Bachelor of Dryland Agriculture

The Bachelor of Science in Dryland Agriculture Curriculum is designed to provide the graduate with a comprehensive understanding of dryland agricultural systems. The examination of dryland farming systems in sub Saharan Africa and other arid regions around the world will equip the graduate with knowledge applicable to dryland agriculture. The graduate will also learn about the emerging technologies for precise management of crops and livestock, and the role of these technologies in ensuring sustainable and environmentally sound production systems into the future.

Arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) make up to about 80% of the total land mass in Kenya. The ASALs are characterized by limited and unreliable rainfall, fragile soils and relatively high temperatures. Currently, the ASALs in Kenya are largely underutilized for economic benefit of the local communities and the country at large. It is against this background that a curriculum on Dryland Agriculture has been developed as a strategy for building on human capital to harness the available resources for economic benefit. The curriculum will produce graduates with relevant knowledge and skills to manage and conserve dryland ecosystems. In particular it will equip the graduates with skills to identify challenges and opportunities of ASAL system and innovatively harness resource utilization within sustainable community livelihoods and socio-cultural systems

The ASALs forms one of the national resources yet to be integrated in economic development. This has resulted in the regions inordinately low contribution to the national economy often characterized with high poverty indices and low food security. There is need for effective management of resources in the ASAls to stimulate economic growth and improve livelihoods while maintaining a healthy ecosystem. It is with this in mind that the, Kenya‘s vision 2030 emphasizes the importance of the arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) as an important component in the economic pillar. The Government plan in ―Strategy for Revitalization of Agriculture for 2004-2014‖ also recognizes the importance of agriculture in national growth and development and commits to expand agriculture production in ASALs through expanding irrigation. These can be realized by investing in a focused training of personnel capable of identifying opportunities and resources for utilization and development in the drylands. These personnel have to be skilled at integrated approaches that are not only effective but ecologically sustainable.

Lukenya University took time to study the needs of the locals and the surrounding community through convening barazas with the community leaders, educationists, politicians, NEMA officials and even prospective students. The purpose of having these meetings was to establish academic programme requirements that would be relevant to the residents of Makueni County and the country in general. During these interactions, there was a strong feeling that the University develop programmes which are responsive to the needs of arid and semi- arid areas. The BSC in Dryland Agriculture programme will be supportive to the core areas of study by equipping students with knowledge and skills in areas such as crop and Animal husbandry, apiculture, soil and water conservation among other skills.

To be eligible for admission into the university applicant must be a holder of:

  • KCSE certificate with a minimum of aggregate of C+ (plus).
  • A diploma in Agriculture from a recognized institution with at least a C plain in KCSE.

Justification

Dryland agriculture has its distinct importance in the sphere of agricultural production. About 70 percent of the total cultivated area in the country is dryland/rain fed contributing about 42 percent of the total production of food grains. The dryland areas suffer due to frequent weather aberration resulting in crop failure and widespread unemployment. Since the cultivation in dryland areas involved high risks of crop failure, the farmers in such a situation are unable to make high investment in their land for improvement.

Farmers all over the world are working as managers of their farms, irrespective of the economic, social, cultural, physical, technological and environmental challenges. The farmers manage the production system to get returns from it. Effective management of agricultural entrepreneurship and extension should have special relevance especially in sub-Saharan Africa where agriculture plays a key role in meeting food requirement and supporting raw materials. Thus there is need for research and training of farmers and farm agents in management and current technology to enhance food security.

Expected Learning Outcome of the programme

By the end of the programme the graduate should be in a position to:

  1. Acquire skills to make them self-employed in agri-business.
  2. Understand and appreciate the intricate relationships of natural and socio-economic components of the dryland environment.
  3. Manage dryland resources sustainably at local, national and global levels.
  4. Develop and explore ideas of dryland management and devise solutions applicable in a complex and changing environment. Pursue careers in dryland agriculture, environmental sector, and for further training in agriculture

Credit Transfer

  1. A student who has taken a similar programme in an accredited university may be allowed to transfer credits to similar units of the programme up to a maximum of 48% of the total units.
  2. No credit transfer shall be allowed for grades below C or a GPA of 2.0 on a GPA scale of 1-4.
  3. Credit transfers shall only be granted within the first and second years of study.
  4. The student must undertake the practicum under the University he or she intends to graduate from.
  5. Where a student is to transfer a course with a pre-requisite, such a pre-requisite must have been covered at the University where the student is transferring from.
  6. All core courses for the programme must be taken by the student in the University he intends to graduate.

Programme Duration and Fees

Programme Start Dates

Every January, May and September