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PROJECT TOPIC- A Survey of Career Opportunities for University Agricultural Extension Graduates in Anambra State

A Survey of Career Opportunities for University Agricultural Extension Graduates in Anambra State

 

The purpose of t h i s study was to i n v e s t i g a t e t h e c a r e e r o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r U n i v e r s i t y A g r i c u l t u r a l Extension
g r a d u a t e s In Anambra S t a t e , S p e c i f i c a l l y , t h e study was designed to
(a) i d e n t i f y t h e occupatlonal a r e a s i n which A g r i c u l t u r a l Extension g r a d u a t e s can be employed;
(b) determirie the e x t e n t to which A g r i c u l t u r a l Extension g r a d u a t e s a r e employed i n career, r e l a t e d to t h e i r f i e l d of study;
(c) i d e n t i f y the f a c t o r s t h a t i n f l u e n c e d t h e graduates’ c h o i c e of A g r i c u l t u r a l Extension a s a c o u r s e of study.
Data were collected through v a l i d a t e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e s , A t o t a l of 10 A g r i c u l t u r a l Extension g r a d u a t e s , 16 Agricu
l t u r a l Extension w o r k e r s and If 3 employers of A g r i c u l t u r a l e s t a b l i s h m e n t s were l o c a t e d and surveyed, The collected
d a t a were analyzed by t h e use of frequency d i s t r i b u t i o n and p e r c e n t a g e s , The r e s u l t of t h e study showed that:
1. Career o p p o r t u n i t i e s abound f o r A q r i c u l t u r a l Extension g r a d u a t e s i n t h e v a r i o u s A g r i c u l t u r a l e s t a b l i s h m e n t s and agro-based i n d u s t r i e s .
2. T h i r t y nine per 39%) of t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t s s t u d i e d which National D i r e c t o r a t e of Employment, Nigerian A g r i c u l t u r a l Insurance Company, Jaluchi Aqro-based I n d u s t r i e s , Olympic Maize M i l l i n g Indu s t r i e s , Union Oak farmers and v o l u n t e e r s e r v i c e agency which have no e x t e n s i o n g r a d u a t e s p r e s e n t l y i n t h e i r employment but ‘were w i l l i n g to employ them
i n f u t u r e based o n t h e i r p r o j e c t e d employment p o l i c i e s .
3. The g r a d u a t e s were not f u l l y aware of a l l t h e areas of t h e economy t h a t can employ them, hence m a j o r i t y of them f i n d employment with t h e Ministry of Agricul t u r e , A g r i c u l t u r a l Development P r o j e c t (ADPI end e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s ,
4. A l l t h e a g r i c u l t u r a l e s t a b l i s h m e n t s end agro-based i n d u s t r i e s employ g r a d u a t e s of A g r i c u l t u r e g e n e r a l l y i n most of t h e p o s i t i o n s i n t h e i r e s t a b l i s h m e n t s without r e f e r e n c e to a s p e c i f i c a r e a of s p e c i a l i z a t i o n , Hence many non-agricultural e x t e n s i o n g r a d u a t e s work as a g r i c u l t u r a l e x t e n s i o n o f f i c e r s and v i c e versa.
5. Majority of t h e g r a d u a t e s s t u d i e d Agricultural Extension because of t h e i r i n t e r e s t i n t h e c o u r s e while a f e w of them w e r e e i t h e r influenced by t h e i r  friends, forced by the University authority to study extension i n t h e i r i d it for ease of getting job.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 THE PROBLEM

