Lira University students win Billion shillings in Research Grant award
Lira University students win sh1.127 Billion Research Grant
By Patrick Opio
Senior Communications Officer
Two Lira University students have won more than sh1 Billion from Uganda’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations for research and innovations projects.
The Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Monica Musenero had visited Lira University in April 2022 and advised students and staff to embrace innovations with aim of transforming the communities around them. After inspecting stalls of exhibitions, the minister urged them to apply for research and innovation grants being offered by the ministry on yearly basis.
Ikwara Emmanuel Asher, 3rd year BSC Public Health student and Kakooza Steven, former Bachelor of Computer Science student, won sh1.052 Billion and sh75 Million research grants respectively, totalling to sh1,127,000,000 (1.127Billion).
Ikwara Emmanuel Asher, won two grants, namely, cassava value addition(sh852Million) and pesticide production (sh200Million) to boost farming, while Kakooza has produced a smart card that helps in money transfers in schools.
Ikwara’s Cassava research initiative is called, ‘The Apokor Cassava Value Addition Project.’ Project already registered with Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development.
While Kakooza’s ‘kawu smart card’ is using FinTech to make school life a joy to live, where parents and guardians just use the card to send money to their children and even monitor how the child is spending such money. Minister Dr Musenero launched Kawu smart card while at the University on 27th April 2022.
Ikwara’s pesticide will be produced using a mixture of Chilli and Gallic since they have repelling effects. It was tested when locusts last hit Eastern part of Uganda and the pesticide was sprayed on the maize plants to repel off Locusts, it worked, according to Ikwara.
Ikwara plans to use part of the money to procure machinery and build a factory at their home in Tororo. According to Ikwara, the factory will bake bread and cake using flour from cassava, and also manufacture starch, gari snack and bio-fuels from cassava, as a result, cassava farming from the East and North will be boosted to supply raw materials to the factory.
After adding value to cassava, the products will be for local consumption and export, substitute for wheat flour (food stuff), increasing revenue source for Uganda, and the project expected to employ 2,000 people (as labour), training farmers on modern agro practices, among others.
The Cassava Project grant will be released on yearly basis, sh200Million every year, for 5 years, starting in Oct 2022 to Oct 2027. Government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations, will fund the project.
This is the 4th time Ikwara is winning grants for research projects. Others are Hepi-Tuiter Grant-12m/-, Red Cross Uganda, 5m/- for Integration Art(HIV/AIDS) services to departments of Lira University and prevalence of self-medication, and another 1M/ won for assessing the conditions amongst elderlies in Barapwo Ward, Lira City West, Lira city.
IKwara is a public health researcher. “Nutrition affects health, so we need to do more research in this area,” he asserts.
IKwara praised University Management and Teaching staff for offering and teaching course units that easily lend themselves into practical skills and inspiring students to do research.
Lira University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Jasper Ogwal Okeng has encouraged students to engage in research and innovations seriously, take academic work beyond class, turn course units into practice.
Dr. Jasper Ogwal Okeng notes that the university is destined to be the centre of creating and transforming generations for the future.
Ogwal Okeng applauds Council members, staff and students and other stakeholders for a joint effort that has yielded Lira University’s steadfast growth and innovations initiatives with a focus of leading nationally, regionally or globally.
Minister Dr. Musenero inspects Ikwara’s pesticide/cassava value addition stall
Minister Dr Musenero launches Kakooza’s kawu smart card project