Former DATIC Turned Into Zonal Agricultural Research Institute

7021 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
According to Tress Bucyanayandi, the institute will be mandated to carry out research in livestock, crops and fisheries.

The government is to turn the District Agricultural Training and Information Centre (DATIC) into a Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (ZARDI).

The DATIC located at Kyembogo in Busoro Sub County, is under Kabarole district local government, but it has failed to effectively manage it, ever since the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) withdrew support two years ago.

In a telephone interview with Uganda Radio Network, Tress Bucyanayandi, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, says that with effect from next year in January, the research institute will be under the guidance of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO).

Bucyanayandi said that the institute will be mandated to conduct research and technology dissemination in livestock, crop, fisheries, forestry and linking production to market in districts in the Ruwenzori region.

According to the minister, the research will be funded by the government, but refused to disclose how much will be spent on the institute. 

He says that more than ten research scientists will be posted to the centre at the beginning of next year to start the research.

The government’s intervention is a relief to Kabarole district, which had failed to raise funds to sustain the operations of the institute.

The institute is a shadow of its past. The machines which include tractors have all decayed; grass has overgrown in the demonstration gardens.

The piggery, goat and poultry projects no longer exist. Part of the 2000 hectares of land has been given out to individuals to grow crops. Last year, part of the DATIC land was also allocated to Makerere University, to set up the Fort Portal campus.

David Musinguzi, a former student at the centre, says that he welcomes the government’s intervention, but says that it should also remain a training institute.

Musinguzi says that it would give an opportunity to the youths interested in farming to be trained practical skills and also teach farmers skills about how to improve their agricultural activities.
 
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Other ZARDIs in the country include Abi, Bulindi, Kachwekano, Mukono and Ngetta.

Others are Nabuin, Mbarara, Buginyanya Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute.

The objectives of the ZARDIs are to manage and carry out agricultural research whether applied or adaptive for a specific agro-ecological zone.

In the past, Kyembogo District Agricultural Training and Information Centre was the hub of the farming of Artemisia.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.