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DEVELOPMENT OF ANTI-TICK AND ECF VACCINES 

This group is conducting research on the efficiency of recombinant SUB antigen against three tick species common in Uganda namely; Rhipicephalaus appendiculatus Amblyomma variegatum and Rhipicephalus decoloratus. We are specifically interested in Producing, characterising and assessing efficiency & cross-protective potential of three SUB ortholog recombinant antigens against the local tick species. After this phase, they will then produce a chimeric multi-epitope-based Antigen of SUB and immunologically characterize it both singly and in combination with Bm86 epitopes.

DEVELOPMENT OF A MULTI-STRAIN FMD VIRUS CANDIDATE VACCINE

The program seeks to collect samples across the country to generate information for validating FMD prediction models and maps for the country. Scientists will then embark on isolation of FMD virus for purification, characterization and subsequent culturing before they embark on appropriate adjuvant selection and stabilization.

FORAGE IMPROVEMENT 

This three-year project is working towards deployment of highly nutritious pest and disease resistant forage cultivars – (Lablab and Brachiaria sp.) by following a sustainable but environmentally sound integrated systems approach.

The overall objective of this project is to sustainably improve and provide access to high quality forage genetic resources by peri-urban dairy and poultry farmers based on market and farmer preferences. Specifically, this project strives to; Select and advance pest/disease tolerant lablab and brachiaria cultivars of high nutritional value; Optimize and strengthen high throughput biochemical protocols for routine phenotyping and selection of elite forage germplasm; Evaluate the nutritional quality and methane emission of selected brachiaria and lablab cultivars and their effect on dairy cattle; and; Determine the effect of replacing soybean with low-phytate lablab seed meal on performance of poultry when fed in total mixed rations.

WIDE CROSSES DERIVED CROP BIODIVERSITY (SORGHUM X MAIZE) 

The project team is working towards ensuring availability and timely access to climate smart seed of adapted sorghum, maize and pearl millet varieties by smallholder farmers in low input production areas and subsequently food and nutrition security and increased incomes in Eastern and Southern Africa. This is being achieved through characterizing, evaluating, phenotyping, genotyping and developing an effective and efficient seed system based on local community contexts to ensure timely access to climate smart seed of existing local, collected and novel improved plant genetic resources.

The team will undertake a participatory approach to integrate adapted local or collected germplasm and develop novel adapted climate resilient varieties, best bet agronomic practices and technology dissemination via informal seed systems and capacity building on conservation and use taking into context local conditions, smallholder farmer needs and key preferred traits. The project envisions establishment of a variety development pipeline coupled with a functional seed delivery system for dryland cereals in Eastern and Southern Africa to enhance acceptability, uptake and utilization by smallholder farmers of improved sorghum and pearl millet seed and to assure sustainable productivity in target marginalized project areas. It is to envisage the attitudes, knowledge base, and capacity of stakeholder groups including women and men smallholder farmers and partner institutions participating in the project to be impacted positively following project implementation.

FEED AND FORAGE SEED BUSINESS MODELS

The objective of undertaking the research is to develop viable business models for forage seed production and marketing that ensure economically sustainable access to high quality forage seed to diverse clients in Kenya and Uganda”. In this research project international, national and local seed entrepreneurs, dairy farmers plus national and international researchers will (1) Analyze forage seed sector functioning, constraints and opportunities for change; (2) Identify, implement and assess business models for commercially viable forage seed; (3) production of promising and highly demanded species; (4) Test forage seed promotion marketing strategies and (4) Pilot seed quality assurance mechanisms.

REHABILITATION OF DEGRADED GRAZING AREAS

As a response to the foregoing predicaments in the drought-prone Karamoja sub-region, a multi-sectoral project on Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Karamoja Sub-region of Uganda was designed and initiated by FAO. It seeks to contribute to the ecosystem health and livelihood enhancement by contributing to the process of fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Karamoja Sub-region.

This project is designed to contribute to FAO objectives 2 and 5 namely to: (1) Increase and improve provision of goods and services from agriculture, forestry and fisheries in a sustainable manner, and; (2) Increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises. The research group at NaLIRRI has been specifically tasked to promote participatory learning and demonstration of relevant pastures and improved grazing technologies, innovations and management practices to boost sustainable year-round sufficient and quality feed availability in the districts of Nakapiripirit, Nabilatuk and Moroto. 

To date, the team has established 200 acres of improved drought tolerant pastures in selected sites and initiated work to rehabilitate 160 acres of pastures in grazing lands through protective grazing management approaches. Later in the project implementation workplan, the group will use the demo fields to provide technical support to farmers in pasture production and management from establishment to seed collection and conduct studies on performance of established pasture species and grass-legume mixes in the project sites.

MILK FORTIFICATION 

This research group is currently developing milk-based nutraceutical products through utilizing milk as a carrier of revitalizing substances with anti-ailment capacity against exacerbated cases of stomach ulcers and low body anti-oxidant capacities (especially cancers). These products will be evaluated using targeted isotope labelled analytical procedures and sensory analyses. The acceptable products will then be promoted and marketed through the development of the product commercialization strategy. The anti-ailment capacity of the products is also envisaged to contribute immensely towards the marketability of milk to ultimately benefit milk producers (farmers).

DOMESTICATION OF STINGLESS BEES IN UGANDA

This group conducts research on the potential of domestication and commercialization of meliponiculture in Uganda. Specifically, the team is conducting studies on socio-economic assessment of households currently keeping stingless bees in Uganda and in the process, have identified and selected species of stingless bees with potential commercial value. The team is also in advanced stages of developing and evaluating appropriate hive and management technologies for stingless beekeeping in Uganda. The later research lines will include developing and promoting novel and high value stingless bee products (honey, pollen and propolis) for use in the in food and pharmaceutical industry in Uganda.