THE MINDSET OF PEOPLE ABOUT AGRICULTURE

Posted: April 2, 2014 in Education, Nigerian Education
Agriculture

Agriculture

These days, choosing of Agriculture as a career seems to be a taboo and there is declination in the number of students who choose Agriculture when admission season into tertiary institutions comes every year. I guess this is due to the mindset of people about agriculture in our own part of the world.
It is observed that this mindset is also being disposed towards Agric students especially on our campuses and this mindset is really inept, depressing and I can also say it is equivalent to discrimination. I guess people have forgotten the importance of Agriculture to the generation of man.
There is this sadness I feel in me each and every time I introduce myself to someone as an Agric student (especially on campus), the response I get every time has always been a scornful look and declination in vocal tone. It sends me this message- “you are worthless for being in Agric”.
It is also observed that Agric students are tagged “less intelligent beings”. I totally disagree with that. Larger percentage of Agric students never chose it too while the remaining chose it willingly. I can say some of us in Agric are well qualified for courses in other Science related faculties but as a result of random admission placement probably because we were some marks down from our number 1 course of choice, some of us are stuck in Agric. I can also put the blame on the misappropriations that happen during admission season. Misappropriation in this case means giving admission to less qualified students through what we all call “connection” and this makes some well qualified students fall into the family of random admission placement victims. I am not surprised tho, everybody knows that corruption occurs at all level in our nation.
It pains me the more whenever I see these less qualified students discriminate and equally tag Agric students “less intelligent beings”. I don’t blame them tho and I also don’t blame some people for giving Agric students that tag. Why? The characters some Agric students parade are not in any way impressive. Some are shy to tell people they are in Agric, some Agric students believe they cannot be as successful as they thought they would be if the original course they chose was given to them and for this reason, and some Agric students believe there is no certainty of good posterity for them. In some way, this thinking has been the reason for low academic performance of some Agric students. If Agric students refuse to change their mindset about the Faculty, I wonder how people will stop tagging the Faculty – “dumping ground for less intelligent people”.
Asides that, majority of Agric students don’t want to get involved in happenings on campus, some people have lost the confidence they had in themselves (majority of random admission placement victims fall into this class). Even at the Faculty level, programmes such as debate, quiz, informative talk shows and sports that can create awareness about the value of Agriculture and Agriculturists generally, are not being organized. I hope to see changes soon from the Faculty.
At first, I thought this discrimination happened only amidst students, I did not know Lecturers are also involved. I have had quite number of experiences with some lecturers (especially Non-Agric lecturers) and they all acted alike. Once I introduce myself to them as an Agric student, they give me a contemptuous response in return. Even when it comes to marking of examination scripts of Agric students, this discrimination is always being disposed too because most times, high degree of variation always exists between the examination results of Agric students when juxtaposed with that of other Science related Faculties. I believe and I know that Agric students are not as dull as what our examination results depict about us or what people think about us.
We all want to do “white-collar job” and leave Agriculture aside, why? We all believe it is meant for rural people or illiterates only. We feel it doesn’t pay off like some other professions do. I guess this is because people are not so informed about Agriculture or simply because we do not really embrace mechanized farming in Nigeria. I think I should open our eyes to this fact – “Agriculture is a major sector of our economy and it provides employment for 70% of Nigerian population”. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture_in_Nigeria).
Looking into our business world, I observed that quite number of our potential businessmen are Agriculturists. For example, Dangote, Obasanjo, to mention just a few. I am sure if Dangote was purchasing all the raw materials he uses for his products, he might not be the Richest Man in Africa today. I believe he practices mechanized farming and through Agriculture, he has been able to employ thousands of people. Many of the Bank Managers we have today finished school as Agriculturists.
I also want to bring to our remembrance that Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, a great citadel of learning is one of the benefits of Agriculture in Nigeria. It was established when Parliamentary System of Government was being practiced in Nigeria. The School was established with the profit made from Cocoa and today, the School has become everyone’s pride.
Even though the government of the day seems to be exhibiting lackadaisical attitude towards Agriculture, it is still observed that some of the great developments (such as social amenities, establishment of schools, free education, et cetera) that Agriculture brought to Nigeria when it was still the major source of foreign exchange of Nigeria, are still visible today while evolution of crude oil has only promoted corruption in our Nation. Our leaders are not maximizing the profits from crude oil well.
I think it is high time we changed our view about Agriculture; I think it is high time we stopped the discrimination that is on against Agriculture and Agriculturists. Without Agriculture, so many professional fields that we have today won’t be able to function fully. Without it, we wouldn’t have any source of Energy as human beings. Agriculture means a lot to us.

Agric students are:
• A- Achievers,
• G-Great minds,
• R- Resolute,
• I- Intellectuals, and
• C-Cultured people.

STOP DISCRIMINATING AGAINST AGRICULTURE AND AGRIC STUDENTS!

Comments
  1. Obafemi Arogundade says:

    Nice post bro. Parents also discrimate when it comes to choosing a course in d faculty of agric.

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