Makerere University together with the University of Bergen (UiB), have launched a Greenwood Research Consortium and Collaboration codenamed; “P.H Greenwood Research Consortium”, to boost fishery production and aquaculture in Uganda and East Africa.
According to the Head of Consortium Dr. Gladys Bwanika, the consortium intends to bring together researchers in fish ecology and systematic, biomathematics, aquaculture and fish health from both institutions, to train and teach people and students about fisheries and aquaculture.
“In our five years work plan, we are aiming at running a tropical fisheries school, where we can bring together people interested in learning about fisheries and aquaculture. This will also help us to train and share ideas with local students at Makerere University ,” she added.
The Principal College of Natural Sciences Prof. Joseph Y.T. Mugisha said that, the desired training and developing the fisheries industry in the region will be reached at, through organizing different lectures and seminars.
“We are planning to have an annual lecture that is the P.H Greenwood Annual Lecture. We shall also be running two seminars in a semester to interact with different resourceful people, share knowledge and information on fisheries and aquaculture,” Prof. Mugisha remarked.
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor Makerere University Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu, recognized the opportunity presented to Makerere University by the consortium to be the centre of excellence for research and training in fisheries and aquaculture in Uganda and East Africa.
We are all aware that fish is a lead export and foreign exchange earner for Uganda. This therefore presents an opportunity for Makerere University to become a centre of excellence for research and training not only for the country but for the East African region and Africa as whole. It is my hope that the results of the work of the consortium will contribute to policy-making and improvement of the sector.The Rector of the University of Bergen, Prof. Dag Rune Olsen, emphasized the importance of fisheries when he said that fishery is the most important sector to the feeding world.
“When we look at fisheries and food, fish is well gifted in proteins as compared to other animals; the food print of fish is very different. Fish has a priority in feeding the world with proteins from lakes and oceans which is much eco-friendly.” And he advised that, “we therefore need to explore and develop this idea in order to reduce on the competing challenge of food security globally,” advised the Rector.
Named in the memory of Peter Humphry Greenwood, who greatly contributed to the fisheries research in the in Uganda, this research collaboration arose from the realization that one of the major hurdles to improved production to fisheries and aquaculture is the lack of science based; sustained campaign of pro-active, collaborative research to support the decision making processes and the development of the industry in Uganda and in the entire East African region.
Speaking on behalf of the Greenwood family, Ms. Jennifer Greenwood appreciated Makerere University for welcoming the idea of developing a consortium in collaboration with University of Bergen in memory of her father, Peter Humphry Greenwood.
She therefore promised to work hand in hand with the University Management and College of Natural Sciences to meet the long term goal of the consortium.
“The long term goal of this consortium is to bring together various areas of research and to develop collaborations to the center of excellence in the whole of East Africa,” she said.
In his presentation made by Mr. Lucas Ndawula, the Director National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI) Mr. John Balirwa, acknowledged the role of the Fisheries Research as being active in the rapid expansion and realization of the fisheries production potential in the country.
“We are taking the lead in Bio-manipulation of natural fisheries, water bodies and development of aquaculture in addition to the primary role of monitoring fisheries resources base and impact of the fishing activities,” Mr. Balirwa acknowledged.
By Nabatte Prossy, Makerere university Public Relations office