Year in review on strengthening skills and training capacity in the horticulture sector in Uganda


In June 2019 the Ugandan project “strengthening skills and training capacity in the horticulture sector started. Now that the project is on its way for 1.5 years and continued through Covid-19 times, it’s time to look back at what has been done and achieved so far.

The project is part of the Nuffic Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) and aims to strengthen skills to improve the horticultural situation in Uganda. This is mainly achieved via strengthening the educational situation at A-TVET level. MSM operates within the project together with InHolland University of Applied Sciences, Q-Point B.V., Ecopolis Europa, Egerton to strengthen University and Kyambogo University (KYA) and Bukalasa (BAC) Agricultural College.

Labour Market Needs Assessment
Due to Covid-19 the Labour Market Needs Assessment (LMNA) was delayed, however the KYA and BAC team worked together and put in the effort to execute the LMNA. This assessment is of high importance as the gathered information provides important input for further curriculum development, workplace and career guidance programs.  

With the outcome of this LMNA, KYA will revise and make a selection of the existing BSc level curriculum and courses that need to be upgraded. Furthermore, another step forward within curriculum development has been made by InHolland who has analyzed the courses on horticulture and crops in Uganda.

Project investments
In order to improve the facilities of KYA and BAC investments need to be made. For KYA greenhouse facilities and irrigation infrastructure have been purchased, whereas the irrigation and water facilities of BAC will be upgraded and implemented by AgroMax. The aim is to have all these investments implemented in the beginning of 2021.

Parallel to these investments, staff of KYU and BAC will be involved in the whole process of greenhouse construction and will receive practical training from AgroMax in the field of Greenhouse construction, Hydroponics Technologies, Installation & maintenance of Irrigation systems (green house & open field), Installation & maintenance of fertigation systems, Planning and setting up of Open field Irrigation systems, Soil and water management at the site, Nursery Management, Seeds and seedlings production, Protected Production Processes (data capture, data use), Greenhouse Production Management( temp management, data capture, use of data in production), Crop selection, Crop Protection (Safety, Pesticides, Spraying, residue and MRL's), Harvesting management and Post-harvest handling.

Career guidance program
The input from the LMNA will be used to develop the career guidance, mentorship and Triple Helix Workplace program. This program is planned for Q1 of 2021 and is also linked to the OKP project in Kenya. The first step is on developing Terms of Reference for these programs.

Furthermore, training of staff is taking place on pedagogical and didactical competences. This activity is combined with development of curriculum and courses.

The first phase on post-harvest training was successful and will be followed up by a training on IPM tomato in November 2020. For this training the link to OKP Kenya can also be made by inviting some staff to participate.

This year the Gender and Inclusiveness audit at KYA and BAC has been finalized. The project team is now working on updating and validation of policies on gender & inclusiveness and preparing a plan of action.

Overall, it can be concluded that over the past year a lot of progress has been made. Even though many activities had to take place online, it didn’t hold back the project of moving forward.

About the project
The project is managed by Maastricht School of Management and aims at strengthening the skills to improve the horticultural situation in Uganda. This is mainly achieved via strengthening the educational situation at A-TVET level. The project focuses on three main output areas: curriculum review and development, institutional capacity development at Kyambogo University (KYU) and Bukalasa Agricultural College (BAC) and the establishment of a triple helix horticulture innovation platform. Main activities of the project are curriculum development, module development, training of teachers in activating didactics, strengthening linkages with the horticultural practise, and stimulating horticultural entrepreneurship.

The project is implemented in close cooperation between horticultural stakeholders in Uganda like educational institutes and representatives of the horticultural sector and a Dutch consortium that is representing A-TVET horticultural education as well as higher education and the Dutch horticultural business sector.

Orange Knowledge Programme
This project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) which is funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic. For more information click here.