I am a full time second year PhD researcher at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at Coventry University. I am from Imo State, Nigeria, West Africa. My passion for agriculture, extension, sociology, rural development, climate change, disaster management, sustainable food security and farmers’ livelihood motivated my interest in the alternative ways of farming and feeding the world’s increasing population with healthy food without causing further harm to the environment and stress for the farmers.
My experience in agriculture is dated back in 2007 when I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Extension (B. Agric. Tech.) at the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria. After which I took up a Research Assistant role at the Imo River Basin Authority, Nigeria (2008-2009). I contributed in different water resource management projects such as species and habitat conservation, and water drilling for agricultural irrigation. I later proceeded to work as an Agricultural Produce Officer alongside as an Agricultural Extension Liaison Officer, Edo State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nigeria (2010-2012). I participated in various rural development projects that benefited the rural farmers. I acted as the official mediator between farmers and the agricultural research centres, monitoring and evaluation of new crop varieties.
Due to my striving attitude towards achieving excellence and quest for acquiring new skills, I took a further step in 2012 to assume the post of an Agricultural Research Officer at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja, Nigeria before I decided to take a career break in that same year for further studies. Whilst discharging my duties as an Agricultural Research Officer, I discovered that the recent farming practice in Nigeria is affecting the environment. I moved to Coventry University and obtained a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management, specialising in Ecological Management in 2013.
In the quest to implement my experience into practice, I realised that farmers need to be informed about alternative way of farming known as Agroecology Farming System which does not only provide sustainable healthy food, but also preserve the environment. The wake of the above motivated my recent PhD research which is focussed on the use of mobile phone for agroecology information dissemination in Nigeria. Exploring how mobile phone application use and the interaction amongst farmer to farmer/farmer to extension agents can be used to scale-up the adoption and practice of agroecology.
As a full time international research student who has been living in Coventry (a walking distance to the university) since the start of my postgraduate studies in 2012, I have tremendously adapted in the community with diverse ethnicity and cultural background, and have familiarised myself with the various activities within and outside the University which a new research student should be aware of. Therefore, as a new research student seeking first-hand information I am available to support you to enjoy your research experience at Coventry University, I can offer help and advice on the following:
- How to settle with ease into the community
- How to manage your professional development alongside your research
- The strategies for completing the supervisee journey successfully
- How to explore the available opportunities in the University
Ezinne’s Top Tip: Always remember! A positive approach, determination and maximising available opportunities are significant.