History : Department of Agricultural Ecomonics


History of the Department

The existence of the Department of Agricultural Economics within the Faculty of Agriculture dates back to 1963, but specialization in Agriculture as an academic discipline started in 1966 with the registration of the first of students and the award of the Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics in 1968.  Since then, the Department has experienced considerable growth in its undergraduate program in terms of student population, staff strength and the variety and quality of courses offered.

Over the years prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students have been asking questions on our administration requirements, degree requirements, available facilities, and so on.  This medium, therefore, represents an effort to answer such questions.  However, since both our undergraduate postgraduate program are still evolving along with that of the university generally, the information provided here is subject to change and should be accepted as such.  It is, nevertheless, hoped that the information contained herein will be of value to present and future students.

The Department is responsible for teaching principles of economics, farm management, agricultural marketing and co-operation, land-tenure, agricultural credit, agricultural organization and policy, sociology and agricultural extension to undergraduate students reading for the B.Sc. degree in Agriculture. The department is also responsible for teaching undergraduate students in the Faculty of the Social Sciences offering agricultural economics as an option in the B.Sc (Economics). Also, the department offers courses for undergraduate students in the Department of Human Nutrition. In addition, the department has the responsibility for guiding and directing the work of an increasing number of students working for postgraduate degrees and diplomas.

The Department offers ample scope for the study of various aspects of the rural economy of Nigeria. This is a large and virtually unexplored field and one that offers a unique challenge to the enterprising scholar to apply modern techniques for analysing peasant production and organization. Members of the Department are currently investigating many different phases of the rural economy of Nigeria. The aim of the research programme of the Department is to build up a body of knowledge about the rural economy, which will form the foundation of its postgraduate teaching for effecting structural changes in peasant farming in Nigeria.

For the last seven years the demand for admission into the Department has grown so much that in every given academic session over 60 percent of applications for admission into the Faculty of Agriculture for both undergraduate and graduate programs are for Agricultural Economics. To a large extent, the rapid growth in postgraduate degree awards in the department in recent times can be explained in terms of two factors. First, is the financial assistance and the sponsorship received from International agencies (local and foreign) to train Nigerian and other African Students. Second is the introduction of a more flexible postgraduate programme whereby students enrol for an eighteen months M.Sc. degree programme in the first instance and then move on to a two-year MPhil. degree programme or to a three years Ph.D. program according to ability.