Bringing African universities to farmers

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This film focuses on the work of researchers from Makerere University, Uganda, in Rakai district, an area of the country whose farmers are particularly prone to climate change-induced water vulnerability. As part of the WATERCAP project, they have helped transform local people’s lives. Through the introduction of low-tech innovations, the farmers now enjoy year-round access to safe water for both farming and domestic use. And the researchers have been able to augment their academic training with knowledge gained form working alongside the farmers in the field.
WATERCAP, a collaboration between Makerere University, Egerton University in Kenya and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Austria, was funded by the Austrian Development Agency. Operating in Kenya and Uganda, it has aimed to increase the capacity of participating universities to contribute to the mitigation of climate change in smallholder agriculture. It was also designed to use the interaction with local communities to improve university curriculums and ensure research is more relevant to farmers’ needs.

The project was initiated through RUFORUM (the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture), a network of 42 universities across Sub-Saharan Africa. It was established ten years ago to increase the ability of universities to respond to the needs of African farmers, with the goal of improving food security. 

This is part of the Africa’s PhD Renaissance series funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.