On 25-27 May 2016, the PARM team traveled to Uganda for a workshop on Information Systems and a series of meetings with the Ministry of Agriculture and other partners to advance the identification of tools and the capacity development agenda in the country.
In Uganda, the PARM Risk Assessment Study, which was launched in October 2015, identified two priority risk areas: Crop pests and diseases, and post harvest losses and price fluctuations. PARM activities related to Capacity Development have also been ongoing, with a national stakeholder training taking place in July 2015, and a specific training for farmers’ associations in December 2015.
This mission was an opportunity to advance further in the third phase of the PARM process: Tools Assessment, as well as in the development of Capacity Development activities.
The PARM team met in Kampala with several government agencies to develop the tools assessment in the country. More specifically, the team discussed with the authorities plans to address pest management, and to improve extension services in the country.
PARM took advantage of the mission to meet with several universities and research centers, notably with Makerere University, to discuss about the design of modules or courses on Agricultural Risk Management for graduate students and professionnals, with the possibility of creating a short-term certificate on the topic. These very fruitful metings are paving the way for a long-term cooperation in the field of Capacity Development in Uganda.
Information Systems Workshop
PARM has been working in partnership with the Research Centre for the Management of Agricultural and Environmental Risks (CEIGRAM) on a study to assess the available agricultural risk management information systems (ARM-IS) in several African countries, among which Uganda.
The resulting Uganda Country Report will outline the availability and quality of information for agricultural risk management purposes, focusing both on the existence, quality and useful access of the available information, as well as on the gaps in information and access tools for the main stakeholders.
On May 26, 2016, a workshop on information systems for ARM was organized by MAAIF and PARM at Hotel Africana in Kampala. The workshop consisted of a morning session organized by CEIGRAM that presented the findings from the IS study on Uganda.
National stakeholders from public and private sector provided feedback on the report and highlighted issues that need to be addressed in the future. In the afternoon the audience also included development partners. The major themes were the current shortcomings of the information system, the government’s efforts to overcome the challenges, and the participation of the private sector. The discussions included a critical assessment of the re-establishment of extension services and the implications on information systems (many stakeholder have a highly optimistic view on the future functioning of the extension services). The workshop also helped to highlight the fact that information systems are still too fragmented.