Strengthening of Higher Education, Research and Community Outreach in Agro-Ecology in the Rwenzori Region in Western Uganda | AER
Project Coordinator: Bernhard Freyer
Project Assistant: Phillipp Dietrich
Coordinating Institution: University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Partner Institution: Mountains of the Moon University (Moses Muhumuza)
Partner Country: Uganda
Project Duration: 1st of May 2016 – 30st of April 2020
Despite the rich natural endowments, the Rwenzori Region (RR) in Western Uganda faces enormous challenges: over exploitation of its natural resources, high population growth rates and poverty among the majority of the smallholder households. There is high demand for research and education to address these challenges and to elaborate solutions collaboratively with local stakeholders enabling an agro-ecological (AE) and socio-cultural sound development based on a sustainable and economic use of regional resources.
The AER partnership project is designed as a continuous mutual exchange process of skills, knowledge and experiences in theory and practices primarily between BOKU and the Mountains of the Moon University (MMU), also including smallholder communities with the main objective to build capacities in higher education, research and community outreach in the field of agro-ecology in the RR.
AER gears up for:
- Staff training in AE principles including the socio-cultural dimension, systemic understanding and transdisciplinarity.
- Establishment of a participatory action research framework between MMU and the stakeholder communities to enable knowledge exchange and therefore socio-economic and agro-ecological innovations.
- Development and implementation of a stakeholder-driven, regionally embedded Master’s curriculum in Agro-ecology at MMU to form alumni who are capable in decisively contributing to the prevalent challenges in the Rwenzori Region.
70 scientific projects and more than 12.000 visitors. The AER-project presented the results of a previous research project in Uganda that was focusing on the cultivation of a plant and the production of the artimisa tea, which acts as malaria prophylaxis.