Agricultural Education For Sustainable Growth, Entrepreneurial Skills And Self-reliance

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Agricultural education offers opportunity for entrepreneurship and self-reliance for sustainable growth and development. This paper focuses on areas of agriculture that enhances self sustenance such as animal husbandry, crop production as well as marketing of agricultural product. The various infrastructural manpower constraints as well inconsistency in educational policy and over dependence of the economy on petroleum were highlighted as part of the challenges in development of Agric Education. The paper proffers solutions from redesigning curriculum for agriculture education, consistency in our education system to minimizing policy somersault by policy makers.

A discourse on issues on entrepreneurial skills, self-reliance and agricultural education in Nigeria especially at this time of global recession is timely, more so that the students are being turned out of the university in large quantum with little or no job awaiting them. Living them, with the only option for self employment.

The role of agriculture in the development of industrialization and modern civilization cannot be over-emphasized. Prior to the discovery of oil in Nigeria, agriculture provided employment for over 70% of Nigerians as will foreign exchange earnings for the country. Education is the greatest tool for transforming the resource base for an environment through human capital development. Etim and Archibong (2011) opined that the essence of agricultural education is to develop in individuals the necessary knowledge, attitudes, habits, and skills that would enable them function effectively in a society they exist. This forms the focal point of this paper which examines the importance of agricultural education in entrepreneurial skills development and self-reliance ability of young school leavers.
Sustainable development was defined as “development which meets the needs of the past without compromising the ability of future generation to meets their needs” to achieve sustainable development the role of school must be recognized. This was made explicit at RIO summit by agenda 21 in 2002 for the global plan for 21st century. (Wikipedia – encyclopedia) Education for sustainable development (ESD) is a vision of education that seeks to empower people to assume responsibility for creating a sustainable future. Central to ESD is the concept of culture as an essential underlying theme. (Wikipedia). Attaining sustainability requires different stakeholders working together to negotiate the process of achieving sustainability.

The very concept of ESD challenges the way more people think about the world today. ESD aimed to challenge these aspirations by encouraging us to imagine a different future and reflect on how our values, beliefs and current behaviours might affect our collective ability to realise such in future. This requires that we also change our views of the purpose of education.
Entrepreneurship has been widely defined in different ways by various individuals based on their perspectives according to Akpomudjere (2012), entrepreneurship is the process of searching out opportunities in the market place and arranging resources required to exploit this opportunities for long term gains. The concept of entrepreneurship has a wide range of meanings, entrepreneurship may be distinguished as an ability to take risk independently to make utmost earrings in the market, to be a creative and innovative skill and adapting response to environment of what is real.

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