|Professor Ademola Ladele|
A Professor of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development in the University of Ibadan, Professor Ademola A. Ladele, has proffered solutions to the challenges of Agricultural Extension Services in Nigeria during his Inaugural lecture titled, Extension Everywhere, Extending Nowhere: The Cacophony of Agricultural Extension in Nigeria that took place at the Trenchard Hall of the University of Ibadan.
Ladele stated that Agricultural Extension grew out of the need to solve problems for those who had non-formal education. These farmers would be involved in an on-going process of sharing useful information that will assist in acquiring the necessary capability to utilize these information and technologies effectively.
According to him, ‘the strength of Agriculture extension is presented in a 3-Dimensional model as deep, broad, and methodical. The depth generates from its application in many disciplines to positively affect human livelihoods. It is described as being broad based on the diversity of disciplines from which it must tap knowledge to be effective. While it is methodical, deriving from the research tools and methods adopted for use in arriving at empirical basis for problem solving.’
He described the major challenges that marred the effectiveness of Agricultural Extension in Nigeria. These include; unsuitable farmers’ production environment and value chain; weak judgment and faulty agricultural policy implementation; poor funding of agriculture. Others are poor extension contact and capacity building initiatives; poor recognition of extension professionals and collaboration; climate change and security challenge; impunity and corruption.
Some of solutions proffered by Ladele to these challenges that have bedevilled extension services in Nigeria include: institutionalizing of policies that will create funding arrangement for special university entrepreneurial programme for the graduates of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development; the creation of more rural community radio across the nation; the professionalization of extension practice. He called on Corporate Organizations and the universities to equip Extension Officers with vehicles and other incentives for fieldwork which will bridge the gap between the town and the gown.
Professor A.A Ladele is the first Ph.D product of the Department to deliver an inaugural lecture and the third from the department in the University. His areas of research interest include Participatory Extension & Agricultural cooperatives as linkage to agri-support services; Corruption studies and corruption in agriculture; Linkages in the Agricultural Knowledge and Information System [AKIS] and frameworks for sustainable extension services delivery. Others are policy advocacy are development of community radio project; Technology transfer; Community tele-centre and Provision of technical support to farmers.
|Professor Idowu Olayinka and Professor Ademola Ladele during the inaugural lecture at the University of Ibadan|
(c)Olutayo IRAN-TIOLA, Lagos, Nigeria