The National Crops Resources Research Institute (NACRRI)

The National Crops Resources Research Institute (NACRRI) is one of the Public Agricultural Research Institutes under the Policy guidance of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO). The headquarters are situated in Namulonge.

About Namulonge

Location

Namulonge is located within the bimodal rainfall region. It is at 00 32'' N of the Equator and 320 37'' E. It is 27 km North of Kampala at an elevation of 1150 metres above sea level. It has a tropical wet and mild dry climate with slightly humid conditions (average 65%). The vegetation is wooded savanah with tall trees and tall grasses dominated by (Pennisetum purpureum and Parnicum maximum). This location is ideal for testing annual crops as the two rainy seasons of approximately the same length (3 months each) offer the chance to carry out trials twice a year. The Institute comprises the main station at Namulonge and is served by a research station at Kalengyere and Sub-station at Kigumba, situated in South Western Uganda and Masindi respectively. Kalengyere is the centre of solanum potato research in Uganda.

NAARI originally has 1188 hectares of land, 187 hectares at Sendusu of which hosts the IITA Eastern and Southern Research Centre.




NACRRI Historical Background
The National Crops Resources Research Institute (NACRRI)(formerly Namulonge Agricultural and Animal Production Research Institute , is one of the Research Institutes under the Policy guidance of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), was established in 1949 by the Empire Cotton Growing Corporation of Britain. It was established to solely investigate problems related to cotton production within the countries of the British Empire. It served the Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland, Nigeria, Uganda and to some extent the Gambia and Yemen. Uganda was chosen to be the regional centre because it was centrally placed and with the exception of India, Uganda was the largest producer of cotton in the Commonwealth. The Cotton Research Corporation handed over Namulonge to the Uganda Government in 1972. The Institute continued as a cotton Research Station until 1980's when research on other commodity crops and animal production was introduced. The crops introduced included: maize, cassava, sweet potato, rice, soybean, sunflower, groundnuts, simsim, wheat in addition to cotton. Agroforestry research was also introduced to the Institute at this time. In addition, Namulonge supervised the collection of weather data, processing and transmission of the information to the department of meteorology and Agriculture. This information was further processed into advisories on weather to farmers by both the department of meteoroloy an Agriculture.

Present mandate
With the re-organisation of agricultural research and the creation of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), Namulonge became one of the Research institutes of NARO. NAARI has now a national mandate to generate and disseminate improved technologies of Crops maong which include beans, cassava, cereals (maize and rice), sweet potato and animal production. It carries out research in biological control of crop pests and weeds; and on agrometeorology. There is limited research on soybean. The institute runs an outreach program managed by the RELO (Research Extension Liaison Office) which co-ordinates research activities between the scientists and the farmers, NGOs and other clients.

Present purpose of NAARI

Increase productivity of crop and livestock production. Specific objectives are genetic improvement, pest and disease control and management of mandate crops and feed resource development and management for livestock.

The mandate crops of Namulonge are among the most important commodities in Uganda. The importance of cassava as food and in food security can only be emphasized by the outcry that came out when the cassava mosaic hit this country. The crop is now being targeted in addition to food, as an industrial raw material to produce starch, glucose and fuel among other things. Beans and maize importance as non tradition export crops is increasing not to mention their importance in the nutrition. potato and rice play a big role in import substitution. The importance of animal production in nutrition and income generation cannot be challenged.

The institute has a total staff of 127 including scientists, 38 technicians and 52 support staff.

Programs/Units
Research activities in the Institute are carried out under commodity programs and Units. Presently there are five programs according to the mandate i.e beans, cassava, cereals, potato Bananas and Horticultural crops. There is also Coffee and Tree crops research which are undertaken in Kituza Research Centre in Mukono district. All the programmes have multidisciplinary teams. The institute emphasizes participatory research which involves farmers (and other clients) at all levels of technology generation and development.

Achievements of the institute since 1993
Since NARO started the institute has had several achievements. The most significant achievement of this institute has been the control of the cassava mosaic disease (CMD) and restoration of cassava production in the country. Today in some parts of Eastern Uganda there is an over production of cassava which has been a result of the control of CMD and release of high yielding mosaic resistant varieties by this institute. To date the cassava programme has released nine varieties four (NASE 1-4) which are widely adopted in the country. The resistant varieties were accompanied by packages on agronomic practices, disease and insect pest control.

Apart from improved technologies on cassava the institute has released several technologies from other commodity programmes. For example,

Programme Improved varieties released

Beans 11
Cassava 9
Cereals: (a) Maize 3
(b) Rice 3
Solanum potato 8
Sweet potato 11

Activities of livestock are in advanced stages of research. All the varieties released are higher yielding and more disease and pest resistant than the traditional varieties. These all have resulted in increased productivity of these crops by the farmers. For example the cereals programmes 3 varieties include 2 hybrids (H1 and H2). These are the first ever hybrids to be released in Uganda. Their yield potential is 7 tons per hactare as compared to the 1.8 tons/ha of local varieties.

This institute has played a key role in the control of the water hyacinth (a water weed) which had become a threat on the lakes of Uganda. Through the biological control programme at NAARI, beetles were introduced on these weeds and by feeding and destroying these water beetles managed to control the water hyacinth weed.

Collaboration Activities

NAARI collaborates with other sister NARO institutions, organisations and bodies at national, regional and international levels in various research activities.

(a) The national institutes include: other NARO institutes, Makerere University and other Universities, National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and non governmental organisations.

(b) International institutes among many others include:-
Ø IITA (cassava)
Ø CIMMYT (maize and wheat)
Ø CIAT (beans)
Ø NRI (cassava, maize, beans)
Ø Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) (cassava)
Ø CIP (Potatoes)
Ø ILIRI (Livestock)
Ø FARMESA (Livestock)

The different programmes are members and collaborators in the different networks in the region. They include:-

a) East African Roots Crops Research Network(EARNET)
b) The Potato Network (PREPACE)
c) The East and Central Africa Bean Network (ECABREN)
d) The Maize and Wheat Network
e) Small Ruminant Network (Sheep and goats)
f) African Feed Resources Network (AFRENET)

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