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Areas of specialization in Agriculture

Areas of specialization in Agriculture and their importance The following are the different areas.which one can specialize in the study of agriculture

What are the areas of specialization in agriculture?

1. Soil Science as an area of agriculture
This deals with the study of the soil. It has to do with knowing the nature and types or classes of the soil, how to prepare the soil for crop production and managing the soil in a way that will enhance high yield of crops. A person that studied soil science is called soil scientist.

fertilizers and manures

2. Animal Science as an area of specialzation in  agriculture
This is the study of farm animals. Farm animals are also called livestock.’

The rearing of livestock or farm animals is referred to as animal husbandry, The animal scientist is the person who studied the different kinds of farm animals, how they grow and reproduce, their food requirement, how to take proper care of the animals so that they would have good conditions favourable for high productivity.
orange farm

. Crop Science/Agronomy as an area of specialization in agriculture

This area deals with the study of crops, it is concerned with knowing the different kinds of crops and their varieties, the of cultivating them, what they require to grow and produce This area is closely connected with soil science hence universities prefer to use the term agronomy to include soil science and crop science. The agronomist is one who is specialized in crop science.

4. Agricultural Education
This is the study and teaching of agriculture in schools. People who teach agricultural science in schools and colleges are called Agricultural Educators or Agricultural Science Teachers. In the universities or other higher institutions, they are called Agricultural Lecturers.

5. Agricultural Extension

This is a very important aspect of agriculture, because the development of sound agricultural practices depends on a good extension service. It is mainly concerned with passing information on improved farming techniques to farmers.
The farmers’ problems are also carried through extension service to research stations for solutions. The people who are trained to carry out agricultural extension service are called Agricultural Extension Officers or agents.

6. Agricultural Economics as an area of agriculture
Agriculture is a business. .This means that it must be run in a way that profit will always come from it. Agricultural Economics is therefore concerned with the study of how agriculture can be run so that it will be a profitable business.

Agricultural Economics enables the farmer to know what to produce, with what to produce, how to produce, and what to do with the farm produce and finally what is the profit. A specialist in this area of agriculture is called Agricultural Economist.
their food///’
reproduce, requirement, how to take proper care of the animals so that they would have good conditions favourable for high productivity.

6. Horticulture as an area of agriculture
This deals with the science and art of growing:

(a)fruit (pomology)
(b) Vegetables (Olericulture)
(c) Ornamental plants or flowers (Floriculture).
A person that specializes in horticulture is called Horticulturist.

8. Forestry as an area of agriculture

This is that branch of agriculture that deals with the control and management of forests and forest resources. A forest represents an area of land which is mainly covered_ with trees along with other plant species.

The forestry officer is one who specializes in forest management.

9. Fishery as an area of agriculture

The rearing of fishes and other aquatic organisms in a body of water is termed fishery. Fishery as a course/subject in agriculture studies the different kinds of fishes and other aquatic organisms, how they are reared, captured, preserved and used. Fishery matters are handled by fishery

officers, trained in fishery.

10. Veterinary Medicine as an area of specialization in  agriculture

This is the area that studies the diseases and pests -of farm animals. The veterinarian is one who helps in vaccinating farm animals against diseases and treat them when they are sick. They are often called Veterinary doctors.

11. Agricultural Engineering as an area of specialization in agriculture
This is concerned with the study of farm machinery and their uses. It also includes the maintenance of those machines and implements used on the farm, as well as construction, use and maintenance of farm structures and buildings. A specialist in this area is called Agricultural Engineer.
Other areas include Agricultural Journalism, Agricultural Biology, General Agriculture, Agricultural Biochemistry and Nutrition, etc,

Courses in agriculture available in Nigerian Higher Institutions

Agriculture can be studied in any of the following levels of institution:

1. Schools of Agriculture and polytechnics
These offer a two-year course leading to the award of the national Diploma (N.D.) some offer a further two-year course leading to the award of Higher National Diploma (H.N.D).

2. Colleges of Education
These institutions train agricultural science teachers for a three year duration after which they are awarded the Nigeria Certificate of Education (N.C.E.). areas of specialization in agriculture
3. Universities
Different universities have their faculties of agriculture when different courses are offered leading to the award of any of the following:
(a) B.Sc ( Agric)
(b) B. Agric~
(c) B.Ed(Agric)
To study Agriculture in higher schools in Nigeria, it is advisable to offer and have credit passes, at the senior school certificate examination, Agricultural Science, Biology, Chemistry, English and Mathematics. Other relevant subjects are Physics, Economics and Geography.
Graduates from the different schools and different courses may become any of the following:
(1) Agricultural Officers in Ministries of Agriculture.
(2) Research Officers in Research Stations.
(3) Teachers in secondary schools.
(4) Teachers/Lecturers in -higher institutions.
(5) Managers in commercial farms.
(6) Agricultural loans officers in Banks ,
(7) Veterinary doctors.
(8) Public Relations Officers in large Agro-industries or farms.
(9) Agricultural journalists
(10) Agricultural businessmen f
(11) Forestry officers. .
(12) Fishery officers.

It has been mentioned earlier in this unit that agriculture is both academic and vocational.

What has been discussed above is the academic and vocational aspect of agriculture. areas of specialization in agriculture
On the vocational side, a person who studied agriculture’ can engage in any of the following vocations or occupations:

a) Arable crops production: This is concerned with the cultivation of food crops such as cereals, tubers, plantains* and banana, etc.
(b)Cash crops production: This includes the cultivation of crops such as cotton, oil palm, rubber, cocoa, etc.
(c) Vegetables production
(d) Production of ornamental plants and landscape development and beautification.
(e) Livestock production: This includes the rearing of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits or poultry. . (g) Fishery.,
(h) Agricultural business (trading on farm produce and farm equipment or inputs

13.3 Advantages of choosing agriculture as a career

Many people often think that agriculture means farming. T his is not entirely true. As it has been seen in the preceding discussions, agriculture is academic, it is a business and it is a vocation or an occupation. Farming comes under vocation or occupation in agriculture.
Agriculture is mainly concerned with the cultivation of crops and the rearing of animals on the farm. Farming therefore is an important component or sub-sector of agriculture because it is the source of food for mankind.

All other aspects of agriculture are geared towards improving farming and hence increasing available food for human consumption. Therefore, agriculture cam toe regarded as the mother of all professions, occupations or businesses.

If agriculture flourishes, every other aspect of human endeavour will flourish, but if the land is allowed to lie fallow, every other thing is at a standstill. areas of specialization in agriculture

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