Agronomy

Purpose Statement
Agronomists are concerned with the principles and practices of field crop production and the conservation of soils and land resources. The aim of this programme is therefore to prepare crop production graduates to go into a working environment as qualified professionals who would be required to solve diverse plant production-related problems. As agronomist, they will spend most of their energy thinking through problems and providing solutions to crop production, soil conservation and land management problems. They will also be interacting with and providing information and important advice to people of diverse backgrounds. The program is therefore designed to give the graduates the fundamentals required to increase their knowledge base and reasoning power, the platform for directional development and skills required for them to enter the crop production farming sector as knowledge and professional workers with ability to create intellectual property, to produce knowledge products and to create value for their employers at production, exploration, research, innovation and technical platforms.
Areas of emphasis include crop production and protection, plant breeding, nutrient management, and soil conservation and fertility. Education in this program emphasizes the principles of plant and soil management and the basic sciences upon which these principles are grounded. The aim is also to produce graduates who can grow into management or enter other industries where the knowledge of plant production, plant breeding, crop protection and soil fertility and conservation are of primary benefit.

Employment opportunities citing typical employers
Employment possibilities include farm chemical and fertilizer store managers, sales representatives, field and lab technicians, crop management consultants, extension agents, soil and water conservationists, inspectors and regulatory agencies. Currently, agricultural education teachers are needed at the secondary level to teach students these important skills related to agricultural systems. Career opportunities are available for individuals that understand the agricultural systems content and are able to teach this content to others.

Entrepreneurial opportunities 
Crop production is has many entrepreneurial opportunities, many of which involve plant production, agricultural processing and manufacturing, sales and environmental management. A number of small and medium micro enterprises are emerging in the sector. There is an increase in post-harvest processing industries and several processing steps up the value chain to obtain products that can be distributed directly to the public for consumption and usage. There is a rising emergence of entrepreneurial opportunities in sales, retail and distribution within the sector. Many products manufactured locally and abroad are sold directly or through distribution channels in the South African economy, giving rise to opportunities for creating value within these channels environment.

Vertical articulation for further / higher degree studies where applicable
This program is a generic Bachelor of Science at NQF level 8. It therefore presents the grandaunts with the option of proceeding to MSc and progress to PhD in many of the crop science disciplines wiz; agronomy, farming systems, plant protection, entomology, weed science, cropping systems, crop ecology, genetics, plant biology, and plant breeding, and in this way obtain the kind of depth that will make them attractive as professional and knowledge workers and researchers in public and private sector entities, and as academics at universities.
5 Horizontal articulation with other qualifications where applicable
Agronomy can complement or articulate with several other disciplines or qualification such as arboriculture, horticulture, landscaping, agribusiness, geography, climatology, entomology, plant protection, plant biotechnology many of the highly sought after qualifications in South Africa. It articulates horizontally with further education sector teacher education programmes, which is amongst the fastest employing sectors in the country,

Programme coordinator
Prof G. E. Zharare, BSc hons (Crop Science), MSc (Crop Physiology), PhD (Plant nutrition)
Email: zharareg@unizulu.ac.za.
Tel: 035-902-6072

Head of Department of Agriculture
Prof G.E. Zharare, BSc hons (Crop Science), MSc (Crop Physiology), PhD (Plant nutrition)
Email: zharareg@unizulu.ac.za.
Tel: 035-902-6072.

FACULTY FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND AGRICULTURE
DEPARTMENT: AGRICULTURE
DEGREE(DESIGNATOR) BACHELOR OF   SCIENCE
QUALIFIER AGRICULTURE
MAJORS AGRONOMY
ABBREVIATION BSC (AGRICULTURE)
QUALIFICATION CODE (SAQF)
UNIZULU CODE SBSC52
EXIT NQF LEVEL 8
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS ENGLISH 4 (50%)
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS MATHEMATICS 4 (50%)
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE OR LIFE SCIENCE 4 (50%)
MINIMUM CREDITS FOR ADMISSION NATIONAL SENIOR CERTIFICATE WITH DEGREE ENDORSEMENT AND WITH 30 NSC POINTS
MINIMUM DURATION OF STUDIES 4 YEARS
PRESENTATION MODE OF SUBJECTS: DAY CLASSES
INTAKE FOR THE QUALIFICATION: JANUARY
REGISTRATION CYCLE FOR THE SUBJECTS: JANUARY
READMISSION: SUBJECT TO PRIOR PERFORMANCE AND CURRENT APPLICABILITY OF PASSED MODULES
TOTAL CREDITS TO GRADUATE: 480

