Agricultural Science Waec Syllabus

Below is this years Waec Syllabus for Agricultural Science. Note that this syllabus is for both internal and external candidates.

Aims and Objectives

  • stimulate and sustain students’ interest in agriculture
  • enable students acquire functional knowledge and practical skills to prepare them for further studies and occupation in agriculture

Scheme of Examination

There will be three papers: Papers 1, 2 and 3, all of which must be taken. Papers 1 and 2 will be a composite paper to be taken in one sitting.


It will consist of fifty multiple-choice questions to be answered within 50 minutes for 50 marks.


It will consist of six essay questions, with each drawn from at least two themes in the syllabus. Candidates will be required to answer five of the questions within 2 hours and 10 minutes for 90 marks.


This will be a practical paper for school candidates and an alternative to practical paper for private candidates. It will consist of four questions, all of which should be answered within 1½ hours for 60 marks.

Instructions to Schools

Every school offering Agricultural Science must:

  1. Establish a farm where crops are grown.
  2. Keep at least one species of ruminant  and one nonruminant.
  3. Establish a fish pond where feasible.

Candidates should have practical notebooks which should contain records of individual activities based on laboratory and individual observations carried out on the school farms, field trips and also records of specimens collected.

In order to enhance the effective teaching/learning process and better performance of candidates, continuous assessment of candidates is recommended.

The main objectives of the Senior Secondary School Agricultural Science Curriculum are to:

  1. Stimulate and sustain students’ interest in agriculture;
  2. Enable students to acquire functional knowledge and practical skills to prepare them for further studies and occupations in agriculture.

It is recommended that the study of Agricultural Science in the Senior Secondary School be supplemented by visits to well-established government and private experimental and commercial farms, agricultural research institutes and other institutions related to agriculture.

Detailed Agricultural Science Syllabus


  1. Meaning and importance of agriculture
    • Definition and branches of agricultural science.
    • Importance of agriculture to the individual, community and nation

  2. Problems of agricultural development and possible solutions
    • Problems related to:
      • land tenure;
      • basic amenities;
      • finance;
      • transportation;
      • storage and processing facilities;
      • agricultural education and extension;
      • tools and machinery;
      • farm inputs;
      • marketing system;
      • environmental degradation.
    • Possible solutions to identified problems

  3. Meaning and differences between subsistence and commercial agriculture
    • Meaning of subsistence and commercial agriculture
    • Differences between subsistence and commercial agriculture based on their characteristics.
    • Advantages and disadvantages of subsistence and commercial agriculture.
    • Problems of subsistence and commercial agriculture.

  4. Roles of government in agricultural development
    • Agricultural Finance:
      • credit
      • subsidy
    • Agricultural education
    • Agricultural extension services.
    • Agricultural policies and programmes

  5. Role of non-governmental organizations in agricultural development
    • Meaning of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
    • Roles of NGOs in agricultural development.

  6. Agricultural laws and reforms
    • Land tenure systems in West Africa.
    • Government laws on land use in West Africa.
    • Advantages and disadvantages of the land use Act (Decree) and reforms in West Africa


  1. Meaning and importance of agricultural ecology
    • Meaning of agricultural ecology and ecosystem.
    • Components of farm ecosystem, e.g., biotic and abiotic
    • Interactions of the components in the terrestrial and aquatic agro-ecosystem.

  2. Land and its uses
    • Meaning of land.
    • Characteristics of land – free gift of nature, immobile, limited in supply etc.
    • Uses of land:
      • Agricultural purposes:
        • crop production;
        • wild life conservation/game reserve;
        • livestock production, etc.
      • non-agricultural purposes:
        • industry;
        • housing;
        • transport, etc.

  3. Factors affecting land availability for agricultural purposes
    • Physical factors
      • soil type;
      • topography;
      • land degradation;
      • soil pollution.
    • Economic factors
      • population pressure
      •  expansion of industries
      • mining/mineral exploitation
      • recreation/tourism
    • Socio-cultural factors:
      • land tenure system
      • religious purpose (church, mosque and shrine) etc.

  4. Agro-allied industries and the relationship between agriculture and industry
    • Agro-based industries and  raw materials
      • paper industry: pulp wood;
      • beverage industry (cocoa, tea, etc.);
      • textile industry: cotton;
      • soap industry: oil,  seeds, etc
    • Relationship between agriculture and industries:
      • Agriculture provides a market for industrial products, e.g., farm machinery and chemicals;
      • Agriculture provides food for industrial workers.

