The National Agricultural Research System (NARS)

What is NARS

The National Agricultural Research ACT, 2005 provides for the development of an agricultural research system for Uganda, hereby referred to as the National Agricultural Research System (NARS), for the purpose of improving agricultural research services delivery, financing and management. The NARS means a cross section of stakeholders whether in public or private sector; and comprises of the organisation, public agricultural research institutes, universities and other tertiary institutions, farmer groups, civil society organisation, private sector and any other entity engaged in the provision of agricultural research services.

The NARS institutional framework encompass Public as well as Private sector institutions in implementing agricultural research, and promoting vertical and horizontal linkages with other national, regional and international institutions.

The NARS Objectives

The Objectives of agricultural research in Uganda are to:

  1. Transform agricultural production into a modern science-based market oriented agriculture capable of greater efficiency, profitability and of sustaining growth in the agricultural sector while contributing to poverty eradication;
  2. Promote agriculture and related industry for the purposes of contributing to the improvement of the quality of life and livelihoods of the people, having regard to the protection of the environment; and
  3. Support the development and implementation of national policy with relevant information and knowledge.

Goal of the NARS

The overall goal of the NARS is to address challenges presented in the Plan for Modernisation of Agriculture (PMA) strategy and National Agricultural Research Policy (NARP) principles to provide research services that address in a sustainable manner, the needs and opportunities of the majority poor.

Sub-Systems of NARS

  1. Public Research Institutes,
  2. Universities and other tertiary institutions,
  3. Private companies/private sector,
  4. Farmer organizations,
  5. Civil Society Organisations,
  6. Advisory Service Organizations,
  7. NARS Linkage Institutions the regional and international organizations,
  8. Individuals.

Key attributes of NARS

  1. The harnessing of knowledge and skills on what needs to be done;
  2. Deciding who does the research, i.e. hiring research service providers (RSPs) and the direct accountability to them;
  3. Agreeing on the research agenda;
  4. The need for farmers to organize themselves in groups for collective action;
  5. Facilitating farmer investment into research;
  6. Recognition and utilization of farmers' own knowledge.

The Coordination Mechanism

  1. Governing semi-autonomous Apex body = NARO Council
  2. The Apex body with representatives from key Government departments & other stakeholder groups (farmers, concerned ministries & other PMA related sectors) Service provider agencies including NAADS
  3. Various Coordination Committees at District and regional/Zonal level with legal status & regulatory functions
  4. Secretariat for the Apex Body = NARO Council Secretariat Headed by the Director General.