In many schools around the world, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and entrepreneurship teaching methods have seen a nudge but should agricultural education be given more significance? There is no disputing the importance of basic education as it lays the model for the development of a child, but the agricultural education system can also provide real life skills for students that can help them both in their future professional and personal life.
Impacts of climate change and its negative effects on food health and deterioration of the atmosphere are growing. Extreme changes in weather, such as droughts and water scarcity, affect crop production negatively. The United Nations (UN) has advised global hunger is propelled by climate change. The cases of extreme climatic disasters, including extreme heatwaves, droughts, floods, and storms, have more than doubled since the beginning of the 1990s, with a mean of 213 of these happening in a year during the 1990–2016 period. Such disasters are destroying the agricultural output of major crops including wheat , rice and maize, causing increases in food prices and losses in income that reduce people’s access to food, “the UN says.
Reports indicate that increased numbers of firms and investors are buying farmland worldwide as they become progressively valuable resources. Over time, continuing to grow raising livestock animals and aquaculture can become more challenging as drastic weather changes increase the susceptibility of animals to diseases, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) notes in a 2016 report among other things. At the same time, the World watch Institute has quoted FAO as saying that climate change will affect the availability and quality of the land, soil, and water resources. These are later reflected in crop output, which is leading to rising prices.
Although agricultural programs are commonly available at tertiary level, they are, depending on your country of residence, much less popular at elementary and secondary education level. Agricultural colleges are available in different countries like the United States, Australia, South Korea and the United Kingdom. They not only prepare students for agricultural careers, in spite of exposing students to field-related topics. Agricultural or farm schools have so much to teach out-of-class children, such as the importance of being responsible and persevering when caring for crops and animals. It can also help them build an affinity for nature and animals, exposing them to potential careers that they might never have considered otherwise.
It is remarkable that even the International Labour Organization (ILO) notes that the agriculture industry offers untapped employment opportunities; although the World Bank points out that farming is key to economic development. These hands-on teaching methods teach students where their food comes from and how it gets to the table. Children that grow up some of their own develop a greater connection to food, according to research; this can prompt them to lead healthier lives, as such children tend to stick to better diets.
The capability and knowledge to grow our own food (i.e. producing plant and caring for livestock) is essential for survival and yet, is an area of study that gains little significance in schools. Paired by the need to meet the growing population of the planet’s future food requirements, agriculture will play an ever more hugely important role in society. Logically, while not all students will harbour ambitions to undertake agricultural careers, foundation experience in the field can still prove to be a pragmatic area of study for their future.