include Makerere University and Volunteer Efforts Development Concerns (VEDCO), an Uganda NGO.

Strengthening Value Chains for Maize and Soybeans for Ugandan Women Farmers

Mark Westgate Co-PI - with Margaret Smith and Linda Nave
USAID - Farmer to Farmer Niche Project. January 2012 - December 2012

This project promotes sustainable livelihoods of small landholder women farmers in the Kamuli district of Uganda.  Project activities to increase production and post-harvest quality for maize and soybeans, access labor saving equipment, and improve marketing of these crops grow for commercial sales will increase profits and benefit these women and their entire families.  Project volunteers will be Iowa women farm owners and operators who will mentor and train Ugandan women farmers and farmer association members. We will focus on maize and soybean production and marketing.  The focus with maize is on post-harvest handling, grain quality, labor savings, and group marketing. We will teach marketing groups/associations and grain buyers to understand and adopt current maize grain grading standards.  The focus with soybeans is to improve farmers' production, harvest, drying and threshing techniques.  Some techniques introduced will also have application for dry beans, already grown on many Kamuli district farms.  Women farmers' marketing associations will also jointly market soybeans not kept for family consumption or seed.  The project accesses expertise of eight Iowa women farmers, two Iowa State University faculty and three staff members, and will impact 100 Ugandan farmers and their families. Five marketing groups/associations will be established or expanded to accommodate additional farmers and sales of maize and soybeans.  Association members will establish market relationships with local and regional buyers that will provide opportunities for future marketing of additional crops and livestock.

Enhancing biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) of leguminous crops grown on degraded soils in Uganda, Rawanda and Tanzania

Mark Westgate Pl
USAID - Dry Grain Pulses CRSP. October 2010 - September 2012

Low soil fertility of degraded soils and lack of access to inorganic fertilizer and major constraints for overcoming poverty and mal-nutrition of small landholder farm families in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The first strategic aim is to improve biological nitrogen fixation and grain yields of common beans significantly using novel biological inoculants through farmer-based experimentation and adoption of innovative production techniques.  The second strategic aim is to examine the inheritance of genetic and environmental variation in BNF in the common bean, and to identify molecular markers associated with QTL conditioning for enhanced BNF.  The third strategic aim is to improve the productivity, profitability, and sustainability of agricultural systems on degraded soils through effective dissemination of new information and technologies to small-landholder farmers through on-farm demonstrations, mass media, field schools, and local forums.

Ongoing collaboration between the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods at Iowa State University, Makerere University, Volunteer Efforts for Developmental Concerns, and the National Crop Resources Research Institute have increased food security and market readiness from 9% to over 70% among 800+ farm households. The proposed project builds on this success by collaborating with legume geneticists/physiologists in the USDA-Agricultural Research Service at Michigan State University and Washington State University, and their research/development partners at the Institit des Sciences Agronomiques du Rwanda in Rwanda and Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania.  Training of numerous host-country graduate students and undergraduate interns along with enhanced farmer group training and dissemination ensures significant long-term impacts from this project.

Enhancing Nutritional Value and Marketability of Beans through Research and Strengthening Key Value Chain Stakeholders in Uganda and Rawanda

Robert Mazur PI
USAID - Dry Grain Pulses CRSP. October 2009 - September 2012

different types of beansThis project produces integrated information on agronomic, post-harvest, nutritional and market factors regarding bean production and consumption, and builds a strong program of academic training and engagement in application of research findings.  Continuing and new applications build on successful research outcomes and outreach activities.  The team will take advantage of emerging opportunities to expand the range and depth of development impacts through improved harvested bean quality and yields, enhanced nutritional value and uses of beans, development of new markets and marketing channels, evaluating use of bean-based products for nutritional rehabilitation, and continued support and development of the capacity of agriculture research institutions.

women with foodBridging the Gap:  Increasing the Competitiveness of Ugandan Women Farmers in the Marketplace

Mark Westgate and Max Rothschild Co-PIs - with Margaret Smith and Linda Nave
USAID - Farmer to Farmer Niche Project. January 2010 - December 2010

The goal of this project is to promote sustainable livelihoods of small landholder women farmers by strengthening their capacity for market-oriented farming and establishing farmer associations to share knowledge, experience, and market bases.  The project uses volunteer women farm owners and operates from Iowa to mentor Ugandan farm/producer women and farmer association members.  It focuses on locally produced vegetables and chickens, which present unique production and marketing opportunities for women farmers.  The primary objectives are to integrate market chain analysis between farmers and farmer associations that will improve decision-making by producers, make use of a community of practice approach for training, information sharing and knowledge dissemination, and conduct rigorous monitoring and evaluation to support ongoing sharing between countries, volunteers, and women farmers.  Ugandan farmers will learn from market-building successes of the volunteers and earn income from current or additional farm goods they produce.  Two marketing cooperatives will be established and operational relationships established with wholesalers/retailers who will continue to provide incomes for these farmers.

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