WAEC Syllabus for General Agriculture 2023/2024

The WAEC syllabus for General Agriculture is the topic you must study to sit for the examination. It contains the aims and objectives, notes and format for the General Agriculture exam.

Studying the General Agriculture syllabus is necessary for your exam preparation. It will serve as a guide for you to know the topics to read. There are also notes on concepts you should pay attention to learning.

Exam preparations without using the General Agriculture syllabus are like going to the farm without your agricultural tools. You will end up not being productive.

Ensure you begin your exam preparations using the syllabus.

This post contains the General Agriculture syllabus and recommended textbooks of the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

WAEC General Agriculture

This syllabus has been structured to assess learners’ knowledge and skills in the management of the soil, raising crops and animals; processing, storage and marketing of agricultural produce and for keeping records and accounts.

It will help to effectively assess the scientific, vocational and technological competencies of candidates to fit into the various sub-sectors of agriculture and for tertiary education.

Aims and Objectives

The syllabus is designed to assess candidates’

  • knowledge and understanding of agricultural principles and practices;
  • skills in laboratory and field work involving carrying out agricultural experiments, projects and farm work;
  • scientific skills including observation, classification and  interpretation of agricultural data;
  • skills in setting up and managing agribusinesses;
  • ability to apply scientific knowledge and skills in solving agricultural problems;
  • understanding of the value chain concept for maintaining food quality and safety standards.

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 at one sitting.

PAPER 1:  Will consist of fifty multiple-choice objective questions all of which must be answered within 1 hour for 50 marks.  

PAPER 2: Will consist of ten essay questions divided into five sections, Sections A, B,   C, D and E  covering the following areas of the syllabus:  

  • Section A:   Introduction to Agriculture and Farm Mechanization
  • Section B:   Soil Uses and Management
  • Section C:   Crop production
  • Section D:   Animal Production
  • Section E:   Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness and Extension.

Each section will consist of two questions.  Candidates will be required to answer one question only from each section for 16 marks. The paper will last 2 hours.

PAPER 3: Will be a practical test for school candidates or an alternative to a practical work

test for private candidates.  Each version will consist of four questions all of which must be answered within 2 hours for 60 marks.

WAEC General Agriculture Syllabus

Introduction to Agriculture

  1. Importance of agriculture to the national economy
    • Definition and branches of agriculture
    • Role of agriculture in the national economy
  2. Meaning, types and importance of agricultural education in national development
    • Meaning and types of agricultural education
    • Importance of agricultural education
    • Agricultural occupations
    • Job description and entry requirements for agricultural occupations
  3. Measurements in agriculture
    • Calculations in agriculture
    • Comparison between indigenous measurement and standardized units of measurement.
  4. Land and its uses
    • Uses of land: Agricultural and non-agricultural uses
    • Land tenure systems in West Africa
    • Effects of land tenure systems on agricultural production
  5. Introduction to forestry
    • Definition of forest and forestry
    • Salient features of forest
  6. Forest products and their contribution to national development
    • Types of plants and animals in the forest
    • Contributions of forests to national development
    • Meaning, causes and effects of deforestation
    • Forest management practices
    • Game and wildlife conservation
  7. Sustainable agriculture and good agricultural practices (GAP)
    • The concepts of sustainable agriculture and good agricultural practices
    • Factors influencing Good agricultural practices and sustainable agricultural production in West Africa.
  8. Development of agriculture
    • Meaning and objectives of agricultural development
    • Problems of agricultural development in West Africa
    • Role of government and other agencies in agricultural development

Soil Uses and Management

  1. Origin and formation of soils
    • Classification and formation of rocks
    • Processes of soil formation
    • Factors of soil formation: parent material, topography, living organisms, climate and time
    • Soil profile Meaning, description and the importance of soil profile
  2. Nature, composition and properties of soil
    • Components of soil
    • Properties of soil: Physical and chemical properties
    • Land preparation practices
  3. Land Preparation
    • Methods of land preparation
      • Indigenous methods
      • Mechanized methods
    • Effects of indigenous and mechanized methods of land preparation on the soil
  4. Plant nutrients and nutrient cycles
    • Classification and sources of plant nutrients
    • Functions of plant nutrients
    • Deficiency symptoms of nutrients in plants
    • Nitrogen and carbon cycles
  5. Soil fertility and its maintenance
    • Meaning of soil fertility and soil productivity
    • Characteristics of fertile soil
    • Methods of maintaining and improving soil fertility
    • Classification of fertilizers
    • Preparation of compost
    • Methods of fertilizer application
    • Factors affecting fertilizer use
  6. Soil and water conservation
    • Concepts of soil and water conservation
    • Types of soil water and their importance
    • Soil erosion: agents and types (d) Factors influencing soil erosion
    • Effects of soil erosion
    • Economic importance of soil erosion
    • Soil and water conservation methods

