History of the Department
The Department of Agricultural Extension & Rural Development was created out of the former Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension in the 1975/76 session. It was domiciled in the same building with the Department of Agricultural Economics as well as a departmental annex until the 2004/05 session when the Department got its building through the Education Tax Fund (ETF) assistance. Since inception, the Department has had excellent and close working relations with the other departments in the Faculty. It coordinates the extension activities of other Departments in the Faculty. To actualize this, the Department ran a Pilot Project in Rural Development in 30 villages in the then Western State of Nigeria. The project area served as a unique action-research laboratory for rural development to the students and staff of the Faculty. The programme assembled relevant body of knowledge about rural extension, nutrition and family welfare. The project activities were planned and executed in close collaboration with the Departments of Preventive and Social Medicine and Adult Education, some states Ministries of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Trade and Cooperatives, and Economic Planning/Reconstruction and Health. Other collaborating institutions were the Agricultural Credit Cooperation, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, and the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, University of Ife.However, the programme was discontinued because of lack of fund. The Department has started another social laboratory at Ile-Ogbo, which is to be extended to other communities soon.
The Department has teaching and research expertise in agricultural extension, rural sociology, home economics and rural development communication. The staff strength of the Department has grown from 8 during its inception to 16 in the 2005/2006 session. The Home Economics and Communication laboratories of the Department have become adequately developed while teaching and research are appropriately undertaken. The Department is also spearheading the establishment of a radio station for the University. Currently planning is at an advanced stage and its take-off is expected soon.