The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (DARE) is established under the Faculty of Agriculture in JKUAT. The department is expected to be actively involved in teaching, research, and community outreach through our undergraduate, graduate, and extension programs with Ministry of Agriculture, NGOs and international organizations.
The department endeavors to produce graduates who can participate in agricultural industry in the fields of agricultural production management, agricultural marketing, agricultural extension, credit management, agricultural project planning and implementation, environmental economics and management, natural resource economics and management, rural development and teaching agricultural and resource economics both in public and private organizations.
Several other public universities in Kenya have similar programs of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management. However, the current curriculum in JKUAT is wider in scope and includes specific fields of practical knowledge application. For example, Agricultural Economics is intertwined with Rural Development. The main focus is that rural communities, governments and markets have to build up agriculture and resource activities in order to realize development and industrialization. In a similar manner, Agribusiness Management is interwoven with Enterprise Development in the agricultural sector. The main idea is to apply agribusiness management acumen to develop small and medium agricultural businesses in line with vision 2030. Agribusiness economics is tied to food industry management. As the economy of Kenya grows and creates a substantial middle income class of professional and business people, food consumption shifts from raw foods prepared and consumed at home to processed and packaged quick foods developed in food industries and supplied by food delivery systems. This program therefore addresses the management of food industries, food markets and consumer behavior. In addition, these programs have courses addressing current challenges the country is facing such as food security, wealth creation and agribusiness value chain addition. Ultimately, these programs endeavor to produce practically oriented people who are competent and sensitive to address issues related to small holder agriculture, agro-industrialization, resource management and development in rural communities of Kenya.
After training at the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, students will be able to apply knowledge of science to the benefit of both people and the earth on a national, regional and international level. They will be able to contribute to efforts aimed at improving the living conditions of many people
and to create wealth and prosperity. There is a range of challenging employment opportunities in the agricultural and natural resource industries, ranging from the most practical to the highly technological. These include various management aspects, such as those relating to human resources, finance, equipment and the environment. Graduates can choose to work either in the outdoors or in the business environment.
The department has created and developed courses on agricultural and applied economics tailored to meet needs in various areas of national development in line with the vision 2030. The vision 2030 aims to transform Kenya into a newly industrialized “middle-income country providing a high quality life to all its citizens by the year 2030”. To attain this objective, the economic pillar aims to maintain a sustained economic growth of 10% p.a. over the next 25 years. One of the key foundations of this vision is enhanced equity and wealth creation opportunities for the poor. Also, several key sectors such as increasing value in agriculture, more inclusive wholesale and retail trade sector and manufacturing for the regional markets have been given priority in acting as key growth drivers in the journey to 2030. The current programs expose students to the economic pillar of vision 2030 and cover most of these items in depth including fields such as : rural development, agri-food systems, environment, natural resources and extension. The emphasis is on applied economics to solve problems and challenges facing agri- and agro systems and operations in Kenya and the Sub-Saharan Africa.