I, Prof. Adrian Wekulo Mukhebi, a Kenyan citizen, was born and raised on a smallholder crop-livestock farm in 1946 in Namatotoa Village, Khasoko Location, Bungoma South District, of Western Province in Kenya. After my high school at St. Peter's Secondary School, Mumias, Kenya, in 1967, I proceeded to Egerton College (now Egerton University), Njoro, Kenya, where I completed a three-year course in Agriculture, graduating with a Distinction Diploma in Farm Management in 1970. My stellar career in research and public service got an early start when I was awarded a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) scholarship to Kansas State University (KSU) in Manhattan, Kansas, USA, in 1972. I received a Bachelor of Science degree with honours (Cum Laude) in 1974, and a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics with a specialization in Production Economics in 1976 from KSU. I then was awarded a Ford Foundation Scholarship in 1978 and completed a Ph.D in Agricultural Economics at Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, USA, in 1981.
I am an Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics and former Dean of the School of Business and Economics at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST). I serve as the Director of the Africa Center of Excellence in Sustainable Use of Insects as Food and Feeds (INSEFOOFS), a project supported by the World Bank and the Inter University Council of East Africa.
Prior to joining JOOUST, I worked as the Executive Director, and later as the Chairman of the Board, of the Kenya Agricultural Commodity Exchange Limited (KACE). KACE (www.kacekenya.co.ke) aims at making agricultural markets work better for poor smallholder framers, empowering such farmers through the application of modern information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as mobile telephony, with relevant and timely market information to bargain for a better price in the market place, and linking the farmers to the better markets and better prices, not only in Kenyan but also in the eastern Africa regional and world markets. The KACE model has been adopted in other countries, including Malawi, Uganda, Ethiopia and Ghana. In recognition of my activities through KACE, I have been awarded or recognized as follows: the International Ashoka Fellowship (www.ashoka.org) for social entrepreneurship in 2005; the African Association of Agricultural Economists’ Distinguished Fellowship in 2007; Membership of the Institute of Directors of Kenya in January 2012; the Role Model for African Agriculture in November 2013.
Prior to KACE, I worked for the former International Laboratory for Research on animal Diseases (ILRAD) in Nairobi, now the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), as an Agricultural Economist and Research Scientist in August 1987. In 1994, I was promoted to the position of Senior Research Scientist. ILRI, which was established on the first day of 1996, is the result of the merging of ILRAD and the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA) which was based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
My work at ILRAD/ILRI involved conducting interdisciplinary research into the socio-economic and environmental impacts of integrated crop-livestock systems. My research activities were aimed at improving the productivity and sustainability of these systems. These efforts were concentrated in the semi-humid and humid regions of developing countries with goals of improving food production and security, alleviating poverty and conserving the natural resource base. Specifically, I developed research methods and tools (particularly economic computer models) that were designed for field application to assess and predict biological, socio-economic and environmental impacts of priority livestock constraints and their alleviation with improved technologies. The results of my research were aimed at ensuring the development and application of technologies that are appropriate to the needs of resource-poor smallholder farmers, and also contributing to ILRAD/ILRI's research priority setting. I worked with interdisciplinary teams of International and National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) research scientists which included Veterinarians, Epidemiologists, Animal Scientists, Sociologists, Ecologists, Geographic Information Systems Specialists and Agricultural Economists.
Prior to joining the former ILRAD, I served as an Assistant Agricultural Officer, and later as an Agricultural Economist, with Kenya's Ministry of Agriculture between December 1970 and March 1977. I then joined the University of Nairobi as a Lecturer in Production Economics and Farm Management from March 1977 to September 1983. I subsequently joined the Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development (located in Littlerock, Arkansas, USA) in October 1983 as an Agricultural Economist with two Winrock-supported projects in Kenya, namely the Small Ruminant Collaborative Research Support Program (SR-CRSP) and the Kiboko National Range Research Station (a sub-station of the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute – KARI) Expansion Project. While at Kiboko, I established and served as the Head of the Socio-economics Division. From January 1986 to July 1987, I served as the SR-CRSP's Program Co-ordinator as well as Agricultural Economist.
I have served as the Chairman of the Government of Kenya-Danish Government supported Agricultural Business Development (ABD) Programme promoting the commercialisation of smallholder framers in Eastern and coastal Kenya (2005 – 2011). In 2007, I was appointed as a Member of the National Research Task Force for the establishment of the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) Policy in Kenya by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture. In 2009, I was appointed as a Member of the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) by the Minister for Agriculture for a 3-year term.
I have served as a Consultant to many organizations, including the World Bank, FAO, UNECA, USAID, FARM-AFRICA, ASARECA, ICRISAT, the Government of Kenya.
I have over 137 publications to my credit, in form of journal articles, conference papers, reports and contributed book chapters. Selected publications are listed below.
I am a member of the Honour Societies of Phi Kappa Phi and Gamma Sigma Delta. I am also a member of several professional associations, including the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) and the African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
I have travelled widely to all corners of the world in the course of my career. I understand, write and speak fluently three languages: English, Swahili and Luhya. I play soccer, squash and golf. I am a Life Member and former Director and Vice Chairman of the United Kenya Club, and a Member and former Director of the Invergara Club, Nairobi.