In the recent past, there has been the need to protect the Nigerian environment from the threats of degradation arising principally form soil erosion and flooding. This led the Federal Government of Nigeria to approve in 1980 the establishment of Federal College of Land and Resources Technology, Owerri (FECOLART, OWERRI).
The gesture is to train junior and intermediate personnel in order to participate in the arduous task of checking our ubiquitous land degradation problems and thereby ensuring sustainable agricultural production while conserving the soil.
The College Programmes presently cut across the humanities and natural sciences, education and environmental sciences as well as agricultural engineering technology. The array will expand as the college infrastructural, personal and didactic capabilities increase.
Federal College of Land Resources Technology, Owerri (FECOLART) was approved by the federal Government in the 1981-1985 4th Ntional Development Plat to supplement an already existing sister college at Kuru Plateau State in the areas of service and training in soil conservation and management in the humid forest ecological zone.
Among other the main objective of the colleges includes:
a. To train and develop junior and intermediate manpower in solid conservation and management.
b. To develop and organize short duration course for relevant Serving professionals and private organization in order to keep them abreast of modem technique in the areas of land Resources Management and conservation.
c. To carry out soil advisory services for government and private agencies.
In pursuance of these objectives, academic activities started on the temporary site at KM4 Old Orlu Road, Egbeada which was formally occupied by conservation centre for Eastern zone on the 20th January following the recommendations of the ministerial task force set up by the Federal Government to look into the immediate take-off of the college after some initial delays due to administrative bottlenecks. Prior to this time, we had been able to acquire a 100 square Hectares pieces of land at Oforola and Obosima for the permanent site of the college. The land acquisition was gazette by Imo State Government in 1998. The college is run as a training school under the authority of the Federal Ministry of Agricultural & Rural Development, Abuja.
The control and supervision of the college is vested in the Director, Federal Department of Agric Land Resources Abuja since its inception in 1992.
Meanwhile the college has produced graduates in the following five programmes as classified below:
a. Certificates in Soil Conservation
b. Ordinary Diploma in Soil Conservation
c. Higher National Diploma in Soil Conservation
d. Higher National Diploma in Soil Survey and Land Evaluation
e. Higher National Diploma in Soil Fertility Management.
The college in addition to this has started to lender advisory services in soil management and conservation to individual within the communities of its location. It is also prepared to render such services to local and state governments in its catchment area.
Furthermore, the transfer of the college of FEPA/Federal Ministry of Water Resources & Natural Resources in May 1998 militated against the speedy development of the college.
The period of conflict of ownership constituted a major setback to the college especially with respect to infrastructural development both at the temporary and permanent site.
Since the inception of the college in 1992, it has existed “incognito” of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE). However, in June and November 1998 the college held consultation meeting with the NBTE with respect to programme accreditation.
In line with their recommendations, the college setup a committee to review the syllabi of the college course in line with NBTE guidelines. To this effect the NBTE accreditation team visited the college in June 1999 and consequence upon this, the college was granted partial accreditation in all its programmes pending when other educational infrastructural facilities will be put in place.
Also, the college is working with the Presidency Committee on Federal Institutions on status, funding, curricula and admission polices for final correlation with the NBTE guidelines. Based on these efforts, our Higher National Diploma students started participating in the National Youth Service Programme (NYSC) in December 2, 1996 up to date.
As at October 1998 the college FECOLART has over 250 students both pre-Diploma, National Diploma and Higher National Diploma spreading among five programmes as mentioned above. Its staff strength is approximately 52, comprising 25 academic staff, 11 senior administrative staff and technical staff and 16 junior personnel.
The Federal College of Land Resources Technology is a pace-setter institution organized along lines of the collegiate system. In this arrangement a number of new cognate disciplines have been introduced in the college.
To train and develop Skilled Middle Level Manpower in the area of Land Resources Conservation and Environmental Management in Order to reposition Agriculture.
To Become a World Class and Globally Recognized centre of Excellence in Achieving Rational Utilization of Nation Land Resources for food security and Environmental Sustainability .