The Department, at the time of inception of the University in 1988 was anchored in the College of Plant Science and Crop Production. It took off in September 1991 with the assumption of duty of the first academic staff and coordinator and admission of students from the 1992/93 session. With a restructuring programme in 1994, the Department was relocated to the College of Animal Science and Livestock Production (COLANIM), making it the first Department of Pasture and Range Management in the Nigerian University System.
PHILOSOPHY AND OBJECTIVES
The Department is primarily involved in the training of students at the undergraduate Bachelor of Agriculture (B. Agric) and Postgraduate (PGD; M. Agric/Ph. D) Levels. The aim is to train students in the science, production and management of forage feed resources for effective ruminant animal production. The Department also conducts research and provides support services in all areas of forage resources for year round feed availability for all classes of ruminant animals etc. Studies are also conducted on ecological improvement, land reclamation, turf making etc.
The primary philosophy that guides the training of students is the production of skilled manpower that are adequately furnished with the comprehensive information required for engaging in economic agricultural production in an environment characterized by rural setting and adequate land endowment. Such knowledgeable professional manpower has to be produced in an atmosphere with the widest possible human and material resources, through the adoption of effective techniques of instruction, and exposure to the actual practice of agriculture. Consequently, there are opportunities for formal training at the Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels for the acquisition of basic and higher degrees respectively.
These training programmes are mounted through classroom instruction, laboratory practical, field demonstration, and workshop practice.
The major objectives of the Department, based on the foregoing philosophy, are as follows:
i) To assist in the attainment of self-sufficiency in the production of basic food;
ii) To contribute to the achievement of the goal of marked increase in the production of agricultural raw materials to support the growth of our several industries;
iii) To enhance the production and processing of export produce;
iv) To emphasise on relevant, appropriate and manageable technology to modernize agricultural production, processing, storage preservation and distribution;
v) To enhance rural employment opportunities and the attendant improvement of the quality of rural life;
vi) To evolve effective ways of protecting agricultural land resources from ecological degradation such as erosion, pollution, etc.
vii) To develop new patterns of agricultural structures and government policies which clearly demonstrate that agriculture is an important part of our national economy.
viii) To introduce new areas such as turf making into our economy.