The vehicles, Model 2018, include a 29 seater minibus Registration No. UBD 487Q procured at a cost of $106,000 USD and two double cabins Registration Nos. UBD 485Q & UBD 488Q procured at $50,000 USD each.
The three vehicles were supplied by Toyota Uganda Ltd and received by Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe at the University Freedom square in the afternoon of Wednesday 1st August, 2018.
Receiving the vehicles, Prof. Nawangwe hailed the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) and MaRCCI Programme Coordinators for the immense research and infrastructural achievements.
A month ago, MaRCCI procured and delivered the first class agricultural equipment worth one billion shillings that will help in students’ field experiments and cultivation on the university farm at MUARIK.
“ This is a demonstration that there is value for the money that Government of Uganda has borrowed. It also shows that money has been put to correct use”, Prof. Nawangwe stated.
The Vice Chancellor disclosed that given the tremendous work being undertaken by the CAES at MUARIK, he had interested the Minister of Education and Sports Hon. Janet Museveni to visit the University farm to see what was taking place.
Prof. Nawangwe implored CAES Management, the MaRCC project coordinators and all staff to continue doing their work professionally to lead Makerere to its vision of being a research led university.
“Agriculture is not only the backbone of this country but the only sector that can deliver this country from her economic challenges to improve livelihoods and feed the ever rising population,” Prof. Nawangwe noted.
The Principal CAES Prof. Bernard Bashaasha congratulated the MaRCCI Centre Director, Dr. Edema upon this achievement saying, the college prides in this centre.
“The centre is one of the biggest and trains the biggest number of post graduate students especially plant breeders from across the continent and we are proud to be associate with it”. The Principals said.
MaRCCI centre Director who is also the Principal Investigator of the project Dr. Richard Edema said, as part of the centre, they have been trying to strengthen on the teaching and training infrastructure.
“We have a lot of research and scientists need vehicles for movement, field trails and monitoring. The minibus will help in transportation of our students and staff during teaching and field trials,” Dr. Edema said.
He said the center’s efforts in improving the training and research infrastructures is in response to the university call to position itself as a research led university.
“This is the second procurement. We are now left with equipping the laboratory, establishing an office and classroom block at MUARIK to help CAES in teaching her programmes”, Dr. Edema said.
Makerere University won a $ 6 million USD World Bank Grant to support the establishment of the Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI) within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Through MaRCCI, the university will strengthen the PhD program in Plant Breeding in Biotechnology, the MSc. in Plant Breeding and Seed Systems, applied research in various crops, and outreach activities to improve Ugandan agriculture through enhancing the skills of public and private personnel supporting crop breeding and production activities.
The grant also provides for additional scientific and support staff and enhancement of facilities and equipment with the goal of modernizing and expanding the teaching, research, and service activities of MaRCCI in a sustainable manner.