The centre was established by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in 1982 as a public service unit of the University of Nigeria with the following objectives:
- Improving farming services and overall rural sector through research, training, documentation and publications;
- Serving as a forum for attracting scholars from within and outside Nigeria, especially those who are interested in working on rural problems affecting Nigeria in particular and Africa in general;
- Undertaking short and long term training programmes for staff of ministries, public corporations, banks, small scale industries and other organizations. It also conducts feasibility studies on agribusiness, rural development and cooperatives and development of business corporate plans;
- Organizing conferences, seminars, workshops and field days in various aspects of agriculture and rural development;
- Engaging in collaborative research with institutions within and outside Nigeria which are interested in similar problems: research focus of the centre is on family/farm level structures, market problems, project evaluation, policy analysis, etc and;
- Finding publication channels to disseminate its findings in bulletins, journals, monographs, and books.
To achieve the stated objectives, the centre adopts an interdisciplinary approach. Thus, in its research and training activities the centre utilizes its own staff and staff of the departments in the Faculty of Agriculture as well as those of other departments and institutions in the university and outside.
As a public service unit too, the centre liaises with all development agencies such as federal and state ministries, government parastatals, other universities and institutions, banks, agribusiness, oil companies interested in rural development as well as international organizations such as Ford Foundations, Win rock International, embassies and most importantly local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the grassroots.
FOCUS OF CRDC
- The rural sector and the concerns for rural development
- Train the trainers for people who will become pace-setters, social engineers and catalysts at the grassroots level in order to meet the food and fiber needs of Nigeria
AREAS OF INTERVENTION
- Helping rural dwellers to meet basic needs and acquire products for daily needs
- Training artisans and small scale producers especially in the informal sector
- Encouraging the use of local materials and resources and further development of traditional skills and production processes
- Amelioration of poverty amongst the rural dwellers
- Improving rural health delivery systems
Annual (February) Lectures
- Lectures on rural development issues, policies, achievements/milestones, challenges, etc.
Workshops and Training Programme on Basic Skills for:
- Poultry farmers – compounding feeds from local sources, husbandry techniques
- Fish farming
- Mushroom cultivation
- Cooperative business management
- Agro credit delivery systems/group formation techniques
- Banks and non-bank financial institutions
- Isusu groups
- Monitoring and evaluation techniques for credit extension agents
- Quality care for all children
- Day care centers
- Nursery schools
- Educational and social welfare establishment
RESEARCH ACTIVITIES (BASIC AND SOCIAL)/ RESEARCH AREAS
- Rural credit delivery institutions’ systems, problems, achievements and prospects
- Environmental sustainability and related issues
- Rural health care delivery systems’ effects, gaps, ways forward
- Strategies for poverty reduction and wealth creation
- Strategies for rural industrialization
- Cooperative business management strategies
- Strategies for sustainable rural institution building
- Strategies for social mobilization and empowerment
- Publication of the Nigerian Journal of Rural Development and Cooperatives (Biannual)
- Preparation of concept papers/proposals for funding
OUT-REACH PROGRAMMES/COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES
- Youth empowerment programmes
- Advocacy or activities for women groups and the handicapped
- Proper perspective of gender issues
STRENGTHS AND OPPORTUNITY OF THE CENTRE
- The centre adopts an interdisciplinary approach in its activities and can draw staff from various departments and institutions in the university and outside as the needs arise. As such the centre’s activities cannot be constrained by level of competence of its own staff.
- The centre has linkages with ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in Nigeria as well as Ford Foundation and Winrock International.
- The centre has NUC backing as a public service unit of the University of Nigeria operating since 1982.
- The CRDC structures were built entirely with donor agencies and individual donors’ funds.
- Rural poverty is now pervasive, getting worse by the day and needs strategic interventions
- Funding avenues have increased and could be tapped.
- The rural sector is under-served. There are myriads of rural development issues begging for interventions.
- The centre offers the university the best opportunity to affect the lives of the rural people in its catchment areas.
- CRDC February Rural Development Lectures
- This lecture series feature speakers and dignitaries who have distinguished themselves in service to rural people and building rural institutions.
- Workshops/Training programmes aimed at passing basic but scarce skills to improve rural income and update research methodologies.
- Research is a year round activity of the centre. Centre’s research interest covers:
- Rural institutions
- Environmental issues
- Rural health systems
- Rural-urban linkages
- Rural industrialization
- Cooperative management
- The Nigerian Journal of Rural Development and Cooperatives is based in the CRDC and published twice in a year
- Preparation of concept papers/proposals for funding is a year round activity in the CRDC.
- Outreach programmes –designed to impact on the immediate rural communities in the catchment area.