Bachelor of Science Agricultural Economics Major

Overview

Overview

INTRODUCTION


Background
Agriculture plays a pivotal role in the Kenyan economy in terms of providing food, employment, foreign exchange and ecosystem services. Expansion of agriculture is therefore necessary, particularly for an agro-based economy such as Kenya’s. This requires well-trained manpower not only to generate and disseminate new agricultural technologies and manage varied agricultural value chains but also to contribute to policy design and implementation. Conscious of the ever-growing population and the need to equally meet food demands, technological advances in agricultural production, adverse effects of climate change on agriculture, agribusiness globalization and stressed environments, concentrated efforts to increase agricultural productivity for sustainable food production are imperative. These efforts can only be realized through the availability of appropriate expertise with essential skills and knowledge in the planning and management of natural resources for agriculture production. The Bachelor of Science in Agriculture is designed to produce graduates with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide technical, advisory, and professional services in the field of agriculture as envisaged in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Kenya’s Vision 2030. The degree programme is aligned with the UNESCO Standards Classification of Education and Training of 2013.
.
The Bachelor of Science in Agriculture is a 4-year programme (eight semesters) with the initial two years of the programme being spent on teaching and learning core courses which anchor the students in agriculture and environment-related basic sciences and the principles and fundamentals of the professional agricultural disciplines. In the third year of study, the students specialize in thematic areas (majors) that reflect their interests. The respective majors will appear on the student’s transcripts and degree certificate (i.e., BSc Agriculture with a major in either Agricultural Economics, Animal Science, Crop Protection, Crop Science, or Land Resource Management).
Upon successful graduation, the students can opt to advance their studies in the respective majors and/or enter the job market mainly in agriculture-based industries, government ministries, international organizations, research institutions and universities among others as extension agents, researchers, consultants, lecturers to name just a few. The BSc agriculture curriculum is reviewed regularly to keep pace with emerging trends in agriculture and industry requirements.


Philosophy of the Programme
The Bachelor of Science in Agriculture is designed to train and produce world-class University graduates who will provide leadership and excel in all fields of agriculture, ranging from agribusiness, agricultural extension and outreach, agricultural policy and trade, crop and animal production, environmental protection, food systems, and land resource management. The programme will provide quality training that embodies the aspirations of the Kenyan people and the global community through the creation, preservation, integration, transmission, and utilization of knowledge and skills in the field of agriculture and food systems. The hallmark of the training will be, freedom of thought and expression, innovation, creativity, quality research, and excellence, taking into account the prevailing national and international policy priorities and technological advancements in agriculture and food systems to realize sustainable and secure livelihoods.


Rationale of the Programme
Needs assessment

Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya’s economy where it contributes about 34 per cent of the gross national product (GDP) and accounts for over 20 per cent of total formal employment. Agriculture produce accounts for about 65 per cent of the country’s exports and 80% of raw materials supplied to the local agro-based industries. In recent times, agricultural production systems in Kenya have become increasingly intensive in response to high food demand amidst a shrinking land resource. In addition, Kenya’s agriculture has become more susceptible to the adverse effects of climate variability and changes in consumer tastes and preferences in the local, regional, and global markets. The increasing global demand for high-quality food calls for the production of graduates in agriculture who can effectively generate and promote agricultural technologies, strategies and services that enhance not only agricultural productivity but also food quality while preserving the environment as envisaged in Kenya’s Vision 2030, the Big Four Agenda and the Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy while taking cognizance of the regional and international agriculture and trade policies.
One of the major challenges in agricultural production is the huge on-farm and post-harvest losses caused by an array of weeds, diseases and pests. The extensive indiscriminate use of pesticides and antimicrobial remedies has contributed to harmful effects not only on humans but also on non-target organisms and biodiversity and compromised food quality. The export and local markets, on the other hand, are continually demanding high-quality agricultural produce that is free of chemical and microbial contaminants. This has failed the Kenyan farmer to access lucrative export markets due to his inability to comply with stringent sanitary and phytosanitary standards. The transformation envisaged in Kenya’s Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy calls for the development of new crop and livestock pest, disease and environmental management strategies, new agribusiness approaches, market demand analysis, and effective agricultural policy design and response. This will require a well-trained human resource in agriculture.
This Bachelor of Science in Agriculture programme aims to fill this human resource gap in agriculture by training graduates both in agriculture-related sciences and the fundamentals of the professional agricultural disciplines (agricultural economics, animal science, crop protection, crop science, and land resource management). In the third year of study, the students will opt and specialize in any of the following majors: Crop Science, Crop Protection, Land Resource Management, Animal Science, and Agricultural Economics. These graduates are expected to work in agricultural-based; industries, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities, and centers for international agricultural research among others. They will provide technical services in agribusiness, agricultural policy formulation, animal production, crop production and land and environmental management.


