AGRO-PROCESSING CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE TO BE ESTABLISHED IN NWOYA
The Ministry of Education and Sports will soon embark on the construction of a new Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Institute in Nwoya District and this is set to be a Centre of Excellence for Agro-Processing. The Institute will be constructed with support from the World Bank under the Albertine Region Sustainable Development Project.
The decision was reached during a meeting chaired by the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni and attended by technocrats from the Ministry of Education and Sports, leaders from Nwoya District and stakeholders from other relevant Government Ministries and agencies as well as the private sector at State House Nakasero on Friday.
The meeting was to seek the validation and approval of the findings and recommendations in the report produced after a consultative process involving a comprehensive needs assessment carried out by Government in Nwoya District and with other stakeholders in the country.
The First Lady explained that in its bid to establish new institutions Government wants to eliminate duplication of efforts and therefore contracted Mott McDonald from UK to conduct the assessment to ensure that the institute to be established in Nwoya adds value to those already in existence in the Albertine region and that it will be fully utilized by the people.
“The Agro-Processing Centre of excellence in Nwoya really helps the cycle in the Albertine region, for instance in the Kiggumba area, many people will need food and it will be good for processed food to come from Nwoya”, she said.
According to the assessment report presented by the Commissioner of Business, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) in the Ministry of Education and Sports Dr. Hajjat Safina Museene, the stakeholders justified the need for an agro-processing training institute because currently no institution in Uganda specializes in this field and yet they believe that agriculture and agribusiness will become a more dominant sector in the Albertine region.
The report also recommends the disciplines to be taught at the Agro-Processing Centre of Excellence in Nwoya to include agriculture and agro-processing, mechanical engineering fabrication and electrical installations, plus training and support for informal sector micro and small enterprises.
The Deputy NRM Secretary General Richard Todwong fully supported the establishment of the Agro-processing Centre of Excellence saying that Nwoya has a big potential for agriculture and with the support of such an institute, it can be able to feed the whole of Uganda.
The Nwoya District leaders including the LC V Chairman Patrick Oryema Okello and the Chief Administrative Officer Innocent Asaba strongly supported the establishment of the Agro-processing centre of excellence citing the District’s local economic advantage being commercial farming.
The Deputy Secretary to the Treasury Patrick Ocailap said the spinoff of the Agro-processing Centre of Excellence is that it will support agriculture, ensure all year round out puts, be a source of employment, promote irrigation technology and will ensure increased household incomes.
Among others who attended the meeting were representatives from the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministries of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries, Energy and Mineral Development, Works and Transport, Trade Industry and Co-operatives, Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, the Private Sector Foundation.