Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Value Addtion in Agriculture, Experiences of a Fellow

I am interested in value addition for agricultural products. I am a scientist and I have been working on agribusiness, policy development and statistics. I am developing a data base for value addition technologies that are available within the country.

So far we have collected 30 technologies, most of which are available within the Ministry, which gets them from practitioners. My job is to look for them. Some are published in the media, others I get from interactions with professors and other academia.

The biggest issue for me is that we get data, scientific evidence that the technology works. We shall get the high impact ones, process them and then dialogue with different implementers. In the end we are looking at how to improve livelihoods through agriculture using technologies.

Once the technologies are well synthesised they will be extended to the beneficiaries. We hope to organise a dissemination workshop and invite stakeholders to look at areas that can be recommended for use by different stakeholders. We shall give the best recommendations for using these technologies; some of them reduce costs, others extend the shelf life of a product and some aim at increased agricultural production.

The database that will be created will be cross cutting, with information about livestock, crops and fisheries. It will be like a one-stop shop for farmers looking for technologies, for investors to get the best returns of their money and policy makers will be looking at ways of increasing the benefits from technologies.

Packaging these technologies takes time and we need to learn a lot from people who have been in the system. We hope by the end of 6 months we shall have something. I have to look at the technologies and policies and present them in a simple ways to stakeholders.

One thing that the DRUSSA fellowship has helped me do is to refocus my thinking. I now look at simple details that can make a big difference. I have talked to people within the ministry so that we are able to generate data for purposes of planning and policy development.

It is fun to do this kind of work although most of the people may not understand it. Not everyone will know what you are doing until the final synthesised material comes out. But I like it.

Chrisostom Ayebazibwe is a DRUSSA fellow based at the Ministry of Agriculture

No comments:

Post a Comment