DEPARTMENT OF AGRONOMY
What is Agronomy?
Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plants for food, fuel, fibre, and reclamation. It is an applied scientific discipline that integrates sciences like biology, chemistry, economics, ecology, earth science, and genetics and how these relate to crop production and the systems that underpin it. Agronomists today are involved with many issues including producing food, creating healthier food, managing environmental impact of agriculture, and creating energy from plants. Agronomy includes the extensive open field cultivation of plant species for human food supply, livestock and poultry feed, fibres, oils and certain industrial products. It also looks at the improvement of crops (cereals, protein and oilseed harvests) in a sustainable manner to ensure sufficient food supply for an ever-increasing world population. As a field of study Agronomy integrates crop, soil and related sciences. Agronomists are currently involved in many issues including food production, the production of healthier food, managing the environmental impact of agriculture, and even creating energy from plants. Modern day challenges that agronomists must manage and find solutions for include climate change, decreasing amounts of and deteriorating quality of water, degradation of soil and the occurrence of pests, diseases and weeds that develop resistance to pesticides, fungicides and herbicides that have always controlled them before.
The Department of Agronomy has remained at the forefront of agronomic research and development in the country. The Department's involvement in the science of plants and plant matters is one of the most important links for meeting the increasing requirement for food, fuel and fibre in an over-populated world facing the challenge of climate change. There is a serious shortage of agronomists and with increasing challenges demand will undoubtedly increase even more.