  5. Environmental factors affecting crop and animal distribution and production
    • Climatic factors, e.g., rainfall, temperature, light, wind, relative humidity.
    • Biotic factors, e.g., predators, parasites, soil micro-organisms, pests, pathogens and weeds; interrelationships such as competition, parasitism, and mutualism (symbiosis).
    • Edaphic factors: soil pH, soil texture, soil structure, soil type etc.

  6. Rock formation
    • Types of rock:
      • igneous;
      • sedimentary
      • metamorphic
    • Processes of rock formation.

  7. Soil formation and profile development
    • Factors of soil formation: the parent rock, organisms, climate, topography and time
    • Processes of soil formation
      • physical weathering;
      • chemical weathering
    • Soil profile development

  8. Types, composition and properties of soil
    • Types of soil
    • Chemical and biological composition of soil:
      • soil macro and micronutrients;
      • soil water;
      • soil macro-organisms;
      • soil microbes;
      • soil air.
    • Soil pH
    • Physical properties of soil:
      • soil texture
      • soil structure

  9. Plant nutrients and nutrient cycle
    • Macro and micronutrients;  their functions and deficiency symptoms in crops
    • Factors affecting the availability of nutrients in soil such as pH, excess of other nutrients, leaching, crop removal, oxidation and burning
    • Methods of replenishing lost nutrients, e.g., crop rotation, organic manuring, fertilizer application, fallowing, liming, and cover-cropping
    • Nitrogen, carbon, water and phosphorus cycles
    • Organic agriculture – meaning and importance

  10. Irrigation
    • Meaning of irrigation system
    • Types of irrigation systems:
      • overhead, e.g., sprinkler;
      • surface, e.g., flooding, furrow/channel, basin, border;
      • underground, e.g., perforated pipes and drips.
    • Advantages and disadvantages of irrigation systems
    • Importance of irrigation
    • Problems associated with irrigation

  11. Drainage
    • Meaning of drainage.
    • Importance of drainage.
    • Types of drainage systems
      • surface drainage, e.g., channel, furrow;
      • subsurface/underground drainage.
    • Advantages and disadvantages of drainage systems

  12. Agricultural pollution
    • Meaning of agricultural pollution
    • Causes/sources of pollution of agricultural lands and fish ponds:
      • excessive application of agricultural chemicals;
      • marine and oil spillage;
      • livestock waste and dung disposal etc.
    • Effects of land/pond pollution on farmers and agricultural productivity


  1. Simple farm tools
    • Meaning of simple farm tools.
    • Types of simple farm tools
      • cutlass, hoe, spade, shovel etc.
    • General maintenance of simple farm tools

  2. Farm machinery and implements
    • Farm machinery:
      • tractor;
      • bulldozer;
      • shellers;
      • dryers;
      • incubators;
      • milking machines;
      • combine harvester etc.
    • (b) Tractor-coupled implements:
      • ploughs;
      • harrows;
      • ridgers;
      • planters;
      • harvesters;
      • sprayers etc.

  3. Maintenance practices and precautionary measures
    • Reasons for maintaining farm machines
    • Maintenance of farm machinery:
      • check water and oil levels regularly
      • carry out routine service
      • keep machines clean etc

  4. Agricultural mechanization
    • Meaning of agricultural mechanization.
    • Mechanized agricultural operations.
    • Advantages and disadvantages of agricultural mechanization.
    • Limitations of agricultural mechanization.

  5. Prospects of agricultural mechanization


  6. Farm power
    • Sources of farm power.
    • Advantages and disadvantages of different sources of farm power.

  7. Farm Surveying
    • Meaning of farm surveying.
    • Common survey equipment.
    • Uses of farm survey equipment.
    • Maintenance of farm survey equipment.
    • Importance of farm surveying.

  8. Farm planning
    • Meaning of farm planning.
    • Factors to be considered in farm planning.
    • Importance of farm planning.

  9. Principles of farmstead planning
    • Meaning of farmstead.
    • Importance of farmstead planning.
    • Factors to be considered in the design of a farmstead.
    • Farmstead layout.


  1. Classification of crops
    • Classification of crops based on their uses, e.g., cereals, pulses, roots and tubers, and vegetables.
    • Classification based on their life cycle, e.g., annual, biennial, perennial, ephemeral.
    • Classification based on their morphology, e.g., monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous crops.

