The Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development (formerly named Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology) was established in 1967 with three (3) major mandates: Teaching, Research and Community development service. At the undergraduate level, the Department offers B. Agriculture (Agricultural Extension and Rural Development). Recently, the Department got the University Senate approval to offer Bachelor of Science in E-Agricultural Extension and Community Engineering programme (supported by the Sasakawa African Funds for Extension Education-SAFE). The new programme will be offered in collaboration with the Centre for Distance Learning, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife (see details of the programme in this handbook). At the Postgraduate level, the Department offers M.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degree programmes in Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology as well as in Agricultural Communication. In collaboration with the Centre for Distance Learning, the Department offers Certificate courses in Rural Development Studies, Extension Management and Administration as well as Agricultural Media Communication.
Additionally, programmes in-view include: Postgraduate Diploma in Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology; Postgraduate Professional Master of Science in Community Social Engineering; Agricultural Media Communication and Extension Science. Others include M.Phil. and Ph.D. degree programmes in Agricultural Media Communication. The Department offers courses and conducts cross-cutting edge research on various agricultural and community development issues. These form the basis for diverse areas of specialisation that align with the global current trends in agricultural and community development. Admission into these programmes is opened to students from Nigeria and other countries of the world. The Department has adequate, competent and internationally acclaimed academics and technical staff, who are specialists in different tracks of the discipline. There are sufficient material resources such as a well-equipped agricultural media laboratory; on-station and on-farm demonstration plots; an enterprise centre for natural fruits juice production (supported by the Sasakawa Africa Funds for Extension Education-SAFE) and other facilities for skills acquisition and adequate empowerment of students and farmers in agriculture.
For more than five decades, the Department has contributed to the development of the University and agrarian communities around the University. Most of the graduates of the Department are excelling in different spheres of life, as teachers, researchers, administrators, managers, directors of industries, among others. The Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), formerly known as Isoya project, which is an outreach programme of the University, is situated in the Department. The IRDP outreach programme has covered over 55 communities. The programme is recording huge successes in disseminating innovative technologies to youth, men and women residents in the pilot villages, thus, making positive impacts on their livelihoods. On behalf of staff and students, I warmly welcome you to the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, the Faculty of Agriculture (Upper Campus) in the most beautiful University in Africa- Obafemi Awolowo University. Please, feel free to read through the Handbook for more detailed information about the Department.