Sierra Leone has a population of about 5 million. In 1992, although about 75% of the nation was engaged in agriculture as their main source of livelihood, only 38% of the GDP was contributed to by this sector. Food Aid increased from 36, 000 tons in 1979/80 to 45,000 tons in 1992/92. During that same period, Cereal imports too increased from 83,000 tons to 133,000 tons.
However, other basic indicators for development including health, education, manufacturing and development of infrastructure, have not been encouraging (World Bank 2004). It is against this backdrop that the authorities in Sierra Leone developed the Agricultural Master Plan……….
AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION AT PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS. The first role of primary school education in any community is to shape and strengthen the child as a society member in relation to his/her natural environment (the Parents, Teacher, Peers, and the World at Large). The first stage of development at this age therefore, will be very crucial in reforming him/her to be a useful member of the society (Colclough and Lenin, 1993, Lockheed, 12993, Bernard, 1982; UNESCO, 1970). The child with an appropriate primary education in agriculture is more likely to: - be able to identify the uses of different farm implements. - be able to combine farm inputs better than his/her illiterate counterpart. - be well prepared to appreciate continued agricultural education at Secondary level and determine better-input selection, (because of his ability in basic literacy and innumeracy) which his illiterate counterpart lacks. Research has shown that four years of primary schooling can affect agricultural output increase by 8% Awareness increases amongst children, which will have positive effects on the health, life expectancy and population growth of the society. Furthermore, when a child starts schooling early, it greatly enhances his/her cognitive and non-cognitive attributes. These advantages become even more afferent when the curriculum includes Agricultural Sciences right at the primary school level. Agricultural education at primary school level in Africa is probably of utmost importance to the child because of its numerous benefits.