ANAFE’s agribusiness curriculum is fast becoming the main attraction in Rongo University College (RUC), Kenya. BSc in Agribusiness is currently the second most popular programme in the Faculty of Agriculture at the University.
The curriculum was developed with financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency(Sida) and Danish International Development Agency(Danida).
Launched last year, the Agribusiness programme in Rongo University College has already attracted 51 students; the pioneer class, now in its second year, has enrolled 21 students (11 males and 10 females). The current first year class has 31 students (22 males and 9 females). This is a clear indication of its popularity among the students, some of whom are crossing over from other departments.
Prof. Agostino Onkware, the Deputy Principal (Academic Affairs) lauded the collaboration between ANAFE and the institution, especially with regard to initiation and implementation of the programme in the University. “There is poor value for most agricultural practices, something the programme must aim to address” he said during a visit by the ANAFE team to review progress of implementing the curriculum.
ANAFE was represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary, Dr. Sebastian Chakeredza and Programme Officer, James Aucha. Private sector players, who include the Kenya Industrial Research Development Institute (KIRDI), Sony Sugar, Technoserve, Jewlet Fish (fingerlings production and feed making) were involved in the design of the curriculum and are also offering field attachment opportunities to the students.
The University is also working closely with the local County Government to offer short courses for agribusiness practitioners within its environs. The institution is also in the process of establishing an incubator to enable the students horn their practical skills on specific aspects of agribusiness.
Apart from Rongo University College, other institutions are also at various stages of rolling out the curriculum. Strathmore University (Kenya) has also adopted the curriculum and transformed it into a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programme in Agribusiness with the first batch of students expected to join mid this year. Taita-Taveta University has already admitted the first cohort of students for Certificate and Diploma. Mulungushi University is at an advanced stage to launch its MSc in Agribusiness.
The agribusiness curriculum encompasses the entire spectrum of post-secondary education from certificate to PhD levels. It is a product of intensive and extensive consultation with a broad array of stakeholders including the private sector, regional and national bodies, curriculum specialists, educationists, policy-makers, lecturers and students. It aims to address shortcomings in agribusiness training, especially the mismatch between the skill set of graduates and market demands.