My research contributes to the achievement of food and nutrition security in farm households. My applied research portfolio addresses the 1) food and nutrition security status of households, 2) the availability and stability of the food and nutrition status, and 3) food access and food utilization of households. In view of the forgoing, my research work aims to:
1) Examine farm income and nutrition status and the dynamics of labor allocations and employment conditions in farm households: my collaborative research on the analysis of farm income investigates the optimization behavior of Kansas farms using non-parametric production analysis approaches (published in Applied Economics Letters). In another work, we found empirical evidence to the profit maximization behavior of Kansas farms using a stochastic additive error approach (revised and resubmitted in the journal of Agricultural Economics). A closely related research investigated the nutrition and health status of individuals in northern Ghana, with emphasis on the cross cutting effect of women’s empowerment as a positive driver in achieving these development indicators. A series of publications spun out of this strand of research published in the Journal of International Development, Social Indicators Research and Journal of Rural Studies.
2) Investigate the vulnerability, resilience, and adaptation of farm households to shocks: we provided positive evidence of diverse income sources (off-farm employment, self-owned business) on household food poverty and nutrient availability (published in the World Development Journal and the Journal of Rural Studies). My long-standing research also looks at the adoption and impact assessment of agricultural technologies, especially the adoption of modern crop varieties. Our meta-analysis paper published in PLOS ONE journal showed that returns to sorghum and millet research and development investments have been socially profitable.
3) Analyze the consumption of nutritious and safe foods by consumers: Our survey of the prevalence of mycotoxins in commodities commonly used in livestock feeds in Ethiopia revealed than aflatoxin was the most problematic mycotoxin in livestock feed ingredients. We have presented posters in the World Mycotoxin Forum 10th Conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and at Tropentag, Ghent.
In a number of other studies in northern Ghana, consumption analyses showed that the households exhibited a downward trend in cereal and cereal products share of food expenditures as income increased. On the other hand, the expenditure shares for meat, fish and similar animal products as well as roots and tubers exhibited an upward trend.
My research work has been funded through the Monitoring, Evaluation and Technical Support Services (METSS) program. The program is managed under a Participating Agency Service Agreement between the Economic Growth Office and USDA in collaboration with the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University and the University of Cape Coast. METSS staff bring expertise in program design, evaluation, research and policy analyses that support improvements in agricultural growth and food security in Ghana. These services are aimed at enhancing the Economic Growth Office’s capacity to meet the Mission Strategy Objective of increasing Ghana’s competitiveness in global markets. METSS also aims to enhance the Mission’s ability to report on its Feed the Future (FtF) initiative metrics. The project has attracted more than $9 million during the last 6 years. Under this project, I have been able to produce 9 peer reviewed journal articles, 2 books, 6 survey reports, 13 research briefs and reports, 29 paper and poster presentations at regional, national, and international conferences.
Another research project is the Safe Feed Safe Food: Mycotoxin Prevalence and Mitigation Measures in Ethiopia. This food safety project is funded by USAID, through grants to the University of Florida’s Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems. Matching funding was also provided by ACDI/VOCA. Logistical support, sampling personnel, and training facilities were provided by ACDI/VOCA. The project involves a survey of commodities commonly used in livestock feeds in Ethiopia to provide information on the risk-potential associated with feed commodities and potential risk mitigation opportunities.
My current and future research plan include
- Build a robust research program to include randomized controlled trials and choice experiments to understand the impact of policy interventions that affect the consumption of nutritious and safe foods in the regions covered by the Feed the Future’s multiple innovation labs, including those housed at K-State.
- Seek active research collaborations with other departments within and outside K-State.
- Apply innovative Data Analytics techniques (e.g. Machine Learning) to improve the measurement of consumption expenditures and income of households as well as for use in monitoring and evaluation of development interventions.
- Develop and submit successful research proposals (2 to 3 successful proposals exceeding $1 million in funding per year) for extramural research and support graduate student research.