Contribution of university farms to teaching and learning of agricultural science in Ghana
AbstractThe study was carried out to assess the extent to which university farms contribute to the teaching and learning of agricultural science in the five state universities of Ghana. The universities are the University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Cope Coast, University of Education and University of Development Studies. In the process, the study examined causes or reasons for graduate low interest in pursuing farming careers. Semi-structured questionnaires were prepared for undergraduates and lecturers. Snowball and random sampling techniques were used in this study. The study revealed that agricultural science is best learnt at both farm and lecture room. The study also indicated that university farms help in acquiring practical skills and it is necessary for teaching the principles of the course. However, the study revealed that a large number of undergraduates are not equipped with the needed practical skills and the confidence to go into farming on leaving the university. The main factors identified for this gap were the lack of supervision, lack of basic and modern facilities on the farms, lack of motivation, inadequate funds, and inadequate time allotted for practical on the farms. It is therefore recommended that university authorities should link with private and state farms that have modern and basic facilities/equipment so that these farms can serve as alternative sources for imparting practical skills to students. The universities could introduce income generating venture to assist in the purchases of some facilities. It is also recommended that the time for practical work be increase and supervised practical work possibly instituted. This should enable lecturers to spend more time on the supervision of students' practical work on the university farms. Finally, well-trained farm staff should be employed to support fieldwork.
Ghana Journal of Development Studies Vol.1(1) 2004: 110-126
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