FIRST YEAR

SUBJECT NAME SUBJECT CODE SUBJECT CREDITS NQF LEVEL PREREQUISITE SUBJECT(S) CO-REQUISITE SUBJECT(S)
SEMESTER 1
BASIC CHEMISTRY 121 SCHM121 15 5 NONE
CLASSICAL MECHANICS BIO SPHY121 15 5 NONE
CYTOLOGY, GENETICS AND PHYSIOLOGY SBOT111 15 5 NONE
INTRODUCTION TO ZOOLOGY I SZOL111 15 5 NONE
SEMESTER 2
BASIC CHEMISTRY SCHM122 15 6 SCHM121
MATHS AND STATS FOR EARTH AND LIFE SCIENCE SMTH122 15 5
MORPHOLOGY AND TAXONOMY SBOT112 15 6
INTRODUCTION TO ZOOLOGY II SZOL112 15 6 SZOL111
TOTAL 120

 

SECOND YEAR

SUBJECT NAME SUBJECT CODE SUBJECT CREDITS NQF LEVEL PREREQUISITE SUBJECT(S) CO-REQUISITE SUBJECT(S)
SEMESTER 1
INTRODUCTION TO EXTENSION AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT SAAE211 15 6 NONE
INTRODUCTION TO SOIL SCIENCE SAAG211 15 6 NONE
PLANT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT SBOT211 15 6 SBOT111, SBOT112
AGRICULTURAL MECHANIZATION AND FARM STRUCTURE SAAG221 15 6 NONE
SEMESTER 2
INTRODUCTION TO AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS & FARM MANAGEMENT SAAE212 15 6 NONE
INTRODUCTION TO CROP PRODUCTION SAAG212 15 6 SBOT111, SBOT112
PLANT ANATOMY & BIODIVERSITY SBOT212 15 6 SBOT111, SBOT112 SBOT 211
INTRODUCTION TO SOIL PHYSICS AND CONSERVATION SAAG222 15 6 SAAG211
TOTAL 120

 

THIRD YEAR

SUBJECT NAME SUBJECT CODE SUBJECT CREDITS NQF LEVEL PREREQUISITE SUBJECT(S) CO-REQUISITE SUBJECT(S)
SEMESTER 1
CROP PROTECTION 1 SAAG321 15 7 NONE
PLANT PROPAGATION SAAG311 15 7 SBOT211, SBOT212
GENETICS & PLANT BIOCHEMISTRY SBOT311 15 7 SBOT211, SBOT212,
ELEMENTARY STATISTICS FOR SCIENCE STUDENTS SSTT111 15 5 NONE
SEMESTER 2
ENTREPRENEURSHIP SAAE312 15 7 NONE
PLANT BREEDING SAAG312 15 7 SBOT211, SBOT212
CROP PROTECTION II SAAG322 15 7 SAAG321
PRINCIPLES OF PRODUCTION ECONOMICS SAAE322 15 7 SAAG212, SAAE211
TOTAL 120

FOURTH YEAR

SUBJECT NAME SUBJECT CODE SUBJECT CREDITS NQF LEVEL PREREQUISITE SUBJECT(S) CO-REQUISITE SUBJECT(S)
SEMESTER 1
SOIL FERTILITY MANAGEMENT SAAG411 15 8 SAAG211
FLORICULTURE AND VEGETABLE CROP PRODUCTION SAAG421 15 8 SAAG212, SAAG311
SEED SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SAAG431 15 8 SAAG312
AGRONOMY RESEARCH PROJECT I SAAG441 15 8 SAAG211, SAAG212, SSTT111, SAAG311, SAAG312, SAAG322
SEMESTER 2
FRUIT PRODUCTION SAAG412 15 8 SAAG212 SAAG311
APPLIED PLANT BREEDING SAAG422 15 8 SAAG311
FIELD CROP PRODUCTION SAAG432 15 8 SAAG312
AGRONOMY RESEARCH PROJECT II SAAG442 15 8 SAAG211, SAAG212, SSTT111 SAAG311, SAAG312, SAAG322.
TOTAL 120