Department of Agriculture

The agricultural Department at NRC campus comprises of four key thematic areas of Rural Development, Food & Nutrition, Crop sciences and Animal Health & Production. From these thematic areas, five training programmes emerged and these are: Diploma in Agriculture, Diploma in Food, Nutrition and Livelihood Security, Diploma in Horticulture, Diploma in Animal Health & Production and Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Technology. Each Programme is headed by Theme Leaders (TL) who report to the Programme Leader (PL). However, within the department, there is a component of Research and consultancy which is managed by The Programme Leader on Research and Development (R&D), and a Committee on Academics headed by the Chairperson on Academics and Assessments. Another Committee is on Student Field attachments and Outreaches. Functionally all the Programme Leaders and Chairpersons of the committees report direct to the office of the Head of Department (HoD).


The programme was strategically established to develop capacity of agricultural extension staff in the management of agricultural resources to achieve sustainable food and income security at household and national level. The need for more extension workers coincided with the review of the Agricultural Extension Policy in Malawi towards more pluralistic and demand-driven services. The Policy stipulates the need “to transform and modernize agricultural production from subsistence smallholder farming to commercial profit-oriented agribusiness”, and broader participation in extension service delivery by public, NGO and private sectors. The programme among others covers modules such as: Working with Rural Communities, Participatory Tools and Techniques, Beef and Dairy Production, Poultry Production, Horticultural Crops Production, Conservation Agriculture, Field Crops Production, Irrigation Water Management, Farm Business Management, Agricultural Marketing, Agricultural Production Estimates management is part of the main lab for students outreach program. The agricultural department focusses on building the capacity of agricultural extension staff across the country.


The programme aims at building human capital to support sustainable implementation of government programs related to food, nutrition and other livelihood security issues. Food and nutrition security, and sustainable livelihoods now occupy the centre stage of any development effort. The advent of HIV and AIDS, persistent food insecurity due to institutional and natural factors, and the dwindling resource availability in smallholder production systems are worsening poverty situation in Malawi. This negative situation that the country is facing makes it increasingly difficult for the country to meet its development goals. The Programme covers modules such as: Nutrition & HIV/AIDS, Food Microbiology, Food Processing & Preservation, Food Security, Nutrition Throughout Lifecycle, Community Nutrition, Project Planning with Livelihood Approach, Assessment of Nutritional Status, etc.


The Programme focuses on the capacity building for field staff that will derive the development of a horticulture industry in Malawi through improved fruits & vegetable production, sustainable management of flowers and landscapes. In view of ever increasing world population, the need for a diversified crop production through dimba (offseason) cultivation and promotion of soft landscapes to take care of huge housing and office constructions being carried out cannot be overemphasized. The programme therefore covers modules like: Nursery Management, Roots and Tuber crops production, herbs and Spices Production, Principles of Irrigation, Vegetable production, Fruit production, Floriculture and Landscaping, Mushroom Production, Protected Cultivation (Greenhouse crop management), etc.


The Animal Health and production programme is designed to give students essential instruction and practical experience in the science and business of livestock agriculture. It is a fact that meat and meat products are becoming quite scarce and expensive on the local food markets and yet many people are in dire in of such. The programme therefore covers modules in such areas like Animal breeding, nutrition, growth and development, reproductive and lactation physiology, marketing, management, evaluation, muscle foods and dairy products processing as related to livestock species etc.


The rationale behind this degree program is that Food Technology is the key to the conversion of raw agricultural materials into a wide variety of properly processed and preserved foods, thus, providing an important contribution to the nation’s economy, our individual standard of living and progress of humanity. The Degree in Food Technology was designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and motivation in food science, processing and technology, which will enable them to contribute to the improvement of food processing industry in Malawi.