HUYE - The 3rd National University of Rwanda (NUR) annual International Scientific Research Conference gets underway today at the university’s main campus in Huye District with a special focus on Food, Nutrition Security and Integrated Pest Management in developing countries.
Talking to The New Times, Professor Verdiana Grace Masanja, the Director of the NUR Research Commission, said that 273 abstracts were received from various researchers but only 134 were accepted to be presented at the three day conference.
“We have people from 15 different countries, including Japan and China, who will be presenting papers during the conference. We also have a high-powered delegation from the University of Illinois in US,” revealed Masanja.
To support the realisation of the Country’s Vision 2020, the NUR Research Commission has developed four thematic areas prioritising what NUR can do together with the rest of the country to make sure that research guides and informs that core of the poverty reduction strategy, according to Masanja.
The areas are; Food security, energy, environment, climate change and disaster management, economic development and good governance.
“Food Security is central, especially if we look at all other issues that go with it; the markets, majority of the employed people are farmers, many of our industries use agricultural inputs,” she added.
According to Masanja participation in the conferences has tremendously improved since the commission was started in 2004. There has been a lot of interest from researchers in local institutions who always look forward to it to make their research presentations.
“We expect to have many papers; this is what every scientist dreams of. We want to have them published in distinguished journals and make a name for the country and the university,” Masanja added.
For the first time, the research conference will also be attended by three officials from each of the 30 districts in the country who will be sharing the same platform with researchers and decision makers. They will be expected to present the challenges that they are faced with and have them discussed during the conference.
The Ministers of Health and Agriculture are expected to give a key note addresses.