University of Agriculture, Makurdi
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The university was established in 1988, following from the recommendations of a 1987 federal government White Paper on Higher Education curriculum and development in Nigeria. The vice-chancellor is Professor E. I. Kucha
In general, the objective of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi is to put in place a properly integrated system of teaching, research and extension toward appropriate technology creation, transfer and use in Nigerian agriculture. This objective has several specific elements:
- generating high-yielding crop varieties and livestock breeds as well as other efficient agricultural technologies that are sufficiently adapted and relevant to local environments;
- accelerating the diffusion and mass adoption of new technologies on Nigerian farms through effective linkages with state extension services,
- sensitizing researchers to the pressing needs of farmers, agro-industrialists and consumers with respect to production, processing and utilization technologies;
- bringing the fruits of science to the farm-gate in the form, amounts and time that farmers need them most;
- bringing the fruits of science to the doorsteps of agro-industrial establishments in the form, amount and time they are needed most;
- bringing to the attention of agricultural researcher pressing problems on farmers' fields with minimum delay;
- training needed manpower that is consistent with the requirements of an integrated national research-extension system; and
- assisting in substantially raising farm output and incomes of Nigerian farmers as well as marketed quantities of food and fibre.
The University of Agriculture, Makurdi has over 30 departments in ten colleges:
- College of Agronomy
- College of Agricultural Economics and Extension
- College of Agricultural Engineering and Engineering Technology
- College of Animal Science
- College of Food Technology
- College of Science
- College of Agricultural and Science Education
- College of Veterinary Medicine
- College of Forestry and Fisheries
- College of Management Science
For outreach and public service support, UAM has established a Co-operative Extension Centre (CEC) and a Centre for Food and Agricultural Strategy (CEFAS) which focus on practical agricultural extension liaison support and public policy support services, respectively.
The philosophy of research at the University of Agriculture, Makurdi stresses research that is issues-oriented, mission-oriented and problem-solving. To achieve this research mission, research is multi-disciplinary, as contrasted with traditional conventional approaches in general universities where research is mainly along disciplinary lines in academic units. Researchers in the university are encouraged and supported to conduct work that cuts across disciplines and academic units.
Research and extension programmes
The following commodity programmes have been delineated for research and extension activities at UAM:
- Root and Tubers programme
- Cereals and Legumes programme
- Forestry and Horticulture programme
- Ruminants programme
- Non-ruminants programme
- Farming systems programme
- Socio-economics programme
- Rural infrastructures programme
- Agricultural Mechanization programme
- Environmental and Analytical Studies programme and Food Processing and Utilization programme
These programmes have been organized to effectively address the practical farming problems of the university's immediate catchment area and the nation.
Training at the university emphasizes strong foundations in the disciplines, a broad exposure to all disciplines in agriculture, engineering and science and the acquisition of practical skills in the agricultural and engineering fields. The training recognizes that formal acquisition of scientific skills is necessary but not sufficient for preparing our students to live full lives as accomplished, learned members of an increasingly sophisticated Nigerian society. More fundamentally, students of this university are taught to acquire new mental attitudes that enable them to distinguish between the rational and the irrational, between the tough and the bad. Students are taught to acquire new value systems that appeal to the higher public good that will ensure happiness for Nigerians and mankind. The university will continue to develop its institutional capacity for inculcating new mental attitudes and independent thought systems in students that will promote objectivity and the relentless search for truth and rationality.
Grassroots relevance is a cardinal quest at the University of Agriculture, Makurdi. The Cooperative Extension Centre through its training and extension liaison services coordinates the outreach programmes. The Centre for Food and Agricultural Strategy coordinates the public service support in food and agriculture. UAM is forming links to ensure that agricultural technologies and the output of its research reach average small-scale Nigerian farmers, the intended beneficiaries of the university's research and extension programmes.
Institutional links are being forged with federal and state Ministries of Agriculture and other related agencies to identify areas of collaboration and technical support from the University. The University has been involved with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in research on the socio-economic aspects of soybean production. The university is making its presence felt in Benue State through such collaborative programme and protects. Training programmes are being conducted for participants from other states.
A cardinal element of the strategy in Makurdi is the effective integration of research, teaching and extension by which all academic staff are expected to devote some proportion of their time to each of these activities.
- Nexus Strategic Partnerships (2007). Commonwealth Education Partnerships, 2007. Commonwealth Secretariat. p. 155. ISBN 9780954962913.
- "Brief profile of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State". Commonwealth Ministers. Henley Media Group. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- Anyanwu, Ogechi Emmanuel (2011). The Politics of Access: University Education and Nation-Building in Nigeria, 1948-2000. University of Calgary Press – via Questia (subscription required). p. 174-7. ISBN 1552385183.
- IITA Annual report. 1990. p. 58.