The department of Crop Science and Horticulture of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, in line with the philosophy and objectives of the University and the Faculty of Agriculture, is a center for training professional crop scientists-agronomists, plant breeders, crop protectionists and horticulturists- who can translate their theoretical knowledge into practice in achieving higher crop yields. The training offered is aimed at maximizing capability for gainful employment and entrepreneurship in food/fiber, cash crop, and horticultural crop production, as well as landscape and park designs and management. The academic programme of the department is therefore designed to produce skilled graduates for production and protection of agronomic and horticultural crops. The graduates are trained to be able to apply modern techniques in agricultural production and can manage their own cottage industries. The training is open to Nigerians, Africans and indeed the rest of the world. Towards this goal, the departments sensitizes and mobilizes the rural communities, especially those of the agro-ecological zones of the South-east Nigeria, to ensure enhanced management and productivity of food, fiber and horticultural designs and practices on a sustainable basis. The general philosophy therefore, is to produce graduates with high academic standards, adequate background, and sound in character and of immediate value to industry and the nation in general.
The objectives of the department include:
- To meet the minimum standards stipulated by the National University Commission in terms of entry requirement, programme contents, organization, delivery and duration of courses.
- Provide students with broad-based education and training based on course programmes comprising credits drawn from inter- and intra-faculty courses.
- Provide the technological disciplines based on practical, farm practices, laboratory works, field trips, tutorials and industrial attachments.
- Provide students with training in independent analytical and synthetic reasoning through individual final year project (the typical project may be purely experimental, a design or fabrication, to be accessed via a written report followed by an oral defense of the report).
- Develop appropriate units of excellence in crop husbandry, pest management, floriculture, pomology, as well as landscape designs, environmental conservation and management.
- To produce innovative graduate, sound in training, who can also make major breakthrough that can transform the agricultural economy and environment of the Nigerian nation; thus enhancing the qualities of lives of our people.
- Training of graduates for gainful employment and entrepreneurship who rather create jobs than job seekers; and academics/researchers for public and private sectors of the economy.
- Optimal utilization of available resources and facilities as well as encourage mutual interaction between students and professionals.
- Encouragement and advancement of learning in functional sustainable crop production; provision of residential, public park and environment landscaping and management to all interested persons.
- To encourage income generation for the department, faculty and the University through consultancy services, effective research and application in various facets of crop science and horticulture according to local, national and international needs.