Farm Mechanization

  1. Introduction to farm mechanization
    • Meaning, objectives and importance of farm mechanization
    • Safety precautions on the farm
  2. Farm power Sources of farm power: human, animal, combustion engines, solar, wind, water and electricity
  3. Farm machinery and implements: tractor, power tiller, mistblower, lawn mower, knapsack sprayer, plough, harrow, ridger, planter and trailer
  4. Harvest and post-harvest tools, equipment and machinery
    • Harvesting tool: e.g. sickle, cutlass and hoe
    • Harvesting machinery: e.g. combine harvester, cotton picker and groundnut lifter
    • Processing machinery and equipment: cassava grater, corn miller and dehusker.
    • Storage equipment: e.g. silos, barns, cribs, refrigerators and deep freezers.
  5. Irrigation and Drainage
    • Meaning, merits and demerits of irrigation and drainage
    • Classification and methods of irrigation and drainage systems including their merits and demerits
  6. Surveying and planning of farmstead
    • Purpose of surveying and measurement
    • Surveying instruments and their uses
    • Procedure for conducting a survey
    • Map preparation
    • Meaning and importance of farmstead planning
    • Principles of planning farmstead outlay

Crop Production

  1. Importance and classification of crop plants
    • Benefits derived from crop plants
    • Classification of crop plants
  2. Principles of crop production
    • Site selection and preparation
    • Meaning and objectives of tillage
    • Methods of plant propagation
    • Activities in seed propagation
    • Methods of vegetative propagation
    • Cultural practices in crop production
  3. General principles and practices of plant protection
    • Classification of crop diseases
    • Diseases of crop plants:
      • Fungal diseases Damping off, leaf spot of maize, gummosis of citrus, sikatoga of plantain/ banana, black pod of cocoa
      • Bacterial diseases Bacterial soft rot of carrots, cabbage rot, black soft rot of onion
      • Viral diseases Cassava leaf mosaic, leaf curl, groundnut leaf rosette, maize streak, Cape St. Paul wilt, swollen shoot
      • Nematodes and worms Rook knot nematode disease of tomato and okro
      • Non-pathogenic diseases
      • Blossom-end rot of tomato
    • Effects of plant diseases on crop production.
    • Classification of crop pests
    • Methods of pest and disease control
    • Weeds
    • Invasive Alienn species (IAS)
  4. Husbandry of selected crops: Climatic and soil requirements, land preparation, seed rate, spacing, time of planting, nursery requirements, fertilizer application, weed control, pest and diseases control, harvesting and storage of at least one crop from each of the following crop groupings: Field crops Maize, sorghum, cassava, yam, cowpea, groundnut
    • Vegetable crops Tomato, okro, onion, shallot
    • Fruit crops Plantain, banana, pineapple, mango, citrus
    • Tree crops Cocoa, oil palm, cashew
  5. Principles of crop improvement
    • Meaning and aims of crop improvement
    • Methods of crop improvement: introduction, selection and cross-breeding
  6. Basic principles of ornamental plant production
    • Identification, classification and importance of ornamental plants (
    • Preparation of beds and borders

Animal Production

  1. Importance, classification and distribution of breeds of farm animals in West Africa
    • Importance of farm animals
    • Classification of farm Animals
    • Characteristics and distribution of farm animals in West Africa
  2. Animal nutrition
    • Digestive system of farm animals
    • Importance of food nutrients in animal production: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins and water
    • Classification of feedstuffs
    • Animal feed preparation
    • Types of animal ration: balanced, maintenance and production rations
    • Malnutrition in farm animals
    • Meaning, types and importance of forage and pasture crops
  3. Reproduction in farm animals
    • Male and female reproductive systems
    • Oestrus and signs of heat
    • Process of reproduction
    • Inbreeding: causes and effects
  4. Principles of animal improvement
    • Meaning and aims of animal improvement
    • Methods of animal improvement
    • Artificial insemination
  5. General management practices in farm animal production
    • Meaning and objectives of Management practices in animal production
    • Management systems of keeping farm animal
    • Selection of breeding stock
    • Processing and marketing of farm animals
  6. Principles of animal health management
    • Diseases in farm animals and their causes
    • Diseases of farm animals:
      • Viral: Foot and mouth, rinderpest, Newcastle, fowl pox
      • Bacterial: Anthrax, brucellosis, tuberculosis
      • Fungal: aspergillosis, ringworm
      • Protozoan: trypanosomiasis, coccidiosis, redwater
    • Pests and parasites of farm animals
      • Classification of parasites of farm animals
      • Effects of pests and parasites on their host
      • Economic importance of pests and parasites
      • Prevention and control of pests and parasites of farm animals
      • Husbandry of selected farm animals: selection of breeding stock; housing; feeding; breeding programme; routine management practices; pests and diseases, their prevention and control
  7. Introduction to fisheries Meaning and types of fisheries
  8. Fish farming
    • Meaning of aquaculture and fish farming
    • Benefits and problems associated with fish farming
    • Facilities for growing fish
    • Factors that influence choice of site for a fish pond
    • Harvesting, processing and preservation of fish

Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness and Extension

  1. Agricultural economics: Importance and basic principles
    • Meaning and scope of agricultural economics
    • The farm as an economic unit
    • Agricultural economics and farm management in agribusiness
    • Principles of demand and supply
    • Determination of price for a commodity
  2. Factors of production
    • Land, labour, capital, management
    • Functions of farm manager
    • The production function: The law of diminishing returns
  3. Introduction to agribusiness management
    • Meaning and examples of agribusiness
    • Agribusinesses and agriculture-related occupations/professions
    • Skills/tasks/ activities performed in agribusiness management
  4. Establishment and management of agribusiness
    • Factors to consider in setting up an agribusiness
    • Steps in establishing agribusiness
  5. Agricultural financing
    • Sources of farm credit: Banks, co-operative societies, money lenders, governmental agencies, marketing boards, thrift and loan societies
    • Conditions for obtaining credit
  6. Farm records and accounts
    • Types and importance of farm records and accounts
    • Preparation of financial statements
  7. Marketing of Agricultural produce
    • Meaning and importance
    • Marketing functions
    • Marketing channels, agents and agencies
    • Problems associated with marketing of agricultural produce
  8. Agricultural extension
    • Meaning and importance of agricultural extension
      • Objectives and importance
      • Role of agencies in extension education
      • Characteristics of an effective extension system
      • Problems and issues in extension education
    • Extension teaching methods: Individual, group and mass methods
  9. The value chain approach in food quality and safety assurance
    • Definition and characteristics of value chain
    • Benefits of value chain development in agricultural production and marketing
    • Principles of the value chain approach
    • Food quality and food safety
    • Bodies responsible for food quality and safety assurance
    • Practices for ensuring food quality and safety along the value chain

Introduction to Agriculture

  1. Identification and uses of forest products and their by-products
  2. Measurement in Agriculture

Soil Uses and Management

  1. Rocks
  2. Soil profile
  3. Laoratory work on physical properties of the soil
    • Examination of texture by manual feel (wet or dry and by sedimentation, porosity and capillary experiments
    • Mechanical analysis by the use of sieves
    • Determination of moisture content of a moist soil sample by weight
    • Determination of porosity and water holding capacity
    • Demonstration of capillary action
  4. Laboratory work on chemical properties of soil: Demonstration of soil acidity using simple tests e.g. litmus paper and colour chart
  5. Laboratory work to demonstrate the presence of living organisms in the soil
  6. Fertilizers (organic and inorganic)
  7. Simple demonstration of compost and farm yard manure preparation

Farm Mechanization

  1. Farm tools and equipment
  2. Tractor-drawn and animal-drawn implements
  3. Farm tractor
  4. Simple farm machines
  5. Harvesting and post-harvest tools, equipment and machinery.
  6. Irrigation and drainage
  7. Elementary surveying instrument

Crop Production

  1. Classification of crop plants
  2. Seeds, seedlings, fruits and storage organs of crops
  3. Main diseases and pests of crops in the field and in storage
  4. Plant propagation
    • Propagation by seed: time of planting, seed rates, plant population and seed viability tests of common local crop plants
    • Vegetative propagation
  5. Seed bed preparation and cultural practices
  6. Ornamental plant production
  7. Common weeds
  8. Measurement of crop yields

Animal Production

  1. Common breeds of animals and the types of animals in West Africa
  2. Major internal organs of farm Animals
  3. Animal products and by-products
  4. Animal feeds and their sources
  5. Main pests and parasites of farm animals
  6. Prevention and control of diseases of farm animals
  7. General management practices in farm animals production
  8. Slaughtering of animals and dressing of the carcasses.
  9. Stocking and management practices in fish farming.
  10. Fish harvesting and preservation

Agricultural Economics and Extension

  1. Simple calculations on demand and supply, equilibrium price determination, production function, income and expenditure account, balance sheet.
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