Agricultural production in Nigeria is to a large extent in the hands of  illiterate farmers who hold tenaciously to traditions which do not promote acceptance of innovations in agriculture (Williams, 19781, According to Okorie (19821, majority of the farmers in Nigeria are
smallholders, farming one or two hectares of land under i traditional system characterized by low technology and productive efficiency, He maintained that these farmers are In dire need of improved agricultural technologies to help them increase their production wnd productivity and to better their living standard. Similarly, Momoh (1984)~ noted that one of the obstacles facing agricultural development in Nigeria is lack of appropriate technology and that vast majority of farmers find it difficult to use the improved technology because of lack of technical knowledge and financial constraints, To this end, it becomes necessary to prepare end train young people who will educate the farmers in the use of these technologies.
Educational programmes in Agricultural Extension are meant to prepare graduates for employment in agricultural establishments and aggro-based industries that require the skills and knowledge in Agricultural Extenaion. In order to prevent the problem of unemployment, it has become necessary that graduates who will be entering the work force be made to know more about the jobs available to them and what the jobs are all about. It in not unlikely that the term agricultural Extension’ which connotes teaching the farmers to accept agricultural innovation and improved methods of farming is what most of the students know about career opportunities in Agricultural Extension.
Based on this knowledge, the would-be graduates appear to have turned their back to careers in Agricultural Extension as evidenced by the number that enroll to study the course in higher institutions. For instance,,the University -of. Nigeria, Nsukka, only a few students opted to
study Agricultural Extension in their final year when compared to other Departments in the Paculty of Agriculture (Ajala, 1991). During the 1986 admissions, it was decided that students should apply specifically for Bachelor of Agriculture instead of admission into the various Departments in the Faculty until their final year*
Under this development most agricultural students did not aspire to take up careers in Agricultural Extension rather they preferred other Departments in the Faculty where in t h e i r o p i n i o n would offer them more c a r e e r o p p o r t u n i t i e s . Records of admission showed t h a t i n 1985, o n l y n i n e t e e n (19) o u t of 175 s t u d e n t s who e n t e r e d for Bachelor of A g r i c u l t u r e o p t e d to s t u d y A g r i c u l t u r a l Extension i n t h e i r f i n a l y e a r , The summary of s t u d e n t s who opted to s t u d y A g r i c u l t u r a l * Extension is p r e s e n t e d i n Table 10
T a b l e 1 Distribution of F i n a l Year Agricultural Extension S t u d e n t s Year of admission
No of s t u d e n t s i n t h e F a c u l t y of A g r i c u l t u r e
14 0
116
18 4
155
105
N o of s t u d e n t s t h e Dept of A g r i c u l t u r a l  Extension
Source: Recordst Department, UNN,
The low number of s t u d e n t s c o u l d be as a r e s u l t of t h e fact t h a t A g r i c u l t u r a l E x t e n s i o n is n o t w e l l p r o j e c t e d
i n o u r e d u c a t i o n a l system and t h a t most a g r i c u l t u r a l s t u d e n t s are not t h o r o u g h l y aware of t h e job o p p o r t u n i t i e s
a v a i l a b l e to A g r i c u l t u r a l E x t e n s i o n g r a d u a t e s a p a r t from a d v i s i n g f a r m e r s and t e a c h i n g i n t h e secondary school I n connivance of t h e importance of A g r i c u l t u r a l Extension i n t h e n a t i o n ‘ s a g r i c u l t u r a l development, t h i s study was undertaken to survey career o p p o r t u n i t i e s for A g r i c u l t u r a l Extension g r a d u a t e s i n Anambra State,,

A Survey of Career Opportunities for University Agricultural Extension Graduates in Anambra State

1*2 PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

The o v e r a l l purpose o f t h i s study was to survey the career o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r A g r i c u l t u r a l Extension g r a d u a t e s
i n Anambrw S t a t e . The s p e c i f i c o b j e c t i v e s w e r e to d e n t i f y the o c c u p a t i o n a l a r e a s i n which A g r i c u l t u r a l
% Extension g r a d u a t e s can be employed! determine the e x t e n t t h e A g r i c u l t u r a l Extension g r a d u a t e s were employed i n c a r e e r s r e l a t e d to t h e i r f i e l d of s t u d y ) i d e n t i f y the f a c t o r s t h a t i n f l u e n c e d t h e graduate c h o i c e of A g r i c u l t u r a l Extension as a c o u r s e of study.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

According to Haduakonam (1985), no one can choose what he does not know about; A wish c h o i c e of occupation requires a c c u r a t e information about t h e a v a i l a b i l i t y and b e n e f i t s of such occupation, t h e i r requirements and what they offer. From a v a i l a b l e i n f o r m a t i o n , no s p e c i f i c study as f a r as t h e r e s e a r c h e r knows, has been conducted to survey the career opportunities for Agricultural Extension graduates in Anambra State, The study has implications for administrators of agricultural training institutions, employers of young people with Agricultural Extension qualifications and agricultural students. The administrators of Agricultural Extension institutions, will be able to ascertain the extent to which their students have been employed and will create the opportunity to appraise and review their curriculum to reflect job expectations of their graduates, Such a modification will include the development of skills necessary to
make these graduates self employed or increase their employment opportunities.
By determining the job opportunities available to extension graduates, the study will enable the employers of labour to know the relationship between their job requirements and the training programmes of educational institutions. Knowledge of the employment opportunities that exist in t h e world of work will assist the Agricultural Extension graduates to direct their search for jobs to appropriate employers as well as enhance the interest of other students in the course. .

1.4 DEFINITION OF TERMS

1, Agricultural Extension graduates: These include all persons who have Bachelor of Agriculture and higher degrees in Agricultural Extension.
2, Vocation: This is one’s calling in a world of paid employment,
3, Career: A course of continued progress through life in a series of related occupations or activities.
4, Occupation: A group of related jobs in area of work which constitute the work a person does regularly in making a living. I
5, Agcicultural Extension career: This is a career that involves knowledge and skills in Agricultural Extension

A Survey of Career Opportunities for University Agricultural Extension Graduates in Anambra State

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