Tropical Agro-ecosystems Conference

Tropical Agro-ecosystems Conference, Ssese Islands, Kalangala District, Uganda

Agriculture Conference Kalangala districtIn 2004 Uganda Martyrs University together with Mekelle University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) with the support of Sida started academic programs in the area of Agro-ecology. Hundreds of agriculturists and farmers have benefited from these programs in countries of the three partner Universities. At Uganda Martyrs University alone about 10-20 students have been graduating with Masters Degree in Agro-ecology since 2008. In 2013 Agro-ecology stakeholders from different continents gathered at Malmo to plan for a PhD in Agro-ecology Degree program. This was agreed upon by all delegates; however, it was met with the challenge of funding. In the following year s at least two students undertook their PhD studies in Agro-ecology under the supervision of Prof. Andrew Charles Francis, Nebraska University, USA and Norwegian University (NMBU), Norway.

In addition to MSc in Agro-ecology students’ research, other researches have been implemented by stakeholders. An example is the PhD research by Ms. Stella Namanji in Sesse Islands, Kalangala District. This research has opened up a deeper understanding of the complexity of sustaining natural forest biodiversity as guided by the environment policy. Sesse Island is such beautiful scenery worth being experienced by every nature loving soul. The Island is facing rapid agrarian transformation from a natural forest dominated ecosystem to mono-crop plantation agriculture. This transition is an attraction for researchers and naturalists.

It is with this background that the Tropical Agro-ecosystems Conference, 2017 is to be convened by Uganda Martyrs University, from the 13th to 16th December 2017, Kalangala District Headquarters, Sesse Islands.


Re-focusing on the Agro-ecosystem iskey to mitigating Climate Change, ensuring health, food and nutrition security as well as achieving Sustainable Development


Day 1

9.00am to 1.00pm: Key Note Papers Presentation, Questions, Comments and Discussions (Prof. Charles Ssekyewa)

  • The concept of agro-ecosystems and systems thinking
  • Policy Planning and implementation recommendations from a systems perspective
  • Understanding climate change, adaptation and mitigation, current developments
  • Sustainable Environment Health and Wellbeing of Actors in the Agro-ecosystem
  • Integrated nature of Agro-ecology curriculum and teaching methods vs the complex, multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder nature of the agro-ecosystem in developing countries

2.00pm to 5.00pm: Poster session (Dr Stella Namanji)

  • Various graduates of Agro-ecology, Professors and lecturers to exhibit their research outputs

Day 2

9.00am to 1.00pm: World Café On how best to, (Prof. Charles Andrew Francis)

  • Mainstream the agro-ecosystems perspective at Policy Level
  • Optimizing performance of the agro-ecosystem to adapt and mitigate Climate Change
  • Identify best options for the agro-ecosystem to offer food and nutrition security
  • Enhancing the agro-ecosystem for community health and sustainable development
  • Best options for agro-ecology curriculum and teaching methods

2.00pm to 6.00pm: Field Tour of the amazing Bugala-Sesse Island scenery (Maurice Bafirawala)

Day 3

9.00am 1.00pm: Consolidating outputs of day 2 to pave way for a future action plan/joint project (Prof. Julius Mwine)

  • Groups setting priority actions
  • Sharing and discussing priorities in plenary
  • Deciding the way forward

2.00pm to 3.00pm: Cementing agro-ecology

  • Presentation of the Way forward (Prof. Andrew Charles Francis)
  • Decision on Next Agro-ecology conference in Africa (Prof Charles Ssekyewa)
  • Closing (Chairman LCV, Kalangala District)


