The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture

MSc Programmes June 28, 2011

RUFORUM is implementing the following Regional MSc Programmes in collaboration with the member universities and other strategic partners:
  1. Master of Science in Plant Breeding and Seed Systems – hosted by Makerere University in Kampala Uganda
  2. Master of Science in Agricultural Information and Communication Management – hosted by Egerton University (Kenya), University of Nairobi and Haramaya University (Ethiopia)
  3. Master of Science in Research Methods – hosted by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Kenya)

Master of Science in Plant Breeding and Seed System: African Universities have been challenged to produce the required human resource to lead innovations to address the increasing food insecurity and other livelihood issues facing the continent. In particular, there is urgent need to build capacity to improve crop productivity and enhance sustainability of Africa’s natural resources as a means to overcoming food insecurity and improve household incomes. In these efforts, strengthening plant breeding programmes and seed systems is considered a priority intervention. Given the current limited numbers of Plant Breeders in Sub-Saharan Africa and the urgent need to have functional seed systems, Makerere University in partnership with 11 other universities in east and southern Africa initiated a regional training programme based at Makerere University to produce MSc. graduates as a short to medium term response to the plant breeding gap in the region. Please click here to learn more about this programme.

Master of Science in Agricultural Information and Communication Management (MSc AICM): Research in Africa is generating agricultural technologies that can improve food security but the impact is yet to be felt in many households owing to inefficiency in communicating and sharing agricultural knowledge to increase production and food security. The situation in sub-Saharan Africa is aggravated by the slow adoption of modern information and communication technologies (ICT) and the shortage of Information Communication Management (ICM) professionals. Analyses of agricultural training programmes in Africa universities show that most graduates of these programmes often do not acquire adequate capacity to integrate ICT to communicate agricultural information. On the other hand, ICT Specialists lack technical knowledge to package and communicate new developments in science. Although ICT is evolving fast in Sub-Saharan Africa, its adoption in agricultural research, education and extension still lags behind.

In response to these deficiencies, a proposal was then developed to launch a Regional Postgraduate Programme in Agriculture Information and Communication Management (AICM). The programme is intended to produce a critical mass of professionals with competence to develop and operate agricultural information systems, carry out research to identify needs and problems of different agricultural information users, and provide professional communication and information management support to agriculture and related sectors for sustainable development and poverty reduction. Please click here to view hosting insitutions; >Egerton University  >University of Nairobi  >Haramaya University
Master of Science in Research Methods: Recently several major report have emphasized the importance of science and technology for development of the Africa region (Eicher, 2006; Johanson & Saint, 2007) in the areas of agriculture and rural development , the national agriculture research systems ( Universities, national research organizations etc.) will continue being the heart of the research effort. Yet capacity to conceptualize, plan and implement effective research is often limited. Research proposals received by the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), International Foundation for Science (IFS) and others highlight the problems. The difficulties can be traced to a number of causes related to changes in research for development. These are;
  • The changing focus of research for development to generate impact on major problems
  • The need for integrating, cross disciplinary work
  • The blurring of boundaries between research and extension, with non-governmental organizations and others now playing a role in development
  • The emergence of new disciplines such as environmental economics and sustainability science
  • The need for multi-scale approaches, that look beyond the plot to farms, landscapes and regions
  • Challenging research paradigms such as participation/stakeholder involvement

The research methods needed to work in this environment are also new and changing rapidly. However, the training offered by universities in research methods has kept up. Furthermore, there is very limited capacity to offer research methods support to researchers. In fact, there is limited human resource capacity in terms of numbers and competence throughout sub-Saharan Africa, the limited capacity and inadequate support to be changing priorities of agricultural research has unfortunately weakened the quality of research and progress towards increasing food and nutritional security and alleviating poverty (CTA,1997), thus, it is proposed to facilitate training of a cohort of young and practical Research Methodology Specialists to support the National Agricultural Research and Extension Systems. Please visit the hosting institution by clicking here


9 Responses to “MSc Programmes”

  1. Nafiu b sanda Says:

    hi, i studied crop science, and i want to read plant genetics and breeding at msc level,can you please help me.

    • Joan Apio Says:

      Please contact our Training and Quality assurance department. More information will be provided to you. Also visit our website for more information on the different initiatives under training.

  2. Nafiu bala sanda Says:

    hi, i want to study plant genetics and breeding at msc level,can u help me.

  3. Amal mogga Says:

    what about the fisheries Msc

  4. Amal mogga Says:

    hi, i want Ms c program in fisheries can you help me .

  5. Joan Apio Says:

    Please contact our training departments by writing to Slyvia Chindime and Dr. Ekaya

  6. nchege Says:

    Well-done Ruforum! I have no words to express the joy and fulfilment in my academic engagements! The MSc programme you sponsored in research Methods was the best thing that ever happened in Africa. We were equipped with knowledge and skills that were on very high demand! Now that we have completed the course our demand out here is overwhelming! This is a body that should be recognized by the whole world for making decisions that are informed by research! I am sure they did not just think of the course they must have conducted some research to correctly identify the gaps in the field of Agricultural Research! Keep up the good work!

  7. Ahimbisibwe Vianny Says:

    Thank you for every thing. but am interested in masters in Data analysis. would u pliz help me in that.

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