The Place of Entrepreneur Training in Rural Advisory Services for Inclusive Agripreneurship

Koyenikan 1Agripreneurship is scientific, creative, adaptable, market-oriented, profitable, sustainable, community-oriented and innovation. The qualities are attainable only through education and training. Universities, colleges and vocational schools play a major role in preparing future and current researchers, rural advisors, farmer leaders and LG staff through initial and continuing education on agriculture innovation systems (AIS) concepts and approaches (JOLISAA, 2013). Competence in general technical skills and EAS are crucial for effective role performance e.g. facilitation, brokerage etc.

The conceptual framework is based on Extension and Advisory Services (EAS) as a knowledge system with several actors and occupations in various value chains.

In Nigeria, there is the challenge of inadequate number of skilled manpower to deliver agricultural extension and advisory services. Often agriculture graduates, irrespective of discipline, are engaged to perform extension functions. In the training curricula of agriculture graduates in Nigerian Universities, 1st three of five years is for general agriculture while the 4th is for field practical/internship training (FPT). 

Empirical evidence was obtained on the preparedness for RAS of potential graduates of Agriculture Faculties of three Nigerian Universities. Preference for Agricultural Extension ranked fourth out of six major departments. FPT was perceived effective but challenged by dearth of improved technologies, poor exposure to farmers’ conditions and funding etc. Mentoring and continuous capacity building for RAS practitioners to ensure professionalization of EAS for quality assurance are suggested among others.   

by Margaret Koyenikan, Nigeria