Mr Newton Ovie, Executive Secretary, Network for Agricultural Technical Education of Nigeria (NATEN), on Wednesday called for the regulation of agricultural profession to ensure efficiency and sustainable development.
Ovie, who said this at the sidelines of the International Workshop on Demand-Driven Curriculum for Agriculture Education in Nigeria, said there was need for a paradigm shift in curriculum development.
According to him, many agriculture graduates are trained on traditional and archaic methods, saying changing curriculum education into demand-driven approach is critical.
He said changing such narratives would go a long way towards ensuring value addition and in line with the current realities of the country.
Ovie said due to changing systems, Nigeria cannot continue to utilise traditional methods to teach its agricultural graduates, saying current practices saw them requiring external training before being employable.
“For example, I sent one agricultural graduate on recommendation to soilless farm in Ibadan, and he was charged additional 250,000 in order to learn how to utilise precision systems.
“That tells us that the agricultural graduates that we are breeding now are not market-fit.
“Agriculture is the only profession that lacks standard in this country, before you become a lawyer, there are sets of standards that must be put in place, the same thing with engineering.
“But in agriculture, anyone can practice it and there are popular beliefs that agriculture is the only profession that anyone can practice, this is because there is that open window.
`There is the need to make sure that the curriculum is no longer traditional, but improvised to meet with the current realities and modern technology’’.
The executive secretary said the workshop was an opportunity to strengthen partnerships between agriculture institutions, adding that designing a market-driven curriculum was timely.
NATEN is supported by the USAID-funded John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer Programme, implemented by Winrock International.