Dr John Thompson’s Visit to University of Ibadan: 8-13 December 2017
Dr John Thompson, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, and the CEO of Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) consortium visited the University of Ibadan (UI) between the 8 and 13, December 2017. The purpose of his visit was to formally present the APRA research to the University Management as well as meet the APRA team in the University. He was accompanied by Dr Oyinkan Tasie of Michigan State University (MSU), East Lansing, USA.
The APRA consortium is a 5-year research program focused on analysing the pathways to agricultural commercialisation in Sub-Saharan Africa. APRA researchers are conducting multi-country studies to examine how African farmers engage with commercial agriculture from production to processing and marketing, and the effects these pathways have on rural groups particularly women and youths. These and other pertinent questions are being examined in Nigeria under 3 work streams. The work streams are led by researchers at MSU and UI. The Principal Investigators in UI are Dr Wale Oni and Dr Adeola Olajide, both of the Department of Agricultural Economics. The expanded team includes Dr K.A. Thomas, Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development; Dr. Folake Samuel, Department of Human Nutrition; and Dr Seun Olutayo, Institute of African studies. The team, with Dr Adeola Olajide as the country lead, successfully carried out the initial scoping study between August 2016 and February 2017.
Dr Thompson’s visit is significant because it kicked-off the second phase of the project in Nigeria. During his visit, he met with the Deans of the Faculties of Agriculture and Social and Renewable Resources: Prof. A.A. Ladele and Prof. B. O. Omitoyin; the Director, Office of International Programmes, Prof. A.B. Ekanola; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. E. Aiyelari; and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. A. A. Aderinto. Dr Thompson officially introduced the project to the University Management and highlighted the expectations of consortium from UI. He also had series of meetings with the research team in UI to review the research plan and visited plausible study sites.
Dr. Thompson visit to UI was concluded with a lecture on 13 December 2017 at the Faculty of Agriculture where the core concept of the research and its theory of change were presented. The lecture was well attended and generated very fruitful discussions that raised the expectations of the University community from the research project.