  2. Husbandry of selected crops

    botanical names and common names of the crop, varieties/types, climatic and soil requirements, land preparation, methods of propagation, planting date, seed rate, spacing, sowing depth and nursery requirements, cultural practices: supplying, thinning,

    manuring and fertilizer requirement and application, weeding, pests and disease control, harvesting, processing and storage of at least one representative crop from each of the following crop groupings:

    • Cereals, e.g., maize, rice, guinea corn, millet;
    • Pulses (grain legumes), e.g., cowpea, soya bean, pigeon pea.
    • Roots and tubers, e.g., cassava, yam, potatoes;
    • Vegetables, e.g., tomatoes, onion, amaranthus, okra, cauliflower, spinach;
    • Fruits, e.g., citrus, banana, pineapple;
    • Beverages, e.g., cocoa, tea, coffee;
    • Spices, e.g., pepper, ginger;
    • Oils, e.g., groundnut, shea butter, sunflower, oil palm;
    • Fibres e.g., cotton, jute, sisal hemp;
    • Latex e.g. rubber;
    • Others – sugar cane etc.

  3. Pasture and forage crops
    • Meaning of pasture and forage crops.
    • Uses of forage crops.
    • Types of pasture.
    • Common grasses and legumes used for grazing livestock.
    • Factors affecting the distribution and productivity of pasture.
    • Establishment of pasture.
    • Management practices of pasture.

  4. Crop improvement
    • Aims of crop improvement.
    • Methods/processes of crop improvement, e.g., introduction, selection, breeding.
    • Mendel’s laws of inheritance.
    • Advantages and disadvantages of crop improvement.


  1. Forest management
    • Meaning of forest and forestry.
    • Importance of forestry.
    • Forest regulations.
    • Forest management practices.
    • Implications of deforestation.

  2. Agro-forestry practices in West Africa
    • Meaning of agro-forestry.
    • Agro-forestry practices:
      • taungya system;
      • alley cropping;
      • ley farming etc.


  1. Meaning and importance of ornamental plants
    • Meaning of ornamental plants.
    • Importance of ornamental plants.

  2. Common types of ornamental plants
    • Types of ornamental plants according to their uses:
      • bedding plants (mostly   flowering plants);
      • hedging plants;
      • lawn grasses etc.
    • Examples of ornamental plants.

  3. Settings and location for planting ornamental plants


  4. Methods of cultivating ornamental plants
    • by seed;
    • vegetative propagation.

  5. Maintenance of ornamental plants



  1. Diseases of crops
    • Meaning of disease
    • General effects of diseases on crop production.
    • Disease: causal organism, economic importance, mode of transmission, symptoms, prevention and control measures of the diseases of the following crops:
      • cereals – smut, rice blast, leaf rust etc.;
      • legumes – cercospora leaf spot, rosette etc;
      • beverages – cocoa black pod, swollen shoot, coffee leaf rust etc.;
      • tubers – cassava mosaic, bacterial leaf blight etc.;
      • fruits- citrus gummosis, dieback etc
      • fibre – black arm/bacterial blight of cotton etc.;
      • vegetables – root-knot of tomato or okro, damping off, onion twister etc.;
      • tored produce – mould etc.

  2. Pests of crops
    • Meaning of pests.
    • Classification of pests:
      • insect pests;
      • non-insect pests.
    • Classification of insect pests based on mouth parts with examples
      • biting and chewing;
      • piercing and sucking;
      • boring.
    • Important insect pests of major crops; field and storage pests, life cycle, economic importance, nature of the damage, preventive and control measures of the following major insect-pests of crops:
      • cereals – stem borer, armyworm, earworm etc.
      • legumes – pod borer, aphids, sucking bugs and leaf beetle;
      • beverages – cocoa myrids (capsids);
      • tubers – yam beetle, cassava mealybugs, green spidermites, variegated grasshopper;
      • fibre – cotton stainer, bollworms;
      • fruits and vegetables – thrips, grasshoppers, leaf roller, leaf beetle, scale insect;
      • stored produce – grain weevils, bean beetle.
    • Non-insect pests, e.g., birds, rodents etc
    • Side effects of preventive and control methods:
      • chemical – pollution, poisoning;
      • biological ­- disruption of the ecosystem etc;
      • cultural – harmful effects of burning etc.
    • General effects/economic importance of pests.

  3. Weeds
    • Meaning of weeds.
    • Types of weeds.
    • Effects of weeds on crops and economy.
    • Characteristic features of weeds.
    • Methods of controlling weeds:  cultural, biological, chemical, physical and mechanical methods.


  1. Types and classification of farm animals
    • Types of farm animals: cattle, sheep, goat, poultry, pig, rabbit, fish etc.
    • Classification of farm animals   according to:
      • (i) habitat: terrestrial and aquatic.
      • (ii) uses: food, protection, pets, etc.

  2. Anatomy and physiology of farm animals
    • Parts of farm animals.
    • Organs of farm animals, e.g., heart, liver, lungs.
    • Systems of farm animals, e.g., digestive system, circulatory system, respiratory system.

