Uganda vision 2040 of the National Planning Authority (NPA) provides development paths and strategies to operationalize Uganda’s Vision statement which is “A Transformed Ugandan Society from a Peasant to a Modern and Prosperous Country within 30 years” as approved by Cabinet in 2007. This involves changing from a predominantly low income to a competitive upper middle-income country within 30 years. Tropical Institute of Development Innovations (TRIDI) is contributing to this Vision 2020 by influencing individuals, communities, ministries, and governments to access and use science, technology, and innovations in exploration, production, processing, and manufacturing. Our research and development works are dedicated to enhancing application and advancement in science, technology, and innovation to inclusive and sustainable development. In 2019, we are proud that using our saved resources and resources entrusted to us by our partners we were able to apply science, technology, and innovations to expand on the area under mulberry production for sericulture development.
We were also able to develop a curriculum to enhance the utilization of science, technology, and innovation. Other areas included improving coffee production and processing; use of genomics in livestock and crop breeding, cheap fertilizers from soluble phosphate rocks, and policy analysis and advocacy.
We also embarked on a long-term mission on piloting the system for sustainable intensification in key crops such as Rice, Banana, Maize, and Sorghum that are key staple food security, income, and potential industrial crops in Uganda. These crops with very high potential have their production per unit area is low in Uganda. Key among the factors limiting their increased productivity is agronomic practices, drought, and pests, and diseases. This has led to an increase in food insecurity and poverty amongst the rural farming communities in the country. Current efforts to increase the productivity of these crops are focusing on breeding new varieties using both conventional and modern biotechnological approaches.
However, the process and policy issues for the development and deployment of new breeds may take a long time. The recent practice of using the system for rice intensification has demonstrated high increases in production following simple practices. These practices include early transplanting, wide spacing, reduced water use, weeding, and soil aeration and fertilization. We started activities to test this system’s practices by focusing on rice, banana, maize, and sorghum in Uganda.
Our staff delivered on the set targets and the Board is confident that our staff will continue to deliver. We have put in place management and accountability systems that have continued to guide our staff to ensure that our partners continue to have confidence in investing through our organization. We have attracted a team of well-educated, experienced, and skilled staff and we continue to enhance their capacities through capacity enhancement training to deliver on our mission. While we have done our part as a board, we have a team of staff that have done their part excellently. I, therefore, take this opportunity on behalf of the whole Board to thank our staff for their professionalism and determination to contribute to our vision. We look forward to more successes as we consolidate and expand based on the gains achieved in this year. We are confident we have a dedicated skilled staff and committed Board to continue to develop and succeed as independent research, training, and development institution.