The afternoon of June 22nd 2016, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm EAT saw the RAN team and Atamba Farm management partner to host a half day agriculture hackathon and exhibition at the farm premises in Wanyangile village, Mbalala, Mukono district. Layered on the premise of engaging potential end users while Innovating, this hackathon was aimed at solving 3 challenges that the farm was facing which included irrigation hurdles, machine maintenance and repair related works, optimization and pest control. This engagement attracted 5 innovations including teams from the Solar Irrigation Pump, Solar Dryer, Kungula! Thresh It (maize thresher with a winnowing component), Silage & Hay Cutter and a team of experts in pests and disease control from Makerere University, Kampala Ugnada. The RAN family was comprised of multi-disciplinary students, faculty and staff from engineering, architectural, business and media backgrounds while at the Farm, representatives from the Poverty Alleviation Program in Uganda’s State House, District Agricultural services, Extension workers, Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) joined in the hackathon. Various farmers were also represented by their leaders. The event brought together 60 participants and was an opportunity for the innovators to gather adequate feedback regarding their innovations.  Such feedback richly contributes to the further development of these Innovations. At the end of this event, the Solar Irrigation Pump Innovation team was identified to construct an irrigation system for Atamba Farm. Other farmers and general community who also participated in this hackathon were interested in at least one innovation, an indicator that Innovation can go a long way in transforming communities but most importantly addressing communities’ most pressing challenges. Key in this engagement was the fact that innovators need to fully and continuously engage with the communities or potential end users to inform the innovation process. This engagement must start at the idea conceptualization stage.

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“Solutions through Innovation”