  3. Animal reproduction
    • Meaning of reproduction.
    • Roles of hormones in the reproduction of farm animals.
    • Reproductive systems of farm animals.
    • Processes of reproduction in farm animals.
    • Egg formation in poultry.

  4. Environmental physiology
    • Meaning of environmental physiology.
    • Effects of changes in climatic factors such as:
      • temperature;
      • relative humidity; and
      • light on:
        • Growth, reproduction, milk production, egg production, etc.

  5. Livestock management
    • Meaning of livestock management
    • Requirements for livestock management: housing, feeding, hygiene and finishing of at least one ruminant and one non-ruminant from birth to market weight.
    • Importance of management practices.

  6. Animal Nutrition
    • Meaning of animal nutrition.
    • Classification of feeds.
    • Sources and functions of feed nutrients.
    • Types of ration/diet and their uses; components of a balanced diet; production and maintenance rations.
    • Causes and symptoms of malnutrition and their correction in farm animals.

  7. Rangeland and pasture management
    • Meaning and importance of rangeland/pasture to livestock and the characteristics of range land.
    • Common grasses and legumes  in rangeland.
    • Factors affecting the level of production of herbage; rainfall, grass/legume composition, grazing etc.
    • Methods of rangeland and pasture improvement:
      • Controlled stocking, rotational grazing, use of fertilizers, introduction of legumes, reseeding, weed control, burning,  pest and disease control.

  8. Animal improvement
    • Meaning of animal improvement.
    • Aims of animal improvement.
    • Methods of animal improvement:
      • Introduction;
      • selection;
      • breeding.
    • Artificial insemination
      • meaning of artificial insemination.
      • methods of collecting semen.
      • advantages and disadvantages of artificial insemination.

    • Meaning of disease
    • Causal organisms: viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa.
    • Factors that could predispose animals to diseases: health status of animals, nutrition, management etc.
    • Reaction of animals to diseases: susceptibility and resistance to diseases.
    • Causal organisms, symptoms, mode of transmission, effects, prevention and control of the following selected livestock diseases:
      • viral-foot and mouth, rinderpest, newcastle;
      • bacterial – anthrax, brucellosis, tuberculosis;
      • fungal – aspergillosis, ringworm, scabies;
      • protozoa – trypanosomiasis, coccidiosis.

    • meaning of parasite.
    • types of parasites.
    • mode of transmission, life cycle, economic importance and control of the following selected livestock parasites:
      • endoparasites – tapeworm, liverfluke and roundworm;
      • ectoparasites – ticks, lice.
    • General methods of prevention and control of diseases and parasites:
      • Quarantine, inoculation/immunization, hygiene, breeding for resistance etc.

  9. Aquaculture
    • Meaning of aquaculture.
    • Different types of aquaculture:
      • (i)   fish farming;
      • (ii)  shrimp farming;
      • (iii)  crab farming.
    • Meaning and importance of fish farming.
    • Conditions necessary for siting a fish pond.
    • Establishment and maintenance of fish ponds.
    • Fishery regulations – meaning and regulations.
    • Fishing methods and tools.

  10. Apiculture or bee keeping
    • Meaning of apiculture or bee keeping.
    • Types of bees
      • indigenous bees;
      • exotic bees.
    • Importance of bee keeping.
    • Methods of bee keeping:
      • traditional method;
      • modern bee-keeping.
    • Bee-keeping equipment: beehives, hive tools like suits,smokers, jungle boots, brushes, etc.
    • Precautionary measures in beekeeping:
      • locate apiaries far from human dwellings;
      • put warning symbols near the apiary etc.


  1. Basic economic principles
    • scarcity;
    • choice;
    • Scale of preference;
    • law of diminishing returns.

  2. Factors of production:
    • land;
    • capital;
    • labour – characteristics and classification;
    • management or entrepreneur

  3. Principles of demand
    • Definition of demand.
    • Law of demand.
    • Factors affecting demand for agricultural produce.
    • Movements along the demand curve.
    • Shifts in the demand curve.

  4. Principles of supply
    • Definition of supply.
    • Law of supply.
    • Movements along the supply curve.
    • Shifts in the supply curve.
    • Factors affecting the supply of agricultural produce.

  5. Implications of demand and supply for agricultural production
    • Price support.
    • Price control.
    • Subsidy programme and its effects on agricultural production.

  6. Functions of a farm manager
    • Meaning of a farm manager.
    • Functions of a farm manager.

  7. Problems faced by farm managers


  8. Agricultural Finance
    • Meaning of agricultural finance.
    • Importance of agricultural finance.
    • Sources of farm finance.

