Historical Background of the Department of Crop Science
The Department of Crop Science is one of the Departments in the Faculty of Agriculture, Akwa Ibom State University, Obio Akpa Campus. The Department came into existence in 2010/2011 academic session with thirteen (13) Students enrolled in the first year. The Department is located on the old site of the defunct College of Agriculture, Obio Akpa, Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
Crop Science is one of the five component Departments in the Faculty of Agriculture, Akwa Ibom State University. It is situated in Obio Akpa Campus which is inherited from the British Colonial Agriculture Experimental Station. The location (campus) at various times in the past has hosted Tertiary Institution. Far back as 1950, the location had already served as Experimental Station devoted to the training of Agricultural Personnel for the boosting of Agricultural Development in the whole of Eastern Nigeria.
Growing knowledge of and concern for the environment dictates that we should know the characteristics of individual crop before putting such crop to use. Crop farming is a dynamic system which is opened to changes and therefore the Department of Crop Science is committed to the training of students for effective teaching result-orientated practical work and research for improved and sustained productivity of our crops and environment.
The Department has been under the headship of different administrators with Late Dr. C.V. Udosen as the pioneer Head of Department. Other succeeding heads of Department are Late Dr. C.R. Udoekong, 2014-2017, Dr. E.A. Akpan 2017-2020, Dr. O. J. Ekwere 2020 to date.
The philosophy of Crop Science programme is to train skilled manpower that can be self-employed or work in various Agricultural Establishments, Government Ministries of Agriculture and other Agro- based Industries. Emphasis is laid on practical training and research in areas such as Arable and plantation crop production, Crop physiology, Genetics and plant breeding, Crop protection, Farming systems and Horticulture.
The mission of the Department is to provide high quality practical training to students in wide range of crop plants and horticultural crop varieties as well as conduct and disseminate results of relevant and innovative research in crop production/protection strategies to others.
The vision of the Department is to exist as a Centre of Excellence for teaching, research, technology transfer, innovation and provision of community based service in the subject areas of meaningful crop and horticultural science to stimulate economic growth and development in Nigeria.
The goals are to train, teach and carry out researches of agricultural importance in relation to crop production, protection and development with the aim of graduating well trained undergraduate and postgraduate students with adequate knowledge and skills on crop production, protection, development, improvement and other research capabilities towards, sustainability, food security and sufficiency.
· To teach students basic principles, theory and practice of crop production, protection, development, improvement and utilization
· To provide well-trained manpower needed for tropical food tree crops and horticultural crop production under improved technologies.
· To conduct research in relevant crops and horticultural commodity development in this state and Nigeria at large.
· To contribute to the national effort in self-sufficiency in food and raw materials through direct agricultural production.
· To develop Crop Scientists and Horticulturists that meet the manpower
needs of the Nation.
· To produce practical competent and motivated professionals for the medium
and large scale farms, plantations and allied industries .
· To carry out result-oriented agricultural research in various aspects of crop science and horticulture.
· To contribute to the national effort in self-sufficiency in food and fibre.
· To promote wetland agriculture and modern methods of food production including genetic engineering, tissue culture techniques, mechanization, crop production, etc.
Areas of Specialization
In the fifth or final year, students can specialize and carry out their research projects in any of the following options:
a. Arable and plantation crop production
b. Crop entomology
c. Plant pathology
d. Weed science
e. Plant genetics and breeding
f. Crop physiology
g. Seed Science and Seed production Technology
Duration of Programme
The duration of the programme in the Department is 3 to 5 years depending on the year of entry and the candidate’s qualifications. Candidates who enter through UTME spend five years. Candidates with OND/NCE spend four years while Candidates with HND spend 3 years. Students who are not able to complete their degree programme within the minimum duration are given additional two and half years.