Food Security and University Agricultural Students Involvement in Food Production after Graduation
Food security and its relationship to sustainable agricultural and rural development have increasingly become matters of concern for developing countries and for the international community. While there are many complex factors that influence sustainable development and food security, it is clear that education in agriculture plays an important role. Hence, this study examined the factors that determine the involvement of final year agriculture students in agricultural production after graduation. Two hundred respondents were randomly selected and were analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square test. The results revealed that 21.6% of the respondents had good knowledge about food security, 54.6% had average knowledge, 13.4% had doubtful knowledge about food security and 10.3% had poor knowledge about food security. 50.1% believed that Nigeria is not food secure. 68.04% of the respondents plan to be gainfully self-employed in agriculture after graduation. This finding has implication for reducing high rate of unemployment and continual rise in food insecurity. Therefore, it is recommended to agricultural development planners to provide start off funds, input subsidies and land for the fresh graduates to start their farm. It was also revealed that capital, interest, knowledge, Government policy on import and academic pursuit were the major factors that altered the involvement of potential agricultural graduates in agricultural production.
Keywords: Agriculture, Food Security, Production, Student, University