Doctor of Philosophy Land and Water Management


    The revised programme has updated and expanded the content to provide essential new coverage of topics critically important to meet current and emerging challenges in land and water management such as intensification of resource use, carbon sequestration in agroecosystems, global warming and climate change. More specifically, the revised programme offers content that addresses current technical, planning, socio-economic and policy aspects of land and water management. It is expected that the trainees in the revised curriculum will acquire knowledge and skills that will enable them to address the many complex challenges in increasing the productivity and sustainability of the land and water resources

    1. The degree programme shall consist of research by thesis. 

    2. The common regulations governing Doctor of Philosophy Degrees in the University of Nairobi shall apply. Accordingly the following rules will apply.
    3. The programme shall take a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 5 years.

    • Holders of a Master of Science degree in agricultural related disciplines, Soil science, biological sciences, environmental sciences or in natural resource management or an equivalent qualification from an institution recognized by senate.

    • Holders of Masters degree in relevant social sciences recommended by the faculty board and approved by senate.

    Aims to produce professionals equipped with practical skills, which will enable them to undertake the following:

    • Carry out, extension, teaching, research or consultancy in land resources and environment management.
    • Enhance land productivity by using appropriate and sustainable agricultural production technologies.
    • Manage water resources for agricultural production and agro-industries at farm and watershed levels.
    • Carry out research on land and water management technologies and innovations
    • Contribute to the development, implementation and enforcement of relevant policies relating to natural resources management.

    Click to download Fees structure


    Philosophy, Rationale


    Human population is estimated to grow to 9.7 billion by 2050, and most of this growth is projected to be in developing countries. With the increasing human population more food, fuel, fodder, and fibre will be required to meet the increase demand, which will also  be varied in terms of, variety, and quality. This means an increased concern for better land use and improved agricultural water management to provide for future food requirements. However, how farming is performed in most developing countries, especially the smallholdings or livestock keeping in the open rangelands leads to land degradation by depleting vegetation, soil, nutrients, and water. With trained and skilled manpower including at the farmer extension level, this can change towards farming methods in which the natural resources, soils, and water are safeguarded from depletion. Methods that keep or improve natural qualities are considered to be sustainable and therefore important for future generations. Second, the competing demand for different land uses both in the urban and rural countryside is increasing tremendously. Land used for housing, industries, infrastructure, outdoor recreation, landscape, and nature is in high demand. 

    Thus, the need for expertise in the sustainable management of the available land for all these competing uses. Drought, climate change, water quality, most of the land is dry, hence the need for irrigated agriculture that includes the new approaches of soilless technology like hydroponics and aeroponics for intensification--farming for the future. To wastewater polishing for reuse (quality), demineralization including seawater to mitigate the effect of climate on food shortages. New technology is needed for desalination, water harvesting, reuse, and recycling. Trained skilled manpower is expected to act as a catalyst for enhancing the productivity and human support capacity for pastoral systems in the region. 

    The philosophy of this programme is, therefore, to produce graduates who are highly trained and expected to provide direct participation in applying appropriate technologies and innovations for sustainable management of land, soil, and water resources, participation in development decisions, and their role in research that generate pertinent information to guide policy formulations and development decisions at local, national to global levels.



    Justification of the need for the programme

    Increasing population pressure has led to migration to the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) in the East African drylands, leading to the introduction of non-sustainable farming practices, infrastructure development, quarrying, and mining leading to massive environmental degradation, characterized by declining soil fertility, widespread land degradation, loss of biomass and biodiversity. Crop and pasture production is low and insufficient to meet the food and livestock demands of the ever-increasing population. Food insecurity, therefore, becomes a major threat to the livelihoods of the resource-poor smallholder subsistence farmers in these areas. Since the area under cultivation has limited possibilities of increasing, there is a need to harness land and water technologies as a solution to meeting the demand for food and surplus for sale by the ever-rapidly increasing population. This will only be achieved through land-use intensification and the development of land and water technological innovations that are simple, effective, and sustainable such as integrated soil fertility, erosion control, water harvesting technologies and management. This curriculum is therefore tailored to equip the learners with the knowledge and skills necessary for sustainable management of land and water in other agroecosystems apart from arid and semi-arid lands to reduce pressure on these lands and at the same time mitigate food insecurity. It will also play a role in delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), key among them zero hunger, clean water, sanitation, and energy.

    Needs assessment/market survey/situation analysis

    This curriculum is cognizant of the increasing demand for land and water resources and is, therefore, tailored to equip the learners with the knowledge and skills necessary for sustainable land and water management. The curriculum recognizes the role of higher education in unlocking the potential of sustainable agricultural production. The programme aims at ensuring that education has an impact on the sustainable use of soil and water resources, which provides the basis for our life on Earth by producing experts who understand the unique vulnerability of these resources and the agricultural and natural ecosystems and the need for innovative approaches for enhancing their sustainability. The reclaiming and conservation of soils through regeneration, improvement, and erosion control, is and will be extremely important for our species to survive and prosper. Together with our care for good soils is the establishment of good water management systems, both in its quantitative and qualitative meanings especially for crop production, protection, the drainage of agricultural lands and regions, and finally the quality of water, especially related to drainage, are important topics in this regard. All these require expertise in the field of land and water management.

    Stakeholder involvement

    National and County government ministries, institutions of higher learning, tracer studies on graduate students (former and current), research institutions, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) both local and international. Online survey tools were used to review and obtain input from the (semi- structured questionnaire). Information obtained from key informant interviews and group discussions enhanced the interpretation of the data that informed decisions made during the review. Their views were all considered in the development of the programme from an individual questionnaire administered to the select stakeholders.



    Application Information
    1. KCSE/O-level certificate
    2. Certified copies of undergraduate degree certificate and transcripts
    3. KNEC C plain applicants to attach certified copy of diploma from KNEC in addition to i and ii.
    4. Certified copies of masters degree certificate and transcripts
    Mode of Delivery

    Research  and thesis

    Contacts of support persons

    Prof. Richard Onwonga 


    Contact Chairman, LARMAT at:



    1. Dr.Mutembei Mary Mpinda  Head, Rice Promotion Programme · Ministry of Agriculture of Kenya