Ssese Islands, Kalangala District, District Headquarters Main Hall

Logistics of how to be there

  1. Participation is open to all environment and nature loving stakeholders.
  2. Participants shall meet their travel and full board costs.
  3. Participants shall pay 100$ per person for meals and teas during the conference.
  4. Organizers shall book accommodation for all participants, and also assist with airport pick up as well as arrangements for ferry travel to Ssese Islands.
  5. Official travel by ferry to Ssese Island shall be on the 12th December 2017, at exactly 2.00pm. Participants are advised to be at Nakiwogo landing site by 1.30pm. This ferry is the nearest connection to Ssese Islands, Lutoboka landing site which is about 1km from the District headquarters and just few meters to about four beach hotels, for those coming through Kampala and Entebbe. At Nakiwogo landing site there is only one ferry service at the time indicated above on every day.
  6. If a participant is from the South and Western parts of Uganda, then the best ferry system to use is that through Masaka to Bukakata landing site. At Bukakata landing site it is possible to get a ferry service every after an hour and it is only about 40 minutes sail across the Lake to Ssese Island. However, the drive to Kalangala Town/District headquarters is longer than at Lutoboka landing site. The only means of land travel on the island is self-drive, tax or by motor cycles.
  7. For participants traveling from abroad, find out your visa requirements. Where possible, it is better to come with the visa issued at the Ugandan mission in your country, but visas can also be issued on arrival at Entebbe Airport or any other boarder point.
  8. 8- In case you need an invitation letter for visa application, contact Prof. Julius Mwine or Prof. Charles Ssekyewa, whose contacts have been provided above.
  9. If you will attend, please send us your expression of interest by e-mail or otherwise. Receiving and confirming participation shall last until June 2017. Thereafter we shall plan the conference for only those who will have expressed and confirmed their participation.
  10. Information to be sent to you after expression of interest shall include mode of payment of the registration of 100$ which is meant for meals during the conference.

Support to the Conference

The conference is designed in such a way that participants directly meet most of their costs. However, there are aspects of the conference that would need direct funding by organizers. At the same time, some participants might be resourceful but un able to meet their own costs. Therefore, organizers would like to seek for your kind support of this very important conference and the first of its kind on the African soil. Every supporting company or organization shall have their logo on all key conference materials.
Key areas of support include:

  • Communication before and during the conference. If it is a telephone company service provider assisting us, then the conference shall use only that provider’s services for the conference for internet/wifi as well as participants’ connectivity during the conference period. The conference shall also accept mounting company banners at the conference venue.
  • Stationery materials to be used during the conference: Supporter of this item shall equally be given monopoly to supply all stationery needed during the conference.
  • Transport costs during the excursion on the island: The vehicle or ferry transporting participants shall have the owner company on all key conference materials, and shall be the only company to transport participants during the conference.
  • 4- Production of conference proceedings: Any organization that supports the conference shall be on the back cover of the proceedings. The company or organization that shall have met costs of producing the proceedings shall have the logo on the front cover of the proceedings in addition to being included on all other conference materials.

Local Organizing Partners

  • Kalangala District Local Government
  • Uganda Martyrs University
  • Mountain of the Moon University
  • Social Training Centre, Rubaga
  • Makerere University

International Organizing Partners

  • NMBU
  • BOKU
  • Nebraska University
  • SLU-Urnapp Campus
  • Mekelle University
  • Nelson Mandela University
  • University of Zambia
  • Mulungushi University
  • Coventry University



PSFU, NOGAMU, BIDCO, Agriculture Alliance, Uganda Bankers’ Association, NEMA, NFA, MTIC, MAAIF



Benefits to stakeholders

Agriculture Conference Kalangala district pineapplesConvening this conference in Ssese Islands shall expose stakeholders to a changing agrarian ecosystem which is a rare experience in many developing and developed countries. It may also serve as the season’s tourist experience for many from Uganda and the world over. The conference is likely to open up Ssese Island to much more research interest as a case of a transforming tropical ecosystem in form of research partnerships between stakeholders. Outputs of such researches shall contribute to Ssese Island’s sustainability and achievement of SDGs by 2030.

Kalangala District will take the Lion’s share. Delegates to the conference shall inevitably spend on full board and other needs. This way the district shall get some extra revenue for the financial year 2017/2018.

Conference Calendar/Important dates

  • Deadline for abstract submission: May 15, 2017
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: within 2 weeks of abstract submission
  • Deadline for submission of 6-pages paper for conference proceedings: September 30, 2017

Conference registration fees

  • Early bird registration/payment (110 USD) deadline: September 30, 2017
  • Late registration/payment (150 USD) deadline: October 15, 2017

Payment details

Account name: Uganda Martyrs University

Account number: 3010609837

Centenary Bank: Swift Code – CERBUGKA



For more information, contact Prof. Julius Mwine, Uganda Martyrs University, or;, Tel.+256772648863 OR Prof. Charles Ssekyewa, ,Tel. +256790832690