Post by colonial pikin on Feb 29, 2016 21:23:06 GMT
See Farming As A Profession, Dean Tells Nigerians
Amidst calls for the diversification of Nigeria’s economy, which has been dependent on crude oil, the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Professor Sunday Y. Giami, has stressed the need for Nigerians to see farming as a professon.
This, he said, should be different from the present stance in which Nigerians, including graduates of Agriculture, see it as more of a means of adding to their earnings in order to manage poverty.
Professor Giami, who stated this at one-day sensitization meeting with stakeholders on “Songhai Farm Experience” said, “ I have said that agriculture must be looked at as a profession and then ensure that we create wealth through agriculture, not to say we manage our poverty situation on agriculture.”
Towards ensuring that agriculture is given the attention it deserves, Professor Giami revealed that a component of the Faculty of Agriculture in RSUST ensured that students were made to have practical knowledge of farming before graduation.
The dean of the Faculty, explained that the component, Supervised Industrial Works Experience (SIWE), ensured that students served for one month in the farm before graduation.
“It is expected that students go through different units in the farm to acquire agricultural experience in livestock, crop farming, forestry and in fisheries,” he said.
Emphasising on this aspect further, the founder of Songhai Farms, Rev. Godfrey Nzamujo, in his presentation titled,” How Africa Can Feed Itself: Lessons from Songhai Farms, recommended 18 months of practical experience in all spheres of farming for students before their graduation.
According to him, this is one key way of inculcating in the students the economic value of agriculture, especially in this period of economic depression warranted more by Nigeria’s over reliance on crude oil.
According to him, it is very important to create a functional agricultural scheme, which must be incubated in the university system.
“If you bring a young man and give him a lecture on agriculture, it may mean little to him. But if you put him within a functional farm and make him go through the practical daily, it becomes part of him, both consciously and unconsiously, and develops interest in it,” he said.
In an exclusive interview with The Tide, the Head of Department, Crop/Soil, RSUST, Dr Obianoju Adaobi Orji, noted that a lot of students no longer see the study of Agriculture as a business they can survive with but they rather see it as a course that will not add value to their lives.
Students in Agriculture Department fail to see it as a profession, they can survive on. They don’t see it as a business they can make wealth within a little space.
She, however, urged students in the Department of Agriculture to develop interest in it, improve their skills and knowledge in a bid to better their lives in the society.