Contribution to Knowledge

Since I became an academic staff in the University, my major research activities have been focusing on children/ youth studies in rural communities, rural community development and extension. This is informed by the need for continuity and sustainability of agriculture as a noble traditional profession, which is of major economic and cultural importance in Nigeria. In the past, emphasis of research – extension – farm system model has been on the men-farmers generally without critically and analytically examining the significant contribution of the other members (children, youth and women) of the farm-family component of Research – Extension – Farm family – Input Linkages System (REFILS), their socio-economic differences, vulnerability and their relationships with the research and extension activities. Some of our research activities, through the National Research and Development Network of Children and Youth in Agriculture Programme in Nigeria (CYIAP- Network), have been able to address some of these concerns. For instance, our review of the previous research – extension – farm linkages system model led to the development of a new model: a modified systemic research- extension- farm family- input linkages model which accommodates the assessment of children’s and youth’s contributions to farming. More so, to enable us offer explanation to some of our findings on farm children studies, a psycho-analytic theory was used to characterize the developmental stages of farm-child alongside the farming activities in which they are involved.

Our baseline research activities in CYIAP-Network, on the children’s attitude towards farming and their socialization process into farming activities established a negative attitude with their perception of farming as dirty and tedious job. More so, schematic illustration of socialisation process of children into farming was documented as starting from age four when they merely accompanying their parents to farms, observing them on the farm, gradually initiating them

into farming activities, giving independent assignment on farming activities and full participation in farming. Also, the interest and aspiration of school children in farming were investigated, which revealed that their interest in farming could only be sustained by their relatively high aspiration in furthering their education in agriculture and future economic investment in farming. The rural children’s infrastructure and social amenities’ requirements were also investigated, which correlates with their age, years of farming and their contact with extension agents.

Our studies on rural children’s / youth’s involvement in household food security activities, animal rearing activities, entrepreneurial activities and car wash activities established the children’s levels of involvement in the various activities within the rural economy. Our work on child labour and abuse argued the differences between the global idealistic perspectives of the notion of child labour as against the African socio-economic and cultural realities. More so, my work on children exploitation in the labour process, which won the Laureateship of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in African (CODESRIA)’s Child and Youth Studies Institute offered empirical exposition on the influence of globalization on the children exploitation in the labour process and child culture in some selected labour sites.

My Ph.D. research established some principal factors that associated with youth participation in rural leadership development activities from which two publications were derived.

Our studies on gender analysis of ICTs usage among the in-school farm youth, farm youth and usage of HIV/AIDs prevention strategies and push and pull correlates of farm youth's involvement in transportation addressed the contemporary issues related to the youth survival, vulnerability and sustainability on the farm, from which their implications for food security were drawn. More so, the needs for sustainability of farm youth in farming business and their socio-economic correlates with crop production were established.

A study was carried out during my participation in International Training Workshop for Rural Youth Leaders in Germany to document the process explored in inaugurating an international rural youth development network as experienced by an African convener, which established the discrepancies between the interest of the participants from the developing countries and those of their European counterparts.

Other areas of my research, which are very relevant to agricultural extension and rural sociology generally, include the farmers’ socio-economic characteristics related to adoption of improved agricultural technologies. This was extracted from my M.Sc. research and it established some determinants of adoption. Other works on extension and adoption of improved farm practices, which have shed more light on the adoption status of some improved technologies include: adoption of improved vegetable production technologies and adoption of soybean planting, processing and utilization packages. Also our assessment of adoption status of management practices of West African Dwarf Goat production established some cultural factors influencing discontinuance of innovation in a rural community. Our research efforts established the significant differences between farmers’ and extension agents’ perceived farm mechanization needs. Another work argued the relevance of extension communication service towards promoting economic recovery through peri-urban horticultural business in Nigeria, while another work documented the forms of communication used for strengthening agricultural technologies dissemination. A paper established the empirical differences between the cooperative and non-cooperative poultry farmers, while another paper assessed the impact of agricultural extension practices on Nigerian poultry farmers’ standard of living.

Another study that won the CODESRIA grant and membership of its Multi-national Working Group, which has also been considered as a contribution to a CODESRIA book series, documented the ethno-cultural relations and nomadic youth identity transformation among the Fulani settlers in Osun State.

Findings from all these have served as data bank for researchers, policy makers, children/youth development professionals and extension workers in Nigeria. They can also be used for developing curriculum for teaching rural children/youth in agriculture and extension.