The Principal Investigator
Ayinde, Opeyemi E. is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at University of Ilorin Nigeria and a Senior Research Associate Fellow of the South African Research Chair Initiative (SARCHI), Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa; Alumni of Fulbright Visiting Research programme to The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA; the current Vice -President of Africa Association of Agricultural Economics, The West African Representative to the Board of Africa Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation and Competence systems (AFRICALICS), General Secretary of Nigeria Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation and Competence systems (NIGERIALICS), and The UNILORIN Desk Officer for West African Research and Innovation Management Association. She is also a Fellow of African Science leadership Program (ASLP) and Nigeria Young Academy (NYA).
Her key research interest presently has been in the economics of innovation in agricultural productivity exploring themes such as the agricultural producers’ behavior to risk, especially climate risk and as well to innovation; determinants of diffusion of new technology, agricultural management strategies, effect of climate change on agricultural production, resiliency studies and gender issues. She is a member of professional bodies such as Nigeria Agricultural Society, African Association of Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural and Applied Economists, USA.
She has won several grants such as the Uma Lele Mentorship Grant, Economics Evaluation on Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) crops by International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), June 2012 – Jan 2015; Economics Evaluation on Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) crops by International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), June 2016 – Jan 2019 USAID/Feed the Future Advancing Local Leadership, Innovation and Networks (ALL-IN) Research Grant Award (2021-2024) https://basis.ucdavis.edu/project/linking-financial-and-agricultural-innovations-women-farmers-resilience-nigeria
She has supervised more than 100 undergraduate projects, 30 Master and 8 doctoral students in Nigeria, South Africa and Rwanda in her area of expertise. Many of the results of the research endeavors have been published in several reputable national and international journals. She has more than a hundred (100) publications. She has been cited by several authors since her first publication in 2014. Her publications had 1397 citations with h – index of 19, i-10 index of 30 and several downloads majority from the international world. She is passionately determined to building capacity for young professionals, entrepreneurs, farmers, policy makers, development stakeholders and rendering service to humanity at local, national and international level with special attention to gender inclusiveness and youth mentorship.
Professor Gbadebo Olaoye is a Plant Breeder by profession. He holds B. Agric., M. Phil. Degrees from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile –Ife, Nigeria and Ph. D. at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA. Prof. Olaoye started his career first as a Technical Officer in the then Federal Department of Agricultural Research (FDAR), Ibadan, now National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi and later as Research Officer (Sugarcane Breeder) between 1983 and 1986, before proceeding to the University of Minnesota (USA) for his Ph D Degree programme. Upon completion of his Ph. D programme, he joined the services of the University of Ilorin in 1990, first as a Research fellow (Sugarcane Breeder) at the Unilorin Sugar Research Institute (USRI), Ilorin and later as a Lecturer in the Department of Crop Production (now Department of Agronomy) in the same University and rose to the rank of a Professor of Plant breeding in 2011.
Apart from handling courses in General Agronomy, Genetics/Plant Breeding and Seed Production Technology at the Undergraduate level as well as specialized courses in Plant Breeding at the Post Graduate level, Professor Olaoye supervised over 70 Undergraduate students’ projects and 32 Post Graduate students (Masters & Ph. D), either singly or jointly with other colleagues in relevant fields of Crop Science. The outcomes of these studies as well as his personal research activities (either singly or in collaboration with colleagues) have appeared in many Local, National and International journals.
During his working career in the University, Professor Olaoye held many Administrative positions including Chairman, USRI Farm Planning Committee (1991-1993), Coordinator, Students Farm Practical Training (FPT) Programme in the Department of Crop Production (1998-1999), Faculty Representative on University’s Library & Publications Committee (1999-2001); Chairman, Students’ FPT Programme (1999-2006), Chairman, Planning and Implementation Committee, Faculty of Agriculture Teaching & Research Farm (2006-2207; 20012-2014); Director, Unilorin Sugar Research Institute (USRI), Ilorin (2010 – 2012); Head, Department of Agronomy (2012 to 2015) and Dean, Faculty of Agriculture (2018-2020).
