BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEPARTMENT
The Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka started in 1961 as a joint Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension. The Pioneer Head of the Department was Professor Payne (1965 – 1966) who was succeeded by Professor Warren N. Vincent (1966 – 1967). All staff were seconded from Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA. During the civil war, all expatriate staff of the University departed. After the civil war Dr. M.O. Ijere a development economist was transferred from the Department of Economics to head the Department. Under him the Department attained tremendous growth.
CURRICULLUM AND FACILITIES
The broad span of its curriculum for training of persons in both the agricultural and other sectors of the economy makes the Department a most popular choice by students. The diversity of renowned academic staff comprises scholars that have had experiences and trainings in Nigeria, Europe, America, and other parts of the World. The academic staff are well specialized in different areas, and their research interests cover the whole field of Agricultural Economics, Resource and Environmental Economics, and Rural Development. For a meaningful academic pursuit, the Department has a Departmental Library which houses books and research reports in different areas of Agricultural Economics. There are also, a Faculty Library and Main University Library at the service of both staff and students. These libraries stock journals, textbooks and governmental and non-governmental publications relevant to the discipline. Services of specialists in the Department are also available for training and consultancy services in all areas of Agricultural Economics.
Rank among the topmost Agricultural Economics Departments in Nigeria and Africa with conducive environment for teaching, learning and research.
Values of the department are to encourage – innovation and creativity; hard work; problem solving skills; integrity; equal access to resources
The department is one of the leading departments in the field in Nigeria and Africa.
In this regards, she is building a cream of graduates of Agricultural Economists in Nigeria who are able to solve the problems in the Agricultural sector.
The Department is inspired by the legacies of the founding fathers of the University and Department, and quest to restore the dignity of man.
To create and sustain an academic environment in which lecturers optimize their teaching potentials and students reach their learning abilities.
Our department primarily provides educational services, by training undergraduates and post graduates. We also provide consultancy services to government agencies and the private sector.
The Department strives to assist in driving the Nigerian Agricultural policy in the right direction. In this regards, the Department stands for the attainment of Maximum output at minimum cost; financially, socially and ecologically.
In line with the vision of the department to produce self-reliant and entrepreneurial graduates who will drive the economic development of the nation in the agricultural sector, the department has produced personalities who have contributed immensely to the Nigerian development such as commissioners, special advisers, World Bank consultants, directors of international and national organizations, top civil servants, Vice-chancellors, captains of industries, and successful entrepreneurs. Graduates of the Department are currently anchoring world research Institutes like the African Technology Policy Studies Network and also directed the African institutes of Applied Economics in not so distant past. The Department has also constantly produced the Faculty’s over all best students and twice the university’s over all best graduating students.
As the economy develops, the prospects of the department become more relevant in meeting the demands of managing the agricultural sector and the challenges of feeding the growing Nigerian population. The department is poised to play major roles in the economics of development; for a continuous level of farm surplus is one of the wellsprings of technological and commercial growth. With its integrative discipline which covers farm management and production economics, rural finance and institutions, agricultural marketing and prices, agricultural policy and development and environmental and natural resource economics, products of the department are well equipped to tackle the developmental problems of Nigeria, particularly with regards trade and macroeconomic policy implications of agriculture and a variety of production, consumption, environmental and resource problems; in addition to addressing problems ranging from clean air and water to questions regarding how poverty can be alleviated. If development is to occur, agriculture must be able to produce a surplus of food to maintain the growing nonagricultural labour force, hence the indispensable relevance of an agricultural economist in planning, organizing, managing and formulating policies necessary to attain maximum output at minimum input, including value addition and supply chain management.
At the graduate level, many agricultural economics programs focus on a wide variety of applied micro- and macro-economic topics. Their demand is driven by their pragmatism, optimization and decision making skills, and their skills in statistical modeling. Graduates from the departments across Nigeria find jobs in diversified sectors of the economy: including agribusiness management, finance, policy, natural resource economics and economic development with options in real estate, banking, commodities brokerage, and farm management. Many agricultural economists will teach at the college and university level. Schools across the country not only have economic programs but more specifically programs in agricultural economics, applied economics, resource economics, rural sociology or agribusiness.