  9. Classes of farm credit
    • Classification based on length of time:
      • short-term credit;
      • medium-term credit;
      • long-term credit.
    • classification based on the source of credit:
      • institutional credit;
      • non-institutional credit.
    • classification based on liquidity:
      • loan in cash;
      • loan in-kind.
    • Problems faced by farmers in procuring agricultural credit.
      • high-interest rate;
      • lack or inadequate collateral, etc.
    • Problems faced by institutions in granting loans to farmers:
      • lack of records and accounts etc.

  10. Capital market
    • meaning of capital market, institutions that deal with medium and long-term loans for agricultural business.
    • institutions involved in the capital market
    • sources of funds for the capital market:
      • bonds
      • insurance companies;
      • merchant banks;
      • the stock exchange (sales and purchases of shares).
    • roles of capital markets in agricultural business:
      • mobilization of long-term funds for on-lending;
      • reduce over-reliance on the money market, etc.

  11. Farm records and accounts
    • Importance of farm records.
    • Types of farm records:
      • inventory records;
      • production records;
      • income and expenditure    records;
      • supplementary or special records.
    • Designing farm records
    • Farm accounts
      • expenditure/ purchases   account;
      • income/sales account;
      • profit and loss account;
      • balance sheet.

  12. Marketing of agricultural produce
    • Meaning and importance of marketing of agricultural produce.
    • Marketing agents and their functions.
    • Marketing functions
      • assembling;
      • transportation;
      • processing etc.
    • Marketing of export crops.
    • Export crops in West Africa.
    • Guidelines for exporting crops in West Africa.
    • Corporate bodies, cooperative societies, and individuals engaged in exporting agricultural produce, e.g., ANCE (Association of Nigerian Cooperative Exporters),.
    • Importance of exporting agricultural produce.
    • Problems of marketing agricultural produce.

  13. Agricultural insurance
    • Meaning of agricultural insurance.
    • Importance of agricultural insurance.
    • Types of insurance policies for agricultural production:
      • specific enterprise insurance, e.g., crop insurance, livestock  insurance;
      • farm vehicle insurance;
      • fire disaster insurance or  machines and buildings insurance;
      • life assurance (farmers, farm workers, and farmers’ households).
    • Insurance premium
    • Problems with agricultural insurance:
      • uncertainties of weather;
      • losses due to natural disasters etc.

  14. Agricultural extension
    • Meaning and importance of agricultural extension
    • Agricultural extension methods:
      • individual contact methods;
      • group contact methods etc.
    • Agricultural extension programmes in West Africa, e.g., ADP, NDE, Agro-service centres, state ministries of agriculture and natural resources
    • Problems of agricultural extension in West Africa. e.g. illiteracy among farmers, inadequate transport facilities etc.


    • Soil
    • Soil profile
    • Rocks
    • Laboratory work on the physical properties of soil
      • Mechanical analysis by sedimentation and also by the use of hydrometer method or sieves
      • Determination of bulk density and total pore space.
      • Determination of moisture content of a moist soil sample.
      • Determination of maximum water holding capacity.
      • Determination of wilting point.
      • Determination of capillary action.
    • Laboratory work on chemical properties of soil.
      • Determination of soil acidity using a pH meter and/or any other gadget or simple equipment.
      • Common types of chemical fertilizers.
      • Organic manure:
        • green manure;
        • farm yard;
        • compost.
    • Irrigation and drainage

    •  Farm tools and equipment
    • Tractor and animal-drawn implement
    • Harvesting, processing, and storage equipment.
    • Farm tractor
    • Use and maintenance of horticultural tools and implements.
    • Livestock and fishing equipment
    • Farm surveying equipment

    • Seeds, seedlings, fruits and storage organs of crops.
    • Main pests and diseases of crops
    • Planting dates, seed rates, plant population and seed quality tests of the more common local crop plants.
    • Preparation of seedbeds, fertilizer application, mulching, use of pesticides, watering, vegetative propagation, germination tests etc.
    • Forest products and by-products.
    • Methods of propagation of horticultural plants.
    • Common weeds

    • Common breeds of animals and types of animals available in the locality.
    • Major internal organs of farm animals, e.g., organs of the digestive system, reproductive and excretory systems.
    • Animal by-products.
    • Animal feeds and feedstuffs and their local sources.
    • Main pests and parasites of farm animals.
    • Diseases of farm animals.
    • Routine management practices in farm animals, e.g., selection of livestock and poultry for breeding, culling, ear-notching, tattooing, horn or skin branding, debeaking, dehorning, castration.
    • Fish harvesting and preservation.

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