Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Enterpreneurial Skills Required by Youths for Watermelon (Citrullus Lanatus) Production: A Panacea to Unemployment Challenges in Ondo State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Enterpreneurial Skills Required by Youths for Watermelon (Citrullus Lanatus) Production: A Panacea to Unemployment Challenges in Ondo State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Abstract

The study was carried out to identify the entrepreneurial skills required by youths for watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) production as a panacea to unemployment challenges in Ondo State, Nigeria. Three research questions guided the study. The population of the study was 76; made up of 32 teachers of agricultural science in secondary schools, 28 registered watermelon farmers and 16 agricultural extension agents from eight agricultural zones in the state. The entire population constituted the sample because of the small size. Three sets of questionnaire containing 59 entrepreneurial skills items were developed and used to collect data. The questionnaire had a 4-point response scale of Highly Required, Averagely Required, Slightly Required and Not Required. The instrument was validated by experts, from the Vocational Teacher Education Department (Agricultural Education Unit) and the Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The reliability of the questionnaires was established using Crobanch Alpha reliability formula to determine the internal consistency of the questionnaire items. A reliability coefficient of 0.85 was obtained. Seventy six (76) copies of the questionnaire were administered on the respondents. All were retrieved. Mean and Standard Deviation were used for data analysis. The findings showed that youths in Ondo State required 59 major entrepreneurial skills for effective watermelon production. Objectively, the study identified the entrepreneurial skills needed for planning, preplanting, planting, post-planting, packaging and marketing of watermelon fruits to train and reduce unemployment challenges in Ondo State. Based on the findings, it was recommended among others that the identified the entrepreneurial skills should be incorporated into the curriculum of the Skill Acquisition Centers Schools and Colleges by federal, state government, and training institutes to train youths in order to empower them and reduce unemployment challenges in Ondo State and Nigeria in general.

Keywords: entrepreneurial skills, youths, unemployment challenges, water melon production, secondary school leavers, planting operations.

INTRODUCTION

Watermelon (citrullus lanatus) is a fruit vegetable. Watermelon, according to Darin (2003) originated in Africa. It was first cultivated in Egypt where statements to its legacy was recorded in hieroglyphics painted on building walls. The author noted that this fruit was held in such high regard that it was placed in the tombs of many Egyptian kings. Watermelon as explained by Wikipedia (2013) belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae. It is a vine like (scrambler and trailer) flowering plants. The watermelon fruit is a berry which has a thick rind (exocarp) and fleshy centre (mesocarp). The centre is juicy and sweet usually red or pink but sometimes orange, yellow and even green if not ripe. It has a smooth exterior rind (exocarp) which is green or yellow. Watermelon is propagated by seed. It has many varieties. The varieties are the Carolina cross with red flesh, the Yellow crimson with yellow flesh, the Orangeglo with sweet orange, the Moon and stars with purple flesh, the Melitopolski and the Densuke. Other popular varieties are Charlseton grey, Congo, Sugar bay and ice box. Depending on varieties, watermelon takes between 80 to 100 days from planting to maturity (Wikipedia, 2013).

Darin stated that watermelon has extremely high water content, approximately 92% thereby making it a thirst-quenching fruit. According to him, watermelon has many uses in terms of its nutritional values and health benefits. It is effective in promoting intestinal elimination, keeping the body free from toxic wastes. It is an excellent food for weight loss. The alkalizing effect maintains the acid - alkaline balance in the body, neutralizing the toxic condition of the body resulting from excess intake of acid forming foods. Its cleansing and natural diuretic effect is totally healing for kidney and bladder problems. …

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