Philosophy of the Curriculum
Developing countries have recently experienced steady population growth which in many cases has been accompanied by various forms of food shortage and encroachment of vulnerable environments. To meet the challenges of the 21st century, countries have to develop strategies for meeting their food requirement without causing environmental degradation.
The agriculture sector forms the backbone for economic development. In addition to satisfying food needs, agriculture provides employment and raw materials for the industry. Increasing farm productivity is thus the key to addressing rural poverty and improving the standards of living. Farming has traditionally been viewed as a culture, an art, a science and a business. The tradition association of land ownership for settlement and subsistence of household has maintained the impression that agriculture is, naturally, a way of life. Despite a lot of efforts at national level to develop agriculture, few individuals have invested in farming as business in the same way as in other sectors. To keep pace with the trends in the global economy, the sector has to be reformed to operate efficiently like any other business. Farm productivity has to be increased through efficient economic use of resources, application of appropriate technologies, entrepreneurship and adequate investment.
The Agriculture Programme at Kenya Methodist University is designed to train agricultural specialists equipped with the basis tools of business innovation in agriculture. It aims at developing practitioners who will be committed to developing sustainable agricultural practices and who view agricultural production, processing, marketing and provision of technical services as sustainable business. Students are adequately prepared to engage in production as self employed entrepreneurs, to take up jobs in agricultural advisory services, establish consultancy services, to invest in production, processing or marketing and to carry out research in any aspect of the sector. The programme is designed to train graduates to gain an understanding of the physical , biological, socio-economical and business potentials, opportunities and constraints in the agricultural sector;
Specific Objectives of the programme
- To inculcate in the students a sound knowledge of agriculture sciences and natural resources management
- To prepare the student to become a competent agricultural manager or entrepreneur in private and public c sectors
- To equip students with moral aptitudes for environmental conservation and management
- To prepare students for advanced studies and research
The programme is designed to cover four academic years (a total of 8 trimesters). In the first year the students are introduced to foundation courses that form the basis of agricultural sciences, business and general education. General agricultural and business courses are offered in the second year. Ion the third and fourth year students are exposed to production and management courses, practical application courses, research and internship. The programme offers two options; Agricultural option and Agricultural Business.
- The agricultural production option focuses on agricultural sciences and production sciences.
- The agricultural business option focuses on management and development of business in agriculture.
The programme incorporates flexibility to enable students to strengthen biases and to meet various needs in various disciplines. Students may select additional courses, on the recommendation of the Academic Advisor, to build their strengths in any of the agricultural discipline as well as satisfy other professional biases.
Each student undertakes a research project or investigative study in a special area of interest and writes a report of the research paper. This may begin any time in the second or third years. The research project facilitates strengthening the student’s investigative capacity as well as deepening knowledge in selected areas. Students are also exposed to the real world training through participation of farm activities, practicals, field trips, internship ad field attachments during holidays.
Pre-service candidates/ beginners:
Candidates must meet minimum university requirement of a mean of C+ (C Plus) in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) or equivalent qualification. In addition, the candidate should have C+ (C Plus) in biology or biological sciences and C (C Plain) in mathematics and chemistry or physical sciences. Candidates with passes in agriculture will have an added advantage.