Agriculture in Kenya‘s Arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) is characterized by Agro-pastoralism. The drylands make upto about 80% of Kenya‘s total land mass and is associated with low and unreliable rainfall, fragile soils and relatively high temperature. The ASALs are yet to be economically exploited for the benefit of local communities and the country at large. There is need to build on human capital as a strategy to harness the resources in the dry areas and therefore the development of this curriculum on Dryland Agro-pastoral Systems. The curriculum will produce graduates with in-depth understanding of dryland ecosystem, biodiversity in the ASALs, community livelihood and socio-cultural system, resources in ASALs, biotic and abiotic challenges, and innovations to harness resources to improve life in the ASALs.
Kenya‘s ASALs is yet to be fully acclaimed as one of the national resources for integration in economic development. This has resulted in low economic growth and higher poverty index being experienced currently. There is need for adequate management of resources in the ASAls to stimulate economic growth, improve livelihood and maintain healthy bio ecological co-existence. Besides, Kenya‘s vision 2030 emphasizes the importance of the arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) as an important component in the economic pillar. The strategy is to utilize some 24 million hectares for livestock production and expand crop production through irrigation on some 9.2 million hectares in the ASAL.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. The MSc curriculum in Dryland Agro-pastoral Systems is designed to address this need.
The programme aims at providing an in-depth theoretical and practical understanding of the subject matter and research skills in Dryland Agriculture. Upon successful completion of the training, the graduates will be expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired to innovatively utilize and conserve resources, and improve livelihood in Drylands.
The common university rules and regulations for the Master's degree programmes specified in the Egerton University Statutes will be applicable.Admission shall be offered to holders of a first degree in Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, Environmental Sciences, Natural Resources, and related disciplines, with a minimum of second class honours (upper division) or equivalent qualification from recognised institutions.In exceptional cases, University Senate may also admit to the masters programme, non-holders of upper second class honours degrees, provided such candidates can, on the basis of research and academic work the applicants have done, show that they are well qualified to undertake post graduate work by passing qualifying examinations.
Courses Structure and Duration
The programme consists of course work, examination and thesis. Candidates will qualify for the award of M.Sc degree in Dryland Agro-pastoral System by fulfilling the following requirements. Candidates are required to successfully complete at least 30 credit factors of their course work and in addition successfully complete 15 credit factors of a thesis to qualify for the award of the Masters degree.
Candidates for M.Sc Dryland Agro-pastoral System degree shall be registered as full time students for a minimum of 18 months and a maximum of thirty six (36) months, and register for a minimum of nine (9) credit factors per semester. Candidates wishing to register as part-time students shall be registered for a maximum of forty eight (48) months out of which twelve (12) months must be in residence. The candidates must register for a minimum of six (6) credit factors per semester. In the course coding: The acronym ―AGRO‖ refers to Agronomy. The first digit represents level of training which is 7 for Masters programme. The second digit refers to sub-disciplines within agronomy or crop science as follows:
0: Foundation courses/Basic Principles
1: Crop Physiology and Environment
2: Crop Improvement and Biotechnology
3: Crop Protection
4: Seed Science and Technology
5: Crop Management
8: Interdisciplinary courses.
9: Biometry and Experimentation, Research and Seminars.
The third digit is a serial number for the various courses within the sub-disciplines.
All examination for this programme shall be conducted in accordance with the examination regulation as stipulated in the Egerton University statute XXIX.
The grading of examination for this programme shall be conducted in accordance with Egerton University statute XXIX.
To graduate, a student shall be required to take and pass ALL scheduled courses within the stipulated period.
The Master of Science in Dryland Agro-Pastoral Systems degree programme is not classified.