since 1921....





Federal College of Agriculture, Ibadan (formerly called School of Agriculture) was established in 1921. It is the first Agricultural institution in Nigeria and even in West Africa. The history of this great citadel of learning is intricately woven with the history of Moor Plantation and Agricultural Development in Nigeria.

Moor Plantation is one of the oldest Agricultural Stations in Nigeria. It was established in 1899 as a model farm with the objectives of propagating rubber trees and general agricultural improvement. The station became an experimental station in 1905, largely for research activities on cotton to feed the textile industries through an association of member farmers called British High Commissioner Sir Ralph Moor who was immortalized in the name Moor Plantation.

It is not an over statement that Moor Plantation was the origin of formal agricultural training in Nigeria. In 1910, Moor Plantation became the headquarters of the Department of Agriculture and later became a place for the establishment of botanical laboratory in 1915. Following the demand for training of members of staff and the potential farmers, the School of Agriculture now Federal College of Agriculture was established in 1921 by Mr. O. T. Faulkner, the then Director of Agriculture in Nigeria. The mandate was to train Agricultural Assistants in Nigeria and West Africa at large.

The School took her ground in Bora where the College farm is presently located after which she was relocated to the present site following the regionalization in 1954. The first entrance examination into the school took place in July 1921 for the junior course and in November of the same year for the senior course. It is interesting to note that the classes began in a converted store of corrugated iron sheets. As earlier mentioned, the School remained in the premises called Rural Education Centre in Bora until the new building was erected in 1926.

The maturity of students admitted in the early years of the College explains their ability to withstand the rigors of the training of that period. Apart from the duration of the courses which lasted between sixteen months and four years for the training of Agricultural Assistants, they still had to perform duties assigned to them as Agricultural Assistants. The intensity of practical work was such that work commenced from 5.00a.m and went on till about 6.00pm with breaks in between. The status of students of the School as well as their reputation was rated very high all over West Africa.

As a premier Institution, most brilliant students had the ambition to secure admission into the Institution. It hardly needs to be mentioned that because of the limited number of students normally admitted, students were quickly empowered to seek the way to greater performance.

In 1935, a Higher Grade course for the award of Agricultural Diploma was introduced for the undergraduates of the then Higher College, Yaba after the successful completion of a two-year post secondary school course in Chemistry, Zoology, Biology and Physics. That programme ran for about 12 years. Following the gradual expansion of the School, forty seven acres of land were acquired part of which was used for the students’ hostel.

The Research Division of the Western Region’s Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MANR) metamorphosed into the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training. The then School of Agriculture was later made to constitute the training arm of the Institute along with two other Colleges namely School of Agriculture, Akure and School of Animal Health, Ibadan. IAR&T came under the administration of the then University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife). This was as a result of the charter signed by the then Military Governor of Western State, Brigadier Adeyinka Adebayo and the University of Ife Vice Chancellor, Late Prof. H. A. Oluwasanmi in April 1969. However, the School eventually returned to the fold of Federal Public Service in 1975 when Federal Military Government took over the control of all Universities.

In 1985, the Federal Government promulgated Decree No. 16 which empowered the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to moderate and accredit the Academic Programmes of Technological Institutions in the country. This intervention was necessary and a welcome development as it brought about several positive changes in the system. One of these was the conferment on the School, the nomenclature “Federal College”. The entry of the NBTE resulted in an overall rapid enhancement in the physical facilities and standardization of the curricular for the various academic programmes.

The Certificates obtained by graduates of the College changed from Ordinary Diploma and Higher Diploma to Ordinary National Diploma and Higher National Diploma respectively. The entry requirements were also upgraded according to National standards for Tertiary Institutions.

Thus, the admission process transformed from locally conducted Entrance Examinations to the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Entrance Examination (PCE) and now Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB). The products of the College gained access to participate in the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) Scheme. The morale of Staff also received a boost as their nomenclature also changed from “Tutor” (as the Obafemi Awolowo University had asserted that they could not have two sets of Lecturers) to “Lecturer”. Requirements for staff appointments and advancement became standardized. The NBTE intervention facilitated the disengagement of the College from the Obafemi Awolowo University and her eventual autonomy.

The University Senate at its meeting of 29th January, 1992 accepted the recommendation of the Business Committee that the disengagement of the School from IAR&T should take effect from 30th October, 1991. Thus, the College became autonomous. Moreover, at its meeting of 24th June, 1992, the Council of the Obafemi Awolowo University noted the clarification of Decree No. 16 of 1985 by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI). By this decree, the power to administer and manage the Schools was conferred on NASENI which acted as the Proprietor and funding agency for the Federal Schools of Agriculture in the country.

For a brief period, the College was supervised by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and later by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources. It is currently being supervised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development through the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria set up by the Decree No. 44 of May 26, 1999, now an Act of the National Assembly. Federal College of Agriculture, Ibadan continues to maintain her objective of standard academic excellence and pragmatic training of Middle-level man-power in Agriculture. The motto, AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION FOR SELF RELIANCE has never changed right from inception. Presently, the Institution runs fully accredited courses in Agricultural Technology, Agricultural Engineering and Crop Production both at National Diploma and Higher National Diploma Levels and Post Harvest Technology at HND level. In addition to her fundamental assignments, the College is also known for outreach programmes to farmers in some selected villages and students in selected Secondary Schools under the ARCN/AROC Scheme. The College also runs Vocational Training courses and Short Term courses to strengthen the Agricultural Sector of the Economy.

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