The Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology (LARMAT) was established to provide leadership in sustainable land resource management and development of agricultural technologies for the diverse Kenyan agroecologies. The department executes this noble mandate through teaching and learning, research and innovations, community and consultancy services. The department has also demonstrated professional excellence in Natural Resources Management and Sustainable Agricultural Intensification. The training and research take cognizance of sustainability science as the basis for informing interventions and adaptations that; focuses on judicious management of resources for agricultural production, environmental conservation and management. This is besides building human capacity for research and consultancy in dryland ecosystems and livelihoods in the background of socio-cultural, economic and biophysical changes; aggravated by accelerated land degradation and climate change.
LARMAT offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees programmes in Land Resource Management, Dryland Agriculture, Range Management, and Management of Agroecosystems and Environment. These Programmes draws student from within and outside Kenya. The Range Management and Dryland Agriculture programmes emphases on building knowledge and understanding of rangeland production systems and fundamental ecological processes. The Management of Agroecosystems and Environment program, on the other hand offers a curriculum that emphases on prudent management of agricultural land and abatement of natural resource degradation and environmental pollution.
The department offers both MSc and PhD programmes; in Natural Resource management with specialization in Land and Water Management, Management of Agroecosystems and Environment, Soil Science, Range Management, and Dryland Resource Management. The department also values the research undertaken by its students as important contributors to the department’s research standing and provides a supportive environment to achieve excellent student outcomes -that addresses factors limiting food production and management of environment. This contributes to the economy and livelihoods of the people. The high standards set by the department ensure that the research postgraduate degrees obtained and conferred by the University of Nairobi are respected and valued throughout the world.
The Department also hosts the Microbial Resource Centre (MIRCEN) that offers regional training in areas of biological nitrogen fixation and innoculant production; Watershed hydrology research and Geospatial laboratories. Additionally, LARMAT offers support to farmers, researchers, government institutions, NGO’s through soil, plant tissue and water analysis at highly subsidized cost. Satellite field stations located in Kibwezi, Malindi and Ngong are also under the management of the department and are pivotal in anchoring faculty research, community outreach and student attachment.
The department continues to produce experts in agro-ecosystem management and, rangeland ecosystems and environmental conservation. To this end, graduates from this department have made significant and impressive contribution in diverse fields, among others, sustainable natural resources management for increased agricultural and rangeland productivity, and environmental protection; implementation of the national policies relating to sustainable agriculture and dryland ecosystem, and natural resource management.
Over the years, the Department, in line with the University policy, has and is dedicated to creating and strengthening partnerships and linkages with industry and other significant institutions and/or organizations to maximize research outcomes and more importantly providing pathways for transferring knowledge and skills on the sustainable use of natural resources from academic halls and laboratories to farm level and empowering rural communities throughout Africa and beyond. The department through its highly trained staff is committed, consistent with the university mission and vision, reform agenda and relevant government policies and development programs, to training and producing quality graduates who will support government and other stakeholder efforts to provide food, responsibly manage the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Lastly, It is my responsibility, as the Chairman of the department, to provide the required leadership in fulfilling the department’s mandate. It is my undertaking to ensure that the Department has a credible Annual Work Plan based on the University strategic plan and performance contract that will deliver the desired goals. It is also my undertaking that I will perform my responsibilities diligently and to the best of my abilities to support the achievement of the agreed performance targets.
In executing my duties, I will at all times promote the spirit of teamwork, cognisant of the fact that the department, as a system, has many parts that are interdependent and there have to be harnessed to ensure smooth running of the department