The State of School Gardening Programs in Sustainable Development in Nigeria: Obstacles and Opportunities

By Okoro Monday Akinyemi, Peter von Fragstein and David Agnew.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The extent to which implementation of school gardening is successful as a means of alleviating poverty and reducing widespread nutritional problems in Nigeria depends on government and non-governmental organisations. Both government and non-governmental organisations play a major role in the support and administration of school garden programs, even at the local level. During times of stress and hunger, gardens provide a major source of household food and income for schools, community members, families and others. However, factors militate against the materialisation of truly effective school gardens in Nigeria. Some of the problems hindering the success of school gardens could be attributed to bureaucratic procedures in the ministries and corresponding delays in funding from the government and non-governmental organisations. Considering the dismal nutritional situation in Nigeria, a well articulated school gardening intervention program is greatly needed to enhance the nutritional status. It is undisputable that vegetables are a valuable source of carotene, iron and ascorbic acid and also contribute vitamin B, calcium and folic acid to the diet. This study sought to identify the obstacles to school garden programs. Evidence in Western Nigeria clearly shows that the factors affecting gardening activities are related to lack of project co-ordination, lack of teacher and student motivation, lack of land in cities and absence of funds to purchase the required facilities for gardening. To achieve better results in gardening projects, the problems hindering their success must be identified and then strategies developed to overcome these obstacles. Once developed, there is need to train teachers, students, school administrators, parents and community members to understand the application of appropriate technologies and best practices needed for successful implementation of gardening programs. The adoption of these strategies will hopefully advance the implementation of school garden programs in Nigeria.

Keywords: Nutrition, School Gardens, School Gardening, Nigerian Education, Motivation, Training and Obstacles

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 10, pp.231-246. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 851.541KB).

Prince Okoro Monday Akinyemi

PhD Student, Department of Organic Agriculture and Farming Systems, University of Kassel, Witzenhausen, Witzenhausen, Germany

Prince Okoro Monday Akinyemi is pursuing PhD at the University of Kassel in Germany. He holds a B.Sc. Degree in Agricultural Education from the University of Benin in Nigeria and Masters Degree in International Organic Agriculture from the University of Kassel in Germany. He has taught Agricultural Science in Nigeria and in The Gambia. He is the Secretary General of African People Convention and International Rehabilitation for African Disables in Germany.

Dr. Peter von Fragstein

Professor, Department of Organic Agriculture and Farming Systems, University of Kassel, Witzenhausen, Witzenhausen, Germany

Dr. Peter von Fragstein is on the faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences at Kassel University and is senior scientist of the Department of Organic Farming and Cropping where he holds a professorship for Organic Vegetable Production. He is very much committed to sustainable and organic cropping systems. Teaching and research is mostly dedicated to organic plant production and nutrient management. Since 2007 he is chairman of the European Network of Organic Agriculture Teachers.

Dr. David Agnew

Associate Professor, College of Agriculture, Arkansas State University, State University, Arkansas, USA

Dr. David Agnew is Associate Professor of Agricultural Education at Arkansas State University in the U.S. where he has been on faculty for 17 years. He taught at the secondary level for five years in Tennessee and has been on faculty at Montana State University and the University of Nebraska. He is currently involved in preservice preparation of secondary teachers of agriculture, certification of adult educators and career educators. Dr. Agnew is also Co-Director of Arkansas Food Land and People. He has conducted research and has presented and published in the areas of agricultural literacy, leadership and career education.

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