UCU kicks agricultural research institute out of Mukono land

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UCU kicks agricultural research institute out of Mukono land
The land from which UCU has kicked out the research institute

Officials from the Mukono Zonal Agricultural Research Institute (MUZARD) have reached out to the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, urging intervention in a contentious land matter with Uganda Christian University (UCU) following the expiration of a lease agreement.

During a recent visit by members of the parliamentary committee to various research institutes, including MUZARD and Namulonge's National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), MUZARD officials highlighted pressing challenges affecting their operations.

Dr Barbara Mugwanya, director of research at MUZARD, expressed concerns over the institute's limited resources and aging infrastructure.

"We are facing significant hurdles such as low research investment, staff shortages, and deteriorating research facilities," Dr Mugwanya stated.

Ms Rebecca Bukenya, chairperson of the Advisory Committee at MUZARD, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the institution's challenges.

"Our ability to effectively conduct research and innovate is hampered by these persistent issues," Bukenya said.

Legislators tour an agricultural research facility.

Janat Okolimoi, a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, underscored the importance of their visit in assessing the state of agricultural research facilities and advancements in technology.

"We are committed to ensuring that government investments in the agricultural sector yield tangible results and benefit all stakeholders," Okolimoi affirmed.

The dispute between MUZARD and UCU over land rights has further complicated matters for the research institute.

MUZARD officials appealed to the parliamentary committee for assistance in resolving the dispute and safeguarding the institute's operations.

In response, Okolimoi pledged to address the challenges faced by MUZARD and other agricultural research agencies in parliament.

"We will work diligently to ensure that these institutions receive the support they need to thrive and contribute effectively to Uganda's agricultural sector," Okolimoi assured.

MUZARD institute remains hopeful that parliamentary intervention will lead to a resolution that protects its research activities and fosters agricultural innovation.

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