A Potato Named Kofi

Earlier this week, Ghanaian scientists announced they plan to name a new sweet potato variety after fellow countryman Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary General who died on August 18 of this year. The primary investigator overseeing the sweet potato project, Dr. Ernest Baafi, told reporters the naming was in tribute of Annan's work with the … Continue reading A Potato Named Kofi

On Farmers as “Very Difficult People”

The Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture resigned today after calling northern Ghanaian farmers "liars," "very difficult people," and accusing them of extortion. Many were understandably, and rightfully, upset at the Deputy Minister's comments, but I argue that his comments, though vile, are not exceptional. During fieldwork, I regularly encountered super negative discourse about Ghanaian farmers from technocrats in Accra. In this blog post, I share some of these encounters, and muse about their importance.

On tech, representation, and African agriculture

There is a way in which popular media and development literature presents Africa, and Africans, as paralyzed by modernity, at a standstill: young people leaving agriculture and going to cities, inequalities rising, cities exploding, changing tastes via KFC and packaged noodles like Indