Enhancing the capacity of the School for Agriculture and Biotechnology

The agricultural sector supports the livelihood of 80% of the rural Kenyan population, it is the single largest employer of the Kenyan economy, and directly contributes about 24% of its GDP. Still Kenya is a net importer of food.

Official title : Enhancing the Capacity of the University of Eldoret to run labour market responsive and gender sensitive curricula in seed technology and agribusiness management that leads to graduates and trainees that meet labour market needs and contribute to food security

According to studies by FAO and IFAD women, although they contribute significantly to the sector, are often excluded from interventions for improvements. National food security is a key objective for the sector, and so are further professionalization and intensification of agricultural production, and the processing and export industry. The objectives should be reached through implementing an inclusive approach, so that the people contributing to the efforts also benefit from the improvements achieved. Inclusive agricultural sector development requires the services of professionals skilled in agri-business, agricultural production, processing technology, and support services such as research, advisory services and financial services.

Improving functioning the School of Agriculture and Biotechnology

The University of Eldoret (UoE) intends to improve the functioning of the School of Agriculture and Biotechnology (SAB) across its entire width. This project specifically aims at improving the competitiveness of the SAB. The SAB aims at upgrading the quality of its graduates for the labour market, which is mainly comprised by the agricultural sector, including agri-business, the agro-processing industries, as well as the providers of support services, inputs and equipment. At the same time the SAB seeks to improve the quality of commercial research services and technical advice on offer to the agricultural sector.

Substantial resources are earmarked for improving the SAB course programme by developing new programmes and courses (at BSc, MSc and PhD level), improving existing programmes by inclusion of 'soft-skill' courses and enhancing opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience. Staff performance will be improved through training based on thorough needs assessment. All SAB teaching staff will make individual skill improvement plans, to yearly evaluation of their task performance. The performance plans consist of a combination of assessment, self-study, training didactic skills, course review and improvement, gender training and attendance of evening courses and summer schools, offered in the context of the project. An investment plan for improvement of SAB’s facilities for education, training and outreach services will be drafted and implemented.