Department of Agricultural Economics

Objectives

The Prime objective of our academic programme is to produce graduates of agriculture who are technically and managerially competent. These two levels of competence will enable them to apply their expertise in policy formulation, farm business management, project appraisal and management, research and training of manpower. The ultimate goal is to produce self-reliant graduates with the capacity to create employment and wealth in the economy through agriculture.

Vision Statement

Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike sees itself as a vehicle for the attainment of the primary goals of the national Agricultural Policy of “Self-sufficiency in food and fibre” production. The University aims to provide knowledge through which food and security will be assured. Hence the motto: “Knowledge, Food and Security”. The University therefore has the vision to serve Nigeria and humanity through processes that will lead to the alleviation of hunger.

Missions Statement

Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike is dedicated to the training of its students to become professionally competent and confident graduates with exquisite dexterity. Consequently, the curricular involve intensive teaching and extensive practical training in agriculture. The research objectives are also made to be relevant to the needs of farmers and local agriculture while extension objectives are to ensure prompt delivery of well-tested and technically optimized protocols to sensitized and the training of confident and competent educated farmers capable of working on their own instead of the current dependence on government employment; the development of environment and people-sensitive technology and the immediate enhancement of well-being of the farmers constitute the focal points of the University.

HISTORY OF THE PROGRAMME         

The Department of Agricultural Economics is one of the three Departments in the College of Agricultural Economics, Rural Sociology and Extension. There were Fourteen (14) Pioneer students admitted into the College in the 1993/1994 Academic Session.  At the end of their fourth year, Nine (9) of the students opted for Agricultural Economics (AEC) while the other five (5) opted for Rural Sociology and Extension.  Consequently both Departments became fully established and Professor A.C. Nwosu, the then Dean of the College doubled as head of both Departments.

At inception, the Department of Agricultural Economics had six (6) Academic staff – an Associate Professor and five (5) Assistant Lecturers who were recruited in March 1994. The Associate Professor resumed duty three (3) months later. Before his arrival, the five (5) assistant lecturers worked relentlessly to put the Department on course by structuring and defining the curriculum for the Discipline at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The numerical strength of the Department has grown. Currently there are thirty-two (32) full time academic staff and five non-teaching staff. Students enrollment has also increased from nine in 1997/98 to 1206 in 2015/2016. The heads of the Department from inception are as follows:

1.     Prof. A. C.  Nwosu                         1994-1998

2.     Prof. C.E. Onyenweaku                 1998-2000

3.     Dr. O.O. Ukoha                               2000-2002

4.     Dr. J. O. Mbanasor                         2002-2004

5.     Dr. R. N. Echebiri                            2004-2006

6.     Dr. J. C. Nwaru                                2006-2008

7.     Dr. O. O. Ukoha                              2008-2009

8.     Dr. R. O. Mejeha                             2009-2011

9.     Dr. U.A.U. Onyebinama                 2011-2014

10.   Dr. J. B. Simonyan                         2014 till date