Agricultural Education in Pakistan has been on continuous improvement lines. Pakistan is an agricultural economy. Major part of GDP comes from agriculture. Two third of the national population is linked with agriculture directly or indirectly. Major portion of labor force is also employed in Pakistan. Considering all these factor, one can say that agriculture has been a supporting hand for the economy of Pakistan. In such an intensive agricultural setup, Agricultural Education in Pakistan has not been given due importance. Skilled personnel and agricultural graduates have not been prepared according to the proportion of agricultural needs. Trend of Agricultural Education in Pakistan is given below.
Awarding bodies of Agriculture in Pakistan:
University of Agriculture Faisalabad has been the pioneer and oldest university imparting agricultural education in Pakistan. It was founded in 1906 and upgraded in 1961. UAF is still the largest agricultural university in Pakistan. Then, smaller agricultural colleges started in different parts of the country. Their number was and is scarce as compared to the agricultural institutes in India. Barani agricultural college was established in Rawalpindi for the purpose of promoting agriculture in rainfed areas. It was upgraded to university in 1994 with name Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi. There are major agricultural universities in Peshawar, Tandojam, Lasbella as well. All these universities have been continuously providing trained agricultural graduates. These graduates are working in Research organizations, NGO’s, Universities, Field jobs, Banks etc. As stated earlier, the research and development of agriculture is not that much speedy as it was supposed to. Particularly considering the scope of agriculture in Pakistan.
Agricultural Degrees in Pakistan:
In the present system of Agricultural Education in Pakistan, there are three types of agricultural degrees. Students generally get admission in universities after 12 years of schooling.
1) 4 years degree of B.Sc (Honors) Agriculture
2) 2 years degree of M.Sc (Honors) Agriculture
3) 3 years degree of Ph.D Agriculture
Undergraduate/college diploma in agriculture is also given by some universities with the name pre-agriculture.
Agricultural Subjects/Field of Study:
There are about 10 different major fields in agriculture. Students usually specialize in one particular field. These are listed as under.
- Food Science and Technology
- Animal Sciences
- Agricultural Extension Education
- Agricultural Economics
- Plant Breeding & Genetics
- Plant Pathology
- Soil Sciences
Present Status of Agricultural Education in Pakistan:
At present their is a constant rise in enrollment in agricultural universities. This trend is basically due to the more awareness among the masses regarding the role of agriculture and its future perspectives. A decade before only students with low scores and from rural background choose agriculture as a field. Now a days the picture is totally changed. Agriculture has turned out to be a subject opted by students from urban setup as well. The funding in agricultural research is increasing. More and more foreign scholarships and grants are being awarded to agricultural graduates. The outlook of agriculture has been changed by integration of many other modern field of learning in agriculture. Jobs are also on gradual rise. There are two agricultural universities in top seven universities of Pakistan according to latest HEC ranking report. Their names are UAF (University of Agriculture Faisalabad) and PMAS AAUR (Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi).
Advancement and modernization in living has also changed the outlook of agriculture in Pakistan. New vistas have been opened for students in research fields. This has resulted in increased flux of agricultural students. Agricultural education in Pakistan has now come at par with other fields of learning.
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