Korea’s Rural Development Administration (RDA) and Uganda's National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) signed an MOU on June 25 for the launch of the Korea Project on International Agriculture (KOPIA).
The memorandum signed by RDA administrator Lee Yang-ho and Secretary Vincent R. Rubarema of Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture contains the following clauses:
(1) RDA permits long-term dispatch of agricultural experts to KOPIA center.
(2) Uganda provides office space and labs for researchers.
(3) Both sides carry out joint research on projects of mutual interest.
(4) KOPIA center provides specialized training for Ugandan agriculturalists.
Launched by the RDA in 2009, KOPIA is a worldwide project striving against poverty and for food security. It has been extended to 15 developing nations so far including four African nations (Kenya, DR Congo, Algeria, and Ethiopia), seven South and Central Asian states (Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka) and four Central and South American nations (Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Ecuador).
Previously, technology for seed potato production that was brought to Cochabamba, a city in central Bolivia, doubled the potato production, or even tripled it in some regions. Impressed by the results, Bolivian agricultural policy makers have been asking for widening its support nationwide.
The RDA plans to establish a KOPIA center within the National Agricultural Research Organization in Uganda in order to share agricultural techniques and know-how.