Department of Rural Development and Agricultural Extension

Brief overview

The Department of Rural Development and Agricultural Extension (RDAE) was launched as a program in 2009 under the then department of Agricultural Economics and Extension.  Until June 2017 RDAE remained as a program under the department of Agricultural Economics and Extension. Another BSc Program, Mid-career Agricultural Extension was launched in the year 2014 under the same department. In July 2017 the department of Agricultural Economics and Extension was separated into two departments and RDAE became independent department.

The Department of RDAE has now two BSc programs, namely: 1. Rural Development and Agricultural Extension (in regular, summer, distance and evening mode) and 2. MID-CAREER BSc program in Agricultural Extension only in regular mode. There are two MSc programs (MSc in Rural Development and MSc in Agricultural Communication and Innovation) with regular, summer, and weekend modes. The department is working to launch a PhD program in the near future. 


The department of rural development and agricultural extension strives to be national centre of excellence in teaching, research, community services and focal point in dissemination of knowledge, skill and information on rural development and agricultural extension with global recognition. All programs of the department envisage poverty free and fully productive rural community and households in Ethiopia and beyond. 


The mission of the department is to train professionally competent and socially responsible development workers in rural development and agricultural extension both at national and international levels, conduct problem solving researches and provide professional services to the community. The programs also strive to the improvement of the quality of living and of the socio-economic status of the rural community. 


The main purposes of the department are:

  • To produce theoretically rich, practically competent and attitudinally shaped trainees who can play spearhead role in the transformation of the livelihood and quality of life of rural households, and to advancement of sustainable socio-economic community development.
  • To produce competent and qualified professionals in the field of rural development and agricultural extension in this country.
  • To promote rural development effects through research, information and technology dissemination.
  • To improve rural livelihood through community services and outreach program.

Admission criteria:

The department shall admit; 

  • Students admitted directly from secondary school are required to meet the national higher education enrollment criteria of that year. 
  • Students with foreign high school education of equivalent level to the Ethiopian high school education can be admitted as per national educational policy,
  • Students who have got college diploma with CGPA of 2 and above or Level-IV diploma (with COC certificate), or 10+ 3 diploma (with COC certificate) in Agriculture and related fields.
  • The department may also set additional criteria if deemed necessary.

 Service offered 

  • Providing short term and long term trainings tailored to Rural development and agricultural extension related areas and software training (SPSS, STATA,)
  • Conducting demand driven research for rural institutions, GOs and NGOs
  • Offering consultancy services for various organizations
  • Staff initiated research activities
  • Voluntary professional services and on-spot community services 
  • Rural livelihood improvement & extension and technology dissemination via Community Based Field Project (CBFP) and Community Based Training Program (CBTP)

External Links  

  • Currently we have link with Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE) 
  • We have collaborations with regional bureau of agriculture (SNNPRS, Gambella, Oromia Regional States)

Research: list of thematic areas 

  • Socio-economic development studies
  • Gender and youth development analysis
  • Rural & agricultural innovations
  • Integrated rural community development  
  • Technology dissemination and adoption 
  • Communication and group dynamics 
  • Rural livelihoods & rural social well being
  • Food and nutrition security studies 
  • Farmer-research extension linkage and rural farming system  
  • Rural knowledge management analysis 
  • Rural institutions and commercialization 
  • Rural finance and Rural cooperatives 
  • Climate change adaptation and mitigation studies