Sunday, August 19, 2012
MAN POWER LOSS FROM NARO AMONG OTHER GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS IN UGANDA IS A CAUSE OF CONCERN
Facts of this article have been sourced from: The Science Times (October 2011 – February 2012). Man power is one of the biggest assets Uganda has, unfortunately, when one learns about the way this man power is treated and ends up leaving the country with all the expertise, it gets disappointing. There is information that Rwanda is offering better package in a variety of fields and this induces skilled man power to migrate for better returns to work. Meanwhile, President Museveni, year to year emphasizes how his Government has making of roads, electricity infrastructure among others as priority. Mean while, man power that can help the country in its development problems finds opportunity out of the country! It is true that many of these experts have studied on tax payer resources, some have benefitted from scholarships offered to the Government of Uganda so that the man power trained is able to bail the country given its development constraints. When this man power is frustrated, it is logical to move to where the returns to work are worth, more so, when the Government priorities come out clearly lopsided and favouring the politicians yet ignoring the producers of wealth. Many of the Scientists in Uganda get peanut yet the Members of Parliament many of whom are not directly productive end with a big pay at the end of the month. Such ill advised policies will keep Uganda Under developed until they are rightly addressed. Prof. Joseph Mukiibi was a founder Director General of National Agricultural Research organization (NARO) and a Crop Scientist today serves as a Consultant to the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) charged with setting up a new agro-research system. The professor is a well known Agricultural Research Scientist and Plant Pathologist. Dr. George William Otim Nape replaced Prof. Mukiibi as Director General of NARO. He was however sacked by NARO’s Governing Council. One of the alleged reasons why he was sacked is that he advised Government against the use of Dry Banana leaves, yet this was a symbol for the 3rd Presidential term. In that this was bound to lead to reckless and massive spread of the Banana Bacterial Wilt Disease (BBW) across the country. Dr. Cyprian Ebong was until 2009 the Director of Quality Assurance at NARO. He left and took up Consultancy work at Rwanda’s National Institute for Research and Agriculture and Environment (INERA). Dr. Denis Tumwesigye Kyetere left NARO late 2011 and took up an appointment as Executive Director African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) in Nairobi effective January 1st 2012. Grace Akao Okullo is a Seed Specialist and former Inspector at the Seed Certification Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF). She left Uganda in 2011 and took up a job at Rwanda’s Agricultural Board (Seed Department). Dr. Ruth Ssebuliba another Seed Expert specialized in Plant Breeding left Uganda in 2011 for the Nairobi based African Seed Traders’ Association (AFSTA). Daphrose Gahakwa by 2004 was a Principal Agricultural Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture. He was appointed by the President of Rwanda as State Minister. Gahakwa is a PhD holder in Genetic Engineering. Until her appointment, Gahakwa was working with NARO as in-charge of the Banana Improvement Programme. She also headed the Agricultural Biotechnology Centre at Kawanda. Gerald Oballim was an Assistant Project Officer with the Bill and Melinda Gates /Howard Buffet Foundations’ funded Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project at the National Crops Resource Research Institute (NaCRRI) at Namulonge. He left to join Rwanda’s National University at Butale. Dr. Robert Mwanga is a former head of Potato Research at NaCRRI. He left in 2010 for a job at Nairobi based International Potato Centre (CIP)> Dr. George Bigirwa is a scientist specialized in cereals breeding. He left NaCRRI and went to alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Dr. John Kakule was a highly placed scientist, today, he serves as Senior Programs Coordinator in-charge of Science and Technology Policies at the (ACP) General Secretariat in Brussels. Kakule a Physicist is a former Deputy Executive Secretary at Uganda National Council for Science and technology (UNCST). Dr. Valentine Aritua was a Molecular Scientist/Research Officer in NARO. The Doctor left the Kawanda based National Agricultural Research Laboratories Institute (NARLI). The Doctor who is a Virologist headed the Biosafety Desk at the National Agricultural Biotechnology Centre (NABC) at Kawanda before he left.