About the School
The School of Agriculture and Food Sciences (SAFs) was established in 2010. In Kenya, Agriculture contributes up to 30% of the GDP. Agricultural sector employs 40% of the total population and up to 70% of people in rural areas. Our School offers solutions to the need for knowledge, skills and cutting edge agricultural technologies
The School of Agriculture and Food Sciences (SAFs) is made up of three (3) departments including the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Food Sciences and the Department of Animal Sciences. SAFs envisions itself as a centre of excellence in which highly skilled and technologically equipped graduates are produced and released to the market to help actualization of the Kenya Government’s food security objective as outlined in the big four agenda policy initiative and vision 2030 (www.vision2030.go.ke).
The guiding philosophy of SAFs and the entire University is self-reliance and self-actualization for all. In order to develop these values, students are taken through experiential learning which involves complementing class lectures with provision of a favorable environment for exploration and expression of individual talents. In SAFs, experiential learning is supported by modern laboratory facilities shared by all programmes that need them, a large demonstration farm for various types of crops, provision of a variety of on-farm livestock species including dairy and beef cattle and facilities for aquaculture (fishponds) and apiculture (beehives). Experiential learning is further enhanced using farm visits and academic field trips to various farms as well as agricultural and food oriented industries and institutions.
SAFS boasts of a vibrant academic culture designed to convert the fresh, energetic and knowledge-hungry young people who enroll in our school every year to the final highly skilled young men and women graduates who are released to the market at the end of their postgraduate, undergraduate, diploma and certificate programmes. The school has a full-time academic staff complement consisting of six (6) academic staff members who are at the level of professor or senior lecturer and 13 who are at the level of lecturer or assistant lecturer level.
Programs offered in the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Post graduate programmes: The school is currently offering four (4) post graduate programmes including:
- PhD in Agriculture
- MSc in Horticulture
- PhD in Food Science
- MSc in Food Science.
Bachelor of Science programmes: SAFs has a total of eight (8) BSc on offer to prospective students. The curriuclums for all eight programmes are approved by the Commission for University Education (CoE) and where applicable, other regulatory bodies for the specific disciplines. The programmes include:
- BSc in Animal Health and Production,
- BSc in Food Science and Technology
- BSc in Food Science and Nutrition
- BSc in Food Science and Management
- BSc In Agricultural Education and Extension (AGED)
- BSc in Agriculture,
- BSc in Horticulture
- BSc in Agribusiness Management.
The BSc in Animal Health and Production is housed within the Department of Animal Sciences which was formed in 2018, having previously been a section in the Department of Agriculture. Meru University is one of the 16 institutions accredited by the Kenya Veterinary Board (KVB) to offer this programme in Kenya. The programme is designed to produce skilled frontline personnel who are equipped to provide animal health, welfare and production services
Under the Department of Food Science, there are four (4) degree programs i.e. Food Science and Technology, Food Science and Nutrition, Food Science and Management and Human Nutrition and Dietetics (HND). Value addition to food commodities and improved nutrition for better health are key to the achievement of Vision 2030. This is the domain of training in the department. The objective of the department is to produce world class graduates in the area of Food and Health.
Under the Department of Agriculture, there are four (4) BSc programmes including BSc in Agricultural Education and Extension (AGED), BSc in Agriculture, BSc in Horticulture and BSc in Agribusiness Management. The Department runs a demo farm with greenhouse facilities to provide learners with facilities for conducting experiments. The Department of Agriculture came into existence on 1st May 2011. The department is committed in ensuring the attainment of the University objective of playing a leading role in the development and expansion of opportunities for higher education and research in Agriculture, Forestry, Water, Environmental Science and Arid and Semi-arid lands.
The staff members in the school are actively involved in research with over five research projects running. These research projects are funded internally by Meru University of Science and Technology (MUST) and externally by the National Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) as well as various funding agents. The key research projects include:
- SAFS admitted her first PhD students in Agricultural sciences in September 2016.
- The BSc. Animal Health and Production degree programme offered in the school was accredited by the Kenya Veterinary Board in June 2018.
- The University has constructed a modern dairy unit at a cost of Ksh 5 million. When fully operational, the facility will have a capacity of 20 high yielding exotic dairy cattle to facilitate training in animal health and Production and related programmes
- Marimba Learning Centre has been accredited by the TVETA to offer diploma and certificate programmes in Agriculture with the first batch of Government sponsored students reporting in the first semester of the 2020/2021 academic year.