The Provost of the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, (FECA), Dr. Samson Adeola Odedina, has said many Nigerian youths lost interest in studying agriculture due to the absence of extra-curricula activities in many agricultural institutions.
Odedina said ,many agricultural institutions fail to give attention to activities like football, volleyball and other games which instill the spirit of sportsmanship and team-work in the youths.
Speaking at the Grand Finale of the 2017 Provost Game held on campus to also mark the ongoing 60th anniversary of the college, Odedina said, institutions across the country must give more concentration for recreational activities for students.
The provost noted that, the development would make agriculture attractive to the youths all over the country.
According to Odedina, most youths prefer to go to other tertiary institutions due to the arrays of social and other activities that captivate their attention and consolidate their inherent talents.
He said, “If you look at the situation in our country, you will notice that young people are running away from studying Agriculture”
“They lose interest in studying agriculture because of some extra curricular activities like football and others that are not available. We have also not been able to attract students into core agriculture.
“Our students don’t want to go into agriculture. They want to do engineering. They want to read single honours, like biochemistry, physics. You’ll discover that our children prefer to read such courses other than crop production, animal science, animal production simply because they don’t want to hear the word agriculture.
“They thought they would not be able to combine the two together but here you can see for yourself.
We look at the country as whole and we realised that people are running from agriculture particularly, the young ones, they don’t want to study agriculture.”
“We have been able to keep these intelligent students on campus happy to learn for the diversification and the future of agriculture in Nigeria and in Africa.
“We can see that is not a case here. Our students within the ages of 16 and 21are happy to stay on campus to study agriculture. This is to tell other ones that if you study agriculture, you are not missing any action at all.”
Odedina presented trophies and cash gifts to students who participated in the 57th edition of the Provost Game that include football, volleyball, table tennis, “ayo-olopon,” scrabble, chess, badminton, athletics.
He noted that the 2017 9km Provost Games Marathon Race, tagged: “Know Your Farm,” was purposely included for 1000 male and female students to compete for the ultimate challenge after over 30 years.
“One of the attitude to study agriculture is that you must be determined and be a team player; and that is just what these people are exhibiting now. This year, FECA is sixty old.
“We are the first institution in Ondo and one of the foremost agricultural institutions in Africa. Anything we are doing right from now on, we are celebrating our sixty years anniversary,” he said.