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Photo of Adrain Mukhebi

Adrain Mukhebi

Former Dean, School of Business & Economics, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST)

Kenya

What most impressed the professional colleagues who nominated this role model?

Adrian Mukhebi has worked successfully to bridge the gap between the farmer and the market.  His pioneering efforts in helping to establish the Kenya Agricultural Commodity Exchange (KACE) have focused on improving price transparency, reducing risk, increasing prices received by farmers and shortening supply chains.  He has received the Ashoka Fellowship award as well as the Distinguished Fellowship of the African Association of Agricultural Economists award for this work.  Perhaps more importantly, he has inspired a series of similar efforts across Africa to improve price information and marketing systems in ways that benefit small farmers. 

What motivated you to pursue a career in agriculture?

  • My parents owned a smallholder farm on which they produced horticultural produce. I used to go with them to the market to sell these products.  In due course, I realized that my parents were price takers because of low bargaining power.  Therefore, I was motivated to choose a career in agriculture in order to improve farmers’ economic market conditions especially in my village.
  • I had a friend whose cousin was a District Agricultural Officer with whom we used to visit farmers. This was very interesting and fascinating to me.
  • Having been recruited as a planning officer in the Ministry of Agriculture in charge of food crops, I was responsible for advising the Minister of Agriculture on future prices which further motivated me in my career.
  • Working closely with different stakeholders in agriculture, especially the farmers was also motivating. For example I set up a farmer market information system where farmers were trained to use mobile phones in order to access markets.

How can agricultural education institutions more effectively prepare African students for successful agribusiness careers? 

  • Identify various agribusinesses and organise trips for the students. This helps them to study how these businesses operate.
  •  Help students come up with business plans and also sources of funding to implement these identified agribusiness ideas so that the AET produces job creators rather than job seekers. 
  • Link agricultural faculties to research organisations to enable incubation of new technologies to produce new marketable products and disseminate these new technologies to the farmers and other stakeholders for multiplication.
  • Encourage and link students to make case studies of the established agribusinesses which are succeeding and those failing. In doing so, factors that promote or hinder such agribusinesses can be well documented for future success. 

Career highlights

  • Dean, School of Business & Economics, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST).
  • Associate Professor, Agricultural Economics, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST).
  • Executive Chairman; Kenya Agricultural Commodity Exchange Limited (KACE).
  • Chairman, Board of Directors of the Agribusiness Development (ABD) Programme.
  • Member, National Research Task Force on the establishment of the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) Policy in Kenya.
  • Director of the Board of Directors of the Kenya National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
  • Senior Research Scientist; Production Systems Analysis and Impact Assessment Programme, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).
  • Resident Scientist & Programme Coordinator; Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development (Winrock International).
  • Lecturer, School of Agriculture and Veterinery Medicine, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Planning Officer and Agricultural Economist, Development Planning Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Assistant Agricultural Officer (extension), Range Management Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Nairobi, Kenya.

Educational background

  • Primary:
    • Kimatuni Primary School, Bungoma, Kenya.           
  • Secondary:       
    • St. Peter’s Secondary School, Mumias, Kenya.
  • University:
    • Diploma in Agriculture (Distinction), Specialisation in Farm Management; Egerton College, Njoro, Kenya.
    • B.Sc. Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University, USA.
    • M.Sc. Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University, USA.
    • Ph.D. Agricultural Economics, Washington State University, USA.