Stakeholders Involvement
The Faculty of Agriculture organized a stakeholders’ workshop as a feedback mechanism to capture the views of stakeholders in agriculture, academia, researchers, and industry. The workshop was composed of lecturers of specific units, former BSc Agriculture students, current students, researchers from the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organizations (KALRO) and International Research Centres, and representatives from agro-industries and agriculture-related international organizations in Kenya. Stakeholders expressed the need for emphasis on research, data collection, presentation and analysis, communication skills, and more practical and industrial attachment to give the students hands-on experience, in-depth knowledge on emerging issues and knowledge in agriculture, agribusiness, agricultural policy, crop and animal production, land management and environmental protection, and entrepreneurship among others. The suggestions were incorporated into this curriculum.


Justification of the need for the programme
The changing social, economic, market, environmental and development contexts not only within but also outside Kenya require continuous re-engineering of university teaching and research agenda to respond to emerging issues and ensure inclusivity. Kenya’s economy remains heavily dependent on agriculture and this requires training and employment of more agricultural professionals and experts to drive the country’s agriculture-led economic growth agenda into the foreseeable future. The programme fills the human resource gap in agriculture-related fields, such as agribusiness, agricultural policy, crop and animal production, land management and environmental protection, and entrepreneurship. Soft skills are also taught to learners and they include computing, research methods and scientific communication aimed at equipping learners with the knowledge and skills required in experimental design, data management and analysis, interpretation and communication of research findings. It is envisaged that the training programme will produce competent professionals in agriculture-related fields who will be capable of handling all issues relating to crop and animal production, agribusiness, agricultural policy, land management and environmental protection, and making knowledge-based decisions in these fields in the modern job market.
The revised BSc Agriculture curriculum introduces flexibility in the Mode of Delivery by incorporating an online open and distance learning (ODEL) option that will help students learn from the comfort of their homes or offices. ODEL model became popular within the University of Nairobi (UoN) following the COVID-19 pandemic. The curriculum is in line with the national policies: Kenya’s Vision 2030, Big Four Agenda, Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy, and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals No.1, 2, 9 and 13 (No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Innovation and Climate Action).
This revised programme seeks to meet the high-quality standards required under the Commission for University Education (CUE) and UoN guidelines. In this regard, it seeks to sharpen and improve on issues addressed and methodologies utilized in enhancing knowledge in this particular area of agriculture, food and environmental studies. This programme seeks to enable the learners to acquire the relevant knowledge and skills to help in solving the various global challenges of the 21st century.


Goal of the Programme
The goal of the programme is to produce graduates with adequate knowledge and skills to effectively exploit agricultural research and development opportunities globally. The objectives of the programme will be achieved through the following majors:


 Agricultural Economics Major
The objective of this major is to produce graduates with the knowledge and skills for efficient and sustainable use of agricultural resources. Therefore, students branching into Agricultural Economics Major after two years of general grounding in agriculture will:


a. Acquire the knowledge of economic disciplines to have an integrated approach to understanding agricultural and environmental problems.


b. Apply the skills of the discipline in solving agricultural and environmental problems as managers in enterprises that use these resources or in research, extension and education.


c. Acquire a comprehensive understanding of the behaviour of individual economic agents and their decision-making processes.


d. Acquire knowledge of the practical uses of agricultural economics in research and management.


