Strengthening of Higher Education, Research and Community Outreach in Agro-Ecology in the Rwenzori Region in Western Uganda | AER

Scientists at work at Mountains of the Moon University Uganda © Bernhard Freyer

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 – 30th 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.

APPEAR in practice_9: Organic agriculture in action © APPEAR

Recap and photo gallery of APPEAR in practice_9

AER team members participated in this event that took place in May 2018 in Vienna.

AER team during a visit on a dairy farm in Salzburg  © Phillipp Dietrich

Participation at science fair - Vienna - April 2016

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.