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The Collaborative Master of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics (CMAAE) is one of the postgraduate programmes under the Training Department. The overall goal of the CMAAE Programme is to build capacity to conduct policy research in agricultural and applied economics to address food security, agricultural productivity and environmental management. 

The Specific Programme Objectives

  1. Produce graduates in agricultural and applied economic with the knowledge and skills for transforming the agro-food sectors and the rural economies of the region in an environmentally sustainable fashion thus helping fulfill the millennium development goals (MDGs), besides addressing the persistent problems of food insecurity and  poverty in   Africa. 
  2. Upgrade the teaching and research capacity of departments currently in the CMAAE Programme, and initiate planning for a system to scale out the Programme to other regions of SSA
  3. Strengthen Research network to promote Agricultural Development

Seventeen universities from Eastern, Central and Southern Africa participate in the Programme. The universities are divided into two categories: accredited universities (8) that have capacity to offer core courses; and non-accredited universities (9) that do not offer the CMAAE degrees but send students to the accredited universities.  

CMAAE Universities

Accredited Universities:

  1. Bunda College of Agriculture (Malawi)
  2. Egerton University (Kenya)
  3. Makerere University (Uganda)
  4. Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania)
  5. University of Nairobi (Kenya)
  6. University of Pretoria (South Africa)
  7. University of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)
  8. Haramaya University (Ethiopia)

Non-accredited Universities:

  • Botswana College of Agriculture (Botswana)
  • Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique)
  • Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Kenya)
  • Moi University (Kenya)
  • Stellenbosch University (South Africa)
  • University of Juba (South Sudan)
  • University of Rwanda (Rwanda)
  • University of Swaziland (Swaziland)
  • University of Zambia (Zambia)


CMAAE Academic Activities

The typical degree programme takes 18-24 months and is divided into three components:

1.Core Courses

In the first year of study, students are required to complete eight core courses and one common course in Institutional and Behavioral Economics all scheduled for semesters 1 & 2. 

Semester 1 (13-15 weeks): Microeconomics, Statistics, Mathematics, and Issues in Agricultural and Applied Economics. 

Semester 2 (13-15 weeks): Production Economics, Econometrics, Macro-economics, Research Methods, Computer Applications and Institutional and Behavioral Economics

2.Shared Facility for Specialization and Electives

During the third semester covering four months (August – November), students from all the accredited universities converge at a Shared Facility for Specialization and Electives (SFSE) for teaching of foundation and elective courses by visiting professors drawn from all over the world. Each student is expected to take one foundation course in his/her chosen field of specialization from the following four areas:  Agribusiness Management, Agricultural and Rural Development, Agricultural Policy Analysis and Environmental and Natural Resource Management). In addition, students take one common course and at least one elective course in the specific cluster or area of specialization. The approved CMAAE elective courses from which selections are made are listed below.



  • Agribusiness Management
  • Agricultural and Rural Development
  • Environmental and Natural Resource Management
  • Agricultural Policy Analysis




  1. Agricultural Project Planning and Management
  2. Agribusiness Supply Chain Management
  3. Agricultural Marketing and Price Analysis
  4. Quantitative Methods in Environmental Economics
  5. Quantitative Analysis of Agricultural Policy
  6. Science and Technology Policy Analysis
  7. International Trade and Policy
  8. Agribusiness Marketing Management 
  9. Finance and Risk Management
  10. Farm Management and Production
  11. Natural Resource Economics and Management
  12. Operations Research in Agribusiness Management
  13. Food Policy Analysis
  14. Economics of Climate Change
  15. Environmental Valuation and Policy
  16. Gender and Economic Development
  17. Farming Systems and Sustainable Livelihood Analysis
  18. Strategic Management in Agribusiness
  19. Microfinance and Small Business Management
  20. Economics of Climate Change


Over the years, SFSE has been held at the University of Pretoria (UP) in South Africa. This is based on the fact that UP has a world class facility with an environment that is conducive for learning.

3.Thesis Research

The last part of the course involves thesis research. This process starts at the SFSE where students present their concept notes during weekly seminar sessions. The concepts are then developed in line with the four areas of specializations to enable students fit in specific sub-disciplines. The students then proceed back to their respective accredited universities to write their thesis. All students are required to complete a thesis and undertake an oral examination in their fourth and fifth semesters. Thesis supervision is provided by a designated supervisor, with the assistance of an additional thesis committee member, from within or outside the home university, providing specialized guidance.

Upon completion, all CMAAE graduates are encouraged to belong to an alumni association. To facilitate the association, the Programme runs an interactive alumni weblink within AERC website where graduates can interact. The association and the alumni weblink provide the platform through which alumni network exchange ideas on their various experiences in their career path for the promotion of Agricultural Development in their respective countries. 



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