Influence of Agricultural Child Labour Experience On Students’ Decision to Study Agriculture in Delta State, Nigeria (Published)
This study investigated the effect of child labour experience in agriculture on the decision of students to study agriculture in tertiary institutions in Delta State, Nigeria. Delta State University and Delta State Polytechnic students of agriculture were purposively selected for the study. Random selection of students was done in each agriculture area of specialization in the tertiary institutions based on 10% of the population to result to a sample size of 151 students. Data for the study were elicited with the use of questionnaire and were analyzed with the application of descriptive statistics and Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (PPMC). Most (52.98%) of the student were males. The students were mainly (96.02%) in the age bracket of 20-29 years. Most (76.16%) of the student had 6-10years of working experience in their childhood years in either family or others farms as many (64.90%) were residents in rural settlements, where majority (64.24%) of them did not witness extension agents’ visit to their farms. The involvement index of the children in poultry farming was 0.48; in arable crop production, 0.60; in fish farming, 0.20 and in plantation agriculture, 0.12. Some of them experienced hard labour (47.68%); no remuneration (no pay) (51.66%) and injuries (54.97%). Only 6.62% of them originally sought for admission to study agriculture. The reasons given by those who originally applied to read agriculture for doing so ranged from self employment, interest, lucrative nature of agriculture and familiarity with farming activities. Their involvement in agricultural child labour positively influenced their decision to study agriculture. It is therefore recommended that extension agents should interact with farm families in order to encourage the children on agriculture; farmers should be encouraged to simply mechanize their farming activities; farm families should be encouraged to give their children only non-hazardous activities to carry out and the children should only be involved in farming activities during the holidays in order not to compromise their schooling.