L.E.A.D/FOAA Agro Evangelism Report 2014
Agricultural and environmental studies is going into extinction in Nigerian Schools. We need to revive it NOW ! ! !
Agriculture is the mainstay of any economy, and is fundamental to social economic development of any Nation. This is because Agriculture represents a strategic asset to the overall well-being of a Nation’s economy. It provides food, clothing, generates foreign exchange among others. This is why we find it very pitiful that in a great nation like Nigeria filled with Agricultural potentials and development, the profession has waned considerably. It is a pathetic thing to know that lots of Agricultural Students presently in the Tertiary institutions still seek to write UTME or get a change of Course forms to study another Course in the same Institution and scarcely will a young School Leaver have the desire to study an Agriculture related course as his choice of Career because of the stigma attached to the Discipline.
In view of this, we set out to secondary schools in Ondo and Ekiti states to find out the level of interest that the Nigerian young students have in the field of Agriculture. We successfully visited a total of TEN randomly selected secondary schools in Ondo State, while Ekiti, Osun, Oyo, Ogun, Lagos and Edo state are on-going. Our target is to Agro-evangelise the entire 36 states in the country
Mode of Approach:
Stage One: Motivation for students about future career and administering of questionnaires
Stage Two: Agro career talk. And administering of questionnaires
Stage Three: Inauguration of Secondary School Face of Agriculture Africa Club (SSFOAA)
Stage Four: Value chains and Agricultural communication training for Agriculture Science teachers.
After the first stage, questionnaires were administered to these students which we subsequently analysed. Below is the result of our analysis to be shared with you personally, we also want you to know that we have team members in over 95 schools across the country who are happy agric students and have been involved in impacting secondary schools students to fall in love and practice agriculture.
It is quite heart wrenching that the future leaders of our dear father land are not in the least interested in the most noble field called Agriculture. There were just 54 students out of a whopping 5277 willing to study agriculture. As youths ourselves, we took time to actually listen to some of the students, to ascertain why Agriculture is missing as a career prospect.
We realised that, over the years, they have been exposed to a society that portrays Agriculture as a field for the less privileged or the less favoured, so to say. Some of the students went as far as saying their parents/guardians has imbedded in them, a very wretched face of Agriculture. These parents, we gathered, did that due to the bleakness of their socio-economic status.
This then led to us to the second stage. At this stage, we talked about Agriculture in general and clearly elucidated the career prospects and endless benefits present in Agriculture. We practically appealed to their cognitive sides and predictably, interest level soared among the student. Questionnaires were administered once more after this.
Below is the result of the analysis of the questionnaire after the second stage.
NB: the questionnaires were administered to SSS 1 to 3 students present when the exercise was conducted.
Apparently, we have recorded a considerable increase in the level of interest of these students in Agriculture. From a meagre 54 to 2080, it is a loudish leap. With this steady progress, it is almost imperative that, with proper enlightenment and motivation, Agriculture can return to its rightful place as the foremost career prospect for average Nigerian students. It is noteworthy to say that these new converts have not only developed interest in Agriculture but have become new members of our club (Secondary School Face of Agriculture Africa Club)
It was brought to our notice that the federal ministry of education now presents Agriculture as an elective subject in the secondary schools curriculum.
The parents’ socio-economic status and perspective about Agriculture has a negative influence on students’ choice of career in Agriculture.
Mobility and financial constraint has been a major problem in carrying out this exercise effectively.
We here by solicit for support from government, establishments and lovers of Agriculture both in cash and in policy making so as to redeem the image of Agriculture and make it lovable by Nigerian youths.
To secure a 30% Increase in Youths Involvement to study and participate in the Environmental and Agricultural Sector within the next 5 years, by creating outstanding and marketable innovations having explored the needs in the Agric value chains.
Equipping Students Leaders from 20 Institutions with skills needed for enhanced productivity and strategic engagement of Stakeholders in the Education, Agricultural and Environment sector for better policies and Funding of this sector before year 2021
To transform the role and impacts of Agriculture in our society while creating an enviable niche for the agricultural disciplines. We are committed to achieve this by –
1. Re-awakening the citizenry on the importance of agriculture in the growth and the development of the economy of the Continent.
2. Branding careers in agriculture as promising and rewarding to inspire students across various levels of our academic institutions.
3. Publicizing and showcasing value chains in agricultural business.
4. Sponsoring/facilitating events, initiatives, and policies that would address misconceptions which have hitherto negated choice of careers in agriculture and related disciplines.
We are a team of people that are passionate about Agriculture and unrelenting in advancing development in the African Continent.