Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Competency Requirements and Levels of Lips for Updating Information Services for Agricultural Research in Nigerian University Libraries

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Competency Requirements and Levels of Lips for Updating Information Services for Agricultural Research in Nigerian University Libraries

Article excerpt

1. INTRODUCTION

Agriculture is a very important sector of the economies of the developing countries. It is the backbone of the economy of Africa with about 90% of her people depending on it for a living. It is also the main foreign exchange earner of the various countries that make up the continent (Mbwana, 2013). Ezeani (2005) has observed that very few countries have experienced rapid economic growth without a corresponding growth in agriculture. However, in Nigeria, the oil boom of the 1970s resulted in the neglect of agriculture as government shifted its attention and support from the agricultural to the oil sector. This had adverse effects on the development of agriculture in Nigeria. This neglect caused Fadiji to prophesy in 1996 that the much publicized aspiration of food for all by the year 2000 would be an unrealizable dream. Today, his prophesy has come to reality. Today, the current food supply is inadequate to meet the needs of the over 140 million people resulting in the continuous dependence on importation of even staple food products like rice and beans. Nigerian agriculture has been stagnant, or at best, in recession. There has been perennial low agricultural production (Aina, in Mabawonku, 2001), continuing poor food supply and food security, continuing poor agricultural development and poor economic and consequently, poor national development in Nigeria and other ever-present problems of the agricultural process. In view of this and considering the apparent volatility of the oil sector, there is urgent need to reexamine the strategies for solving agricultural problems and enhancing agricultural development in Nigeria.

One way of achieving this is through sound agricultural research. Agricultural research, according to Besemer and Veerman (2005) is simply a systematic inquiry into the application of scientific procedures to the study of agricultural problems. These problems require solutions based on convincing evidence. Such evidence is captured through well-planned and thoroughly executed agricultural research (FAO, 1993). The ultimate aim of agricultural research is to bring greater productivity and economic efficiency to the agricultural industry. However, agricultural research in Nigeria has been marred by lack of up-to-date information support to all the stakeholders in the sector. Researchers require adequate access to a wide array of information resources available in various formats and media in order to produce timely and appropriate research result that can be productively applied to emancipate Nigeria from her perennial low agricultural production, enhance food security, restore agriculture as the main foreign exchange earner, support the federal government's poverty alleviation programme, promote rapid economic growth, and enhance the overall national development of the nation.

Agricultural research is carried out and promoted in various specialized institutions. However, universities are prominent in agricultural research because of the preponderance of high level manpower engaged in the production and utilization of agricultural research results, the existence of a large population of student participants and users, and the existence of competitive research resulting in the need for both intensive and extensive research.

The university is the apex of the system of higher education. (Nigeria, 2014). The universities are mandated to promote manpower development, research and national development. This, as noted by Mezieobi (2007), was stipulated in the National Policy on Education. The universities promote research not only by providing relevant and needed information resources and services for researchers, but also by disseminating their research findings to both the government, industries and other researchers.

Central to this objective of promoting research and scholarship in the university is the university library. The main purpose of the university library is to support the objectives of the university which are to promote teaching, learning and research. …

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