MAKERERE – The Ambassador of Japan to Uganda H.E. Kazuaki Kameda has advised Ugandan farmers to adopt new techniques of farming so as to improve agricultural production.
During his first visit to the African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD) offices at Makerere University, Mr. Kameda called upon leaders, policymakers and the media to change the mindset of local farmers towards modern agriculture.
“The government and policymakers should train farmers on the new irrigation methods, water harvesting, and climate change strategies among others, he said adding that, through capacity building and policy review, farmers can add value to their produces and earn more money.
“I urge policymakers to borrow a leaf from the technologies we use in Japan to come up with new interventions that can address the issue of climate change and sustain agriculture,” said Mr. Kameda.
The Ambassador emphasized the importance of knowledge and information sharing as a key aspect of social transformation tasking the media to inspire farmers by sharing successful stories on the different agricultural aspects.
Noting that the gap between the rich and the poor is widening globally, then he called upon respective governments to come up with policies and strategies that can provide solutions to the increasing poverty problem in the world.
On his part, Makerere Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe applauded the government and people of Japan for supporting Makerere.
Through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and AICAD, the Japanese government has tremendously supported Makerere research that is geared towards finding solutions to African challenges.
With this support, the VC said: “we have been able to build capacity among staff and students, carried out a search on the critical areas of health, climate change, unemployment, and food security.”
He added that; “We appreciate the long term relationship that we have built for years with the Government and the people of Japan.”
Prof. Dominic Byarugaba, the acting Executive Director, AICAD expressed gratitude to Japan for supporting AICAD activities.
He pledged to use the knowledge and information from Japan, to develop innovations that can reduce poverty in the country.
He informed the Ambassador that AICAD is training farmers from western, northern and central Uganda on how to add value to some of the country’s local foods.
“We are receiving positive feedback on the value-added products from bananas, sim-sim, and rice,” he said.
AICAD is a Regional International Institute dealing with poverty reduction in Africa through human capacity development.
AICAD was born from the Second Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in 1988, held in Tokyo, Japan.
The Institute was first financed by Japan through Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) and presently it is jointly financed by the three East African governments with support from development partners including JICA, World Bank, Wetlands International, and European Union.
These have been key in all the activities revolving around research and development, training and extension and information network and documentation as the main functional divisions.