AGRICULTURE EDUCATION THROUGH FIELD EXPERIENCES

Agriculture is the fabric of rural society and in many countries including Rwanda; it is the main economic activity as it provides employment to the majority of rural population, ancillary businesses, and environment services. Agriculture is one of the subjects in the department of rural development; Students from this department must understand the theories related to agriculture and apply them to the field. In this regard, the department of business and development studies organized a trip in order to help the students apply the agricultural theories studied in the class to the field.


AGRICULTURE EDUCATION THROUGH FIELD EXPERIENCES

Agriculture is the fabric of rural society and in many countries including Rwanda; it is the main economic activity as it provides employment to the majority of rural population, ancillary businesses, and environment services. Agriculture is one of the subjects in the department of rural development; Students from this department must understand the theories related to agriculture and apply them to the field. In this regard, the department of business and development studies organized a trip in order to help the students apply the agricultural theories studied in the class to the field.

 This report covers summarized the activities carried during a field trip that we had on 10th November.2017 in Kagano Sector, Nyamasheke District, Western Province, Rwanda.

THE OBJECTIVES OF THE TRIP WERE:

  1. To let the students understand the agricultural ethics to be adopted on the field;
  2. To let the students observe and learn the process of establishment of the different methods of soil conservation in Rwanda, specifically Bench terraces and Agroforestry;
  3. To let the students interact with Madam Batamuriza Dorothy who is an agronomist at district level in order to clarify the queries from the students.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  1. To achieve the first objective of the trip, Madam Batamuriza Dorothy explained to the students the importance of field visit, how they should approach; cooperate with the farmers and suitable behaviour to be adopted while they are on the field in order to explore the maximum possible information from the farmers.
  2. To achieve the second objective of the trip, she highlighted the process of making bench terraces by allowing the students to observe how they were established and students got time to ask questions about the process of making bench terraces. Concerning the agro-forestry method of soil conservation, she explained the types and importance of trees in agriculture system. She also stated that agro-forestry played a role of sustaining crop life, forage and economic benefits. She concluded that agro-forestry has a triple role in agriculture and both bench terraces and agro-forestry are the methods of soil conservation accepted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI). It is therefore important to know and understand them very well as you studied Agriculture and at the same time being the rural areas developers.
  3. To achieve the third objective of the trip, the students offered opportunity to ask questions about the field experiences and their questions were answered.

QUOTES FROM THE STUDENTS REGARDING THE FIELD TRIP

  • The field visit was a very inspiring and useful experience;
  • The field trip was challenging but full of useful experiences.  It certainly gives us different perceptions and understanding to how farmers perform different agricultural practices;
  • I particularly enjoyed the field trip and I wish if possible to continue agriculture education through field trips as it makes things comprehensive- stated by David, the representative of the student; he stated also that not only agriculture even other subjects, it will be an advantage for us to arrange field visits in order to appreciate the theories learned in the class.
  • It was very important to take part in this field trip as there are many possibilities to have direct contact with Dorothy.
  • We thank KP for organizing such kind of trip to help us appreciate the theories learned in the class and understand their applicability to the field.

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