PRCI STAAARS plus fellows third cohort share initial research presentations

As part of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy, Research, Capacity, and Influence (PRCI), four STAAARS+ teams gave lightening talks on their research topics

On July 19, 2022, as part of the capacity strengthening aspect of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy, Research, Capacity, and Influence (PRCI), the third cohort of Structural Transformation of African and Asian Agriculture and Rural Spaces (STAAARS+) fellows gave their initial presentations on their research topics. The newly chosen teams presented their research to a virtual gathering of faculty, mentors, and the larger PRCI community.

Video Recording of the Lightening Talks

The STAAARS+ fellowship program was originally conceived by Cornell university professor Christopher Barrett and was expanded under the leadership of Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE) professor and PRCI Director, David Tschirley. Teams of researchers from Africa and Asia compete annually to be chosen to participate in the rigorous training program. Once chosen, they are paired with mentors and asked to create a research topic focused on one or more of the PRCI research themes, including agriculture and rural transformation to raise living standards for young women and men; the development of healthy food systems through focusing on regulatory issues, food safety, and nutrition; and enhancing resilience of households and nations to create economic and environmental sustainability. The third cohort of STAAARS+ fellows includes four teams from Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria and the Philippines.  Each team presented a 12-minute lightening talk on the new work they are undertaking, followed by questions and feedback from attendees.

Gabriel Angelo B. Domingo, Carlos L. Tolentino II, and Hadassah May R. Cordero of the Philippine Competition Commission—the second team in the program from Asia, and the first from the Phillipines—presented on “Market Power in Philippine Agricultural Markets.” The team shared insights into the research gaps found in the current literature on the Phillipines and several analytical methodologies that could be used to measure market power. Arnab Basu and Molly Ingram from Cornell University are the team mentor and peer-mentor, respectively.

From the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) in Uganda, Dablin Mpuuga presented with Sawuya Nakijoba, and Ambrose Ogwang on “Linking Crop Productivity, Market Performance, and Technology Use among Farmers in Uganda”. ERPC is a policy leadership center supported by PRCI, and this is their second team to participate in the STAAARS+ program. They are supported by AFRE professor Duncan Boughton and Rui Benfica from IFPRI as the team’s co-mentors.   

Next, the Nigerian team from the Innovation Lab for Policy Leadership in Agriculture and Food Security (PiLAF) based out of the University of Ibadan (UI) presented their plans to begin work on “Resilience to COVID-19 and Insecurity Shocks: Evidence from Nigeria.” Nathaniel Siji Olutegbe, Benjamin Olusegin Oyelami, and Iredele Emmanuel Ogunbayo, are mentored by AFRE Assistant Professor Justin Kappiaruparampil and Martina Ocelli of Cornell.  

The presentations wrapped up with the team from the University of Ghana presenting on “Rural Transformation in Ghana: Which Constraints Bind?” Monica P. Lambon-Quayefio, Emmanuel Adu-Danso, and Kwame Adjei-Mantey gave an excellent presentation to the assembled community. As they delve into the work they will be supported by Kibrom Abay from IFPRI as their mentor and Justice Mensah from World Bank as peer mentor.


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