Professor Olaoye’s research activities focused on Genetic Improvement of Crops (Maize and Sugarcane) for stress tolerance, nutritional qualities and general adaptation to different ecologies in Nigeria. He has participated (mostly as Team Leader or Collaborating Scientist) in several externally funded projects including Presidential Initiative on Doubling Maize Production in Nigeria (PIDOM) in South Eastern Nigeria (2007-2008), coordinated by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria; USAID/IITA Accelerated Dissemination of Striga Management Technology (2000-2002) funded by USAID/IITA; Deployment of Stress tolerant Maize Varieties in South Eastern/Kwara States Nigeria (2005-2007), funded by WECAMAN/IITA; Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) Project (2007 -2015); Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) Project (2015-2018): and Accelerating Genetic Gains (AGG) in Maize (2018 to date); all funded by Bill and Melinda Gates and coordinated by the IITA, Ibadan. Others include Maize Breeder and Innovation Platform (IP) Leader under the World Bank Project -Support for Agricultural Research and Development for Special Commodity (SARD-SC)-Maize, coordinated by the IITA, Ibadan (2013-2018); West Africa Sugarcane Development (WASD) Project for Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire:, funded by the CFC/ISO (2015-2018) and West African Agricultural Productivity Project (WAAPP) funded by the World Bank for promoting Community Based seed production, On-farm Technology Promotion and Management of information centres in five (5) rural communities of Kwara State. Prof. Olaoye has been actively involved in promoting the adoption of maize varieties bred for stress (stem borer, drought, striga, low-soil nitrogen) environments in Nigeria.
Although Prof. Olaoye retired from the services of the University in 2021, he has continued to play active role in research and dissemination of agricultural information among resource limited farmers mostly in the Middle Belt Zone of Nigeria. He is also a consultant (Maize Breeder) with the GOLDAGRIC Seed Company, Kaduna, Nigeria.
Professor Olaoye is happily married with children.
Kemi F. Omotesho, PhD
Dr. Kemi Omotesho is an agricultural extensionist with extensive field experience working with various organisations to promote rural livelihoods. She is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. She has been involved in research work with state and national agencies as well as international organisations such as the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the Sasakawa African Fund for Extension Education (SAFE) and the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS). She has published her research work widely and contributed to prestigious conferences such as AFAAS annual meetings, Women in Science Without Borders (WISWB), and the GlobeLics. Her research interests include gender and studies, agricultural innovation systems and strengthening of vulnerable groups in rural communities.
Folusho Bankole, Ph.D.
Bankole Folusho (Ph.D.) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agronomy, University of Ilorin, Nigeria. She has garnered 14 years’ worth of experience in the field of Crop Production practices while working with crops such as Maize, sorghum, sugarcane, okra etc. She has been on various project promoting Climate Smart Agriculture such as the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa Project funded by Bill and Melinda Gates foundation between 2011 – 2015. She was also a team member with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture on the Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa Project also Funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 2016-2019. She is currently working as the Team Lead with a team of other scientists on the Accelerating Genetic Gain Project with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture where she coordinates the Multilocational trials, on-farm trials and produces parental materials of breeder’s seeds in the Southern Guinea Savanna and the Rain Forest agroecology.
She is a Research Associate with the USAID/Feed the Future Advancing Local Leadership (ALL-IN) where she interacts with farmers, educating them on adoption of new Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa cultivars and also at the University of Ilorin Sugar Research Institute. She is a coordinator of the Community Based Experience and Service for youths at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. She has a passion for food and nutritional security which is especially focused on the developing and deploying improved varieties of Maize and better farming practices to the youths and farmers in states.
Postdoctoral Research Fellows
Adeola Olarewaju (Ph.D.) is currently a postdoctoral research fellow with the ALL-IN Unilorin maize research group, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. She holds a doctoral degree in Agricultural Economics in the same institution. She is a multidisciplinary researcher. Her research interests include environmental sustainability, gender, green growth, resilience studies and agricultural development economics in sub-Saharan Africa. She held a research fellow at the African Studies Center, Leiden and she has also worked as a team member on projects which include Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa, Drought Tolerant maize for Africa, West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme in Nigeria. She has presented some of her work at international conferences and published her findings in local and international peer reviewed journals. She has also won grants in the form of travel support to attend international conferences.
Oluwafemi Oyedeji (Ph.D.) is an agricultural economist and currently a postdoctoral research fellow with the ALL-IN maize research group, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. He holds a doctoral degree in Agricultural Economics which he bagged from the same institution. His research interests include health economics, livelihood studies, bio-economy studies, impact studies and agricultural development economics. He has worked as a team member on different projects including Randomized Control Trial for profitability of UDP technology in Kwara State, Nigeria carried out by Michigan State University. He has won travel grant in the form of travel support to attend international conference. He has published his research findings in reputable local and international peer reviewed journals.