Crop Science Major
The main objective of this major is to produce graduates with knowledge and skills that effectively address all aspects of crop production, improvement and management as well as postharvest handling and entrepreneurship. Therefore, students branching into Crop Science Major after two years of general grounding in agriculture will be able to:


a. Describe the general structure and functions of plant systems that contribute towards the improvement of crop productivity through research, extension and training.
b. Apply knowledge acquired in crop production towards establishing and running crop product enterprises.
c. Critique crop production methods used by farmers and innovative agricultural methods promoted to increase food production along the value chain.
d. Execute scientific research projects in preparation to address agricultural challenges in the outside world and enhance food security.


 Crop Protection Major
The objective of this major is to produce graduates with knowledge and skills that enable them to effectively address all aspects of crop protection and integrated pest management. On completion, graduates with a Crop Protection Major will have the competence to:


a. Describe crop protection problems based on the causal agents.
b. Identify aspects of safe use, handling, disposal and evaluation of plant protection products.
c. Apply good agricultural practices to protect human health and the environment.
d. Assemble and run crop protection enterprises.
e. Formulate advisory services in the design and execution of crop protection strategies.


Animal Science Major
The main objective of this major is to produce graduates with knowledge and skills that enable them to effectively address all aspects of livestock management, livestock improvement and value addition. On completion, graduates with an Animal Science Major will have the competence to:


a. Explain the structure and functions of livestock production systems.
b. Describe how genetics, nutrition and environmental factors affect livestock productivity.
c. Formulate interventions that promote sustainable livestock production in all agroecological zones.
d. Apply the knowledge and skills learned to Identify, set up and manage livestock and livestock product enterprises.
e. Contribute to setting up and running of livestock products enterprises.


Land Resource and Environment Major
The objective of this major is to produce graduates with the knowledge and skills that enable them to effectively manage land resources. On completion, graduates with a Land Resource Management Major will have the competence to:


a. Demonstrate knowledge and skills in land and water management for increased agricultural production and environmental protection.
b. Provide leadership in the implementation of the national policies relating to natural resource management.
c. Apply sustainable land management practices to prevent and alleviate land degradation.
d. Apply knowledge, skills and technology to promote sustainable land resource management.


Expected Learning Outcomes
By the end of the BSC Agriculture Program, the learner will be able to:


a. Explain the theoretical and philosophical basis for agriculture, food and environmental studies.
b. Demonstrate knowledge and skills in agriculture, food and environmental studies.
c. Examine innovative theoretical and research methodologies relevant to agriculture, food and environmental studies globally.
d. Generate technologies and innovations that promote sustainable agricultural production and marketing with integrated biodiversity approaches for environmental conservation.
e. Set up business and entrepreneurship in various aspects of agriculture, food and environment

MODE OF DELIVERY


Face-to-Face Mode
The programme will adopt a face-to-face Mode of Delivery that will be based on lectures, class presentations, seminars, tutorials, case studies, fieldwork, practical sessions, student-teacher consultations, supervised independent study, group and individual projects, seminars, case-based learning, tutorials, guest speakers, or any combination of these methods.


Open and Distance Learning
The course structure and requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture offered by open, distance and e-learning mode (ODeL) remain the same as under the full-time format. However, the model of delivery will involve:


a. Use of various media and largely home-based
b. Other modes of delivery:


I. Written self-instructional study modules at the registration time including study books, relevant literature, interactive devices and self-tests
ii. Mediated technical learning materials; audio cassettes, e-learning materials and video clips
iii. Limited face-to-face sessions to provide an overview of the course at the commencement of the semester, mid-semester and revision period before examinations.
ODeL will utilize satellite centres that serve as a link between the university and the students in the following academic activities: registration, collecting reading materials, collecting results and programmes, examination information, posting timetables and holding meetings.


Blended Learning
The programme will be delivered through a mix of face-to-face, e-learning and ODEL where applicable.

 

Programme Co-ordinator

Prof. John Mburu

Email - john.mburu@uonbi.ac.ke

Telephone:  020 - 4916019

Contacts of Support persons

Agripina singa - asinga@uonbi.ac.ke

Emmanuel Guantai - guantai@uonbi.ac.ke

Dorcas Nduati - dnduati@uonbi.ac.ke

 

Notable Alumni

 

Structure

Structure

SCHEDULE OF INTAKE

Students are admitted once every year usually in September except for variations that may be caused by unforeseen circumstances. Applications are, however, received all year round and are processed for yearly admission.

Course Structure and Duration

The course shall be offered under two modules; full-time and through Open, Distance, and e-learning (ODeL).

Full-time modules

A candidate shall take a minimum of four academic years and a maximum of 8 academic years to complete the course.

Each academic year shall consist of two semesters except during the third year of study which will have a third semester.

Each semester shall consist of 15 teaching weeks inclusive of teaching and examinations, while the third semester shall be eight weeks.

A candidate for B.Sc. Agriculture shall participate in and complete coursework and practical assignments that may apply to the program. Admission to the examination at the end of the semester shall be based on satisfactory completion of such requirements.

Each candidate shall be required to undertake field practice (attachment) after completion of the second semester of the third year of study. During the field attachment, students are expected to embark on a research project, which they have to complete and present at a seminar during the fourth year of study.

In the third and fourth years of study, each student will be required to take courses in any of the following five majors: Agricultural Economics, Animal Science, Crop Protection, Crop Science, or Land Resource Management  

Majors shall be taken after completion of the second-year level courses

Open, distance, and e-learning

The course structure and requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture offered by open, distance, and e-learning mode (ODeL) remain the same as under the full-time format. However, the model of delivery will involve:

  • Use of various media and largely home-based
  • Other modes of delivery:
  • Written self-instructional study modules at the registration time including study books, relevant literature, interactive devices, and self-tests
  • Mediated technical learning materials; audio cassettes, e-learning materials, and video clips
  • Limited face-to-face sessions to provide an overview of the course at the commencement of the semester, mid-semester, and revision period before examinations.

 

Provision of learner support services

  •  Support study centers at the University of Nairobi  
  • Access to information through computers at the University of Nairobi
  • Use of libraries at the University of Nairobi and related research institutions.
    • Orientation (immediately after registration):
  • Orientation in ODeL delivery
  • Study, reading, and computer skills
  • Time management and techniques in handling assignments
  • Mentorship, guidance, and counseling

The emphasis in ODeL is the use of satellite centers that serve as a link between the university and the students in the following: registration, collecting reading materials, collecting results and programmes, examination information, posting timetables, and holding meetings.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements
  1. Holders of Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) with mean grade of C+ or equivalent with passes at C plain or above in Biology or Biological Sciences and any one of the following subjects: Chemistry, Physics, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Agriculture  or Geography
    1. Holders of KCSE mean Grade of C- or equivalent plus a Certificate and Diploma in a relevant field from an institution recognized by the Senate.
    2. Holders of ‘O’ level Division II or equivalent with subjects indicated in 3.1.1 above; plus a Diploma in a relevant field from an institution recognized by the Senate
    3. Holders of ‘A’ level with two Principal Passes or equivalent in Biology and any one of the following subjects: Chemistry, Physics, Geography or Mathematics
    4. Holders of KCSE mean Grade of C plain or equivalent plus a Diploma in Biological Sciences or related sciences from an institution recognized by the senate
    5.  Holders of a higher national Diploma in Biological Sciences or related sciences from an institution recognized by the Senate.
    6. Holders of a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences or related sciences from an institution recognized by the senate
    7. Equivalent qualifications to the above from institutions recognized by the Senate

Application for admission

APPLY HERE: HTTPS://APPLICATION.UONBI.AC.KE/

Careers

Careers

Career Prospects/Attachment Opportunities

Agricultural extension officer
Researcher
Farm manager
Extension and outreach services
Food and Agricultural organizations
Agronomist
Non-Governmental Organizations
Entrepreneurial self-employment in agricultural production
All round careers like banking and Cooperative Societies

Attachment Opportunities 

Students can be attached but not limited to the following:

  • Food and Agricultural organizations
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • World Health Organization
  • Government parastatals
  • Cooperative Societies

Fees and Funding

Fees and Funding
Bachelor of Science-Agriculture year 1 - 16units    
       
   Semester 1   Semester 2   Yearly Total  
TUITION                  162,000.00                  162,000.00                   324,000.00
ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)                       7,000.00                                    -                          7,000.00
CAUTION - (ONCE)                       5,000.00                                    -                          5,000.00
EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @1000)@1000                       8,000.00                       8,000.00                      16,000.00
REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)                       2,250.00                       2,250.00                        4,500.00
STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)                       1,000.00                                    -                          1,000.00
ID CARD ( PER YEAR)                       1,000.00                                    -                          1,000.00
MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)                       6,500.00                                    -                          6,500.00
ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)                       2,000.00                                    -                          2,000.00
LIBRARY (PER YEAR)                       4,000.00                                    -                          4,000.00
Total-Bsc-Agriculture-Year1                  198,750.00                  172,250.00                   371,000.00

 

Bachelor of Science-Agriculture year 2 - 16units    
    Semester 1   Semester 2   Yearly Total  
TUITION                  162,000.00                  162,000.00                   324,000.00
ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)                       7,000.00                                    -                          7,000.00
EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @1000)                       8,000.00                       8,000.00                      16,000.00
REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)                       2,250.00                       2,250.00                        4,500.00
STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)                       1,000.00                                    -                          1,000.00
ID CARD ( PER YEAR)                       1,000.00                                    -                          1,000.00
MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)                       6,500.00                                    -                          6,500.00
ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)                       2,000.00                                    -                          2,000.00
LIBRARY (PER YEAR)                       4,000.00                                    -                          4,000.00
Total-Bsc-Agriculture-Year2                  193,750.00                  172,250.00                   366,000.00

 

Bachelor of Science-Agriculture year 3 - 16units      
   Semester 1   Semester 2   Yearly Total  
TUITION                  162,000.00                  162,000.00                   324,000.00
ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)                       7,000.00                                    -                          7,000.00
EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @1000)                       8,000.00                       8,000.00                      16,000.00
REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)                       2,250.00                       2,250.00                        4,500.00
STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)                       1,000.00                                    -                          1,000.00
ID CARD ( PER YEAR)                       1,000.00                                    -                          1,000.00
MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)                       6,500.00                                    -                          6,500.00
ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)                       2,000.00                                    -                          2,000.00
LIBRARY (PER YEAR)                       4,000.00                                    -                          4,000.00
Total-Bsc-Agriculture-Year3                  193,750.00                  172,250.00                   366,000.00

 

Bachelor of Science-Agriculture year 4 - 13units    
   Semester 1   Semester 2   Yearly Total  
TUITION                  162,000.00                  162,000.00                   324,000.00
ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)                       7,000.00                                    -                          7,000.00
EXAMINATION (PER UNIT @1000)                       6,500.00                       6,500.00                      13,000.00
REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)                       2,250.00                       2,250.00                        4,500.00
STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)                       1,000.00                                    -                          1,000.00
ID CARD ( PER YEAR)                       1,000.00                                    -                          1,000.00
MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)                       6,500.00                                    -                          6,500.00
ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)                       2,000.00                                    -                          2,000.00
LIBRARY (PER YEAR)                       4,000.00                                    -                          4,000.00
Total-Bsc-Agriculture-Year4                  192,250.00                  170,750.00                   363,000.00
       
Grand totals        1,466,000.00
Program category
Undergraduate
The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.