ANALYSIS OF STUDENTS’ ATTITUDE TOWARDS AGRICULTURE SCIENCE AS A PROFESSION IN SOME SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN OGUN STATE NIGERIA
1.1 Background to Study
Nigeria has relied so much on agriculture after her independence in 1960, given its stage of economic development. The growth dynamics of the Nigerian economy have been propelled by the existence and exploitation of natural resources and primary products. At the onset, the agricultural sector was the base, as the country needed food and cash crops for advancement. Actually, Nigeria has been left by her contemporaries in the quest for development. A look at the Nigerian economy vis-a-vis that of China in recent past showed that, Nigeria was better in 1970. Nigeria had a GDP per capita of US$233.35 and was ranked 88th in the world while China was ranked 114th with a GDP per capita of US$111.82. But today, according to Sanusi (2010), China is very far from Nigeria in terms of economic advancement.
The problem of “growthlessness” can be attributed to inconsistent government policies, political instability, lack of creativity on the part of leaders, mismanagement of resources, underutilization of resources, brain drain, geometrical increase in population, loss of interest in agriculture as a means of livelihood, corruption, among others. The abundance of food production and raw materials for industries were among the attraction of colonial masters to Nigeria. Subsistence farming was predominant and agriculture provided a large proportion of the population with easy source of livelihood. Izuchukwu (2011) points out that Agriculture has been the backbone of the Nigerian economy, providing employment and source of livelihood for the increasing population. It accounted for over half of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Nigerian economy as at independence in 1960. Undoubtedly, one of the sources of national wealth and real income is essentially from agriculture. Consequently, development economists devoted much attention on how agriculture can best contribute meaningfully to aggregate economic expansion and modernization.