MAKERERE UNIVERSITY 74th GRADUATION: How Dr. Mukebezi’s PhD Promises Fortunes to Farmers in Eastern Uganda

Dr. Mukebezi. PHOTO/COURTESY

Summary:

  • Dr. Rebecca Mukebezi’s doctoral study at Makerere University in Uganda explores the role of Community-based Innovation Platforms (CB-IPs) in promoting farmer participation in collaborative agricultural activities in Eastern Uganda.

Makerere, Uganda – Achieving farmer participation in collaborative activities to tap into agricultural fortunes is always an uphill task, thanks to a doctoral study by Dr. Rebecca Mukebezi.

Titled Organization of Community-based Innovation Platforms to Facilitate Farmer Participation in Collaborative Activities in Eastern Uganda, Dr. Mukebezi’s study earned her Doctor of Philosophy in the week-long graduation at Makerere University in Uganda.

Her research investigated the intricate structures and collaborative capacities of Community–based Innovation Platforms (CB-IPs) in facilitating farmer participation in collaborative activities in Eastern Uganda, according to her citation in the graduation booklet.

According to her study, these platforms serve as hubs for farmers to engage with various actors in the agricultural ecosystem, fostering a spirit of collaboration and shared innovation. Stakeholders such as line ministry officials, extension workers, and financing systems come into the picture.

The study, conducted under the guidance of esteemed mentors Dr. Bernard B. Obaa and Dr. Florence B. Kyazze, has shed light on the critical factors influencing farmers’ active involvement in collaborative initiatives for better performance and yield.

One of the key findings from her study is the crucial role played by information sharing within farmer groups.

Dr. Mukebezi found out that the sharing of diverse types of information and the improvement of cohesion within these farmer groups were essential for facilitating robust farmer participation and enhancing their opportunities.

The insight from her findings highlights the importance of creating an environment that encourages open communication and mutual support among farmers, laying the foundation for successful collaborative activities.

The study also emphasized the critical importance of resource collaborative capacity on CB-IPs.

For example, the availability and adequacy of human, physical, and financial resources were identified as the most crucial factors in enhancing farmer participation in collaborative activities.

This finding implies that strategic investments in these resources to create a conducive environment for collaboration and innovation within the agricultural community are urgently needed to help improve the situation of farmer groups in the Eastern Region.

Dr. Mukebezi’s study further explored the psychological aspects influencing farmer participation.

She found out that positive past experiences, favorable attitudes, and the perceived capacity to participate, determined farmers’ willingness to continue engaging in collaborative activities.

This implores the need for organizing activities that not only benefit farmers but also contribute to building their capacity and confidence.

The research was supported by the Cassava Community Action Research Project (Cassava CARP), with funding from the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM).

Dr. Mukebezi’s study not only adds to the academic discourse but also offers actionable insights for policymakers, agricultural practitioners, and community leaders, particularly those driving positive change in Eastern Uganda’s agricultural sector.

This will go a long way in paving the way for inclusive, participatory, sustainable, and innovation-driven agriculture in Uganda.

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