In response to the needs of the newly settled people in Rift Valley Province of the new independent Kenya, the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru established Baraka Farmers Training Centre in 1974. This was a collaborative effort with the Government, thus establishing partnership and collaboration as basic principles from the very beginning.
In the early years curricula reflected on conventional agricultural training centres with an emphasis on high external input/high output agriculture. With changing demographic, social and economic conditions it became increasingly obvious that this development approach was not responding to the needs of small-holder farmers.
A watershed in the development of the College was a three-week international workshop - initiated and funded by MISEREOR , longtime, loyal partner of Baraka - on sustainable agriculture held at the college in August 1986. Subsequently Baraka developed curricula and courses to promote the concept sustainable agriculture. In the early nineties the name of the institution was changed to Baraka Agricultural College (BAC) and the development concept was extended to include rural development.
Today, all of Baraka's five programmes aim at empowering rural communities of Eastern Africa through promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development ( SARD ). The work of the College is underpinned by the following principles:
Guiding Philosophy - Core Values
The Philosophy of BAC is based in the reality that every human person is a unique individual and that she/he has a right to an environment in which she/he can live with dignity. It is founded on the gospel of Jesus Christ and the desire to bring this ""good news"" in a practical way to all people, especially the poor. Based on the social teaching of the Catholic Church the College endeavours to serve all people irrespective of their religion or ethnicity. All College programmes focus on recognizing human potential, natural resources and the environment as the foundation of economic and social activity.
From the above guiding philosophy the core values of BAC are:
Equality of all: BAC believes that God made all people equal and is committed to a development that promotes that equality
Rights and dignity of all: BAC believes in and strives to uphold the rights and dignity of all people
Stewardship: BAC believes that all human beings are co-responsible with God to protect the dignity of everybody and everything
Respect for the physical earth: BAC believes that the physical earth has rights and needs to be respected in and of itself and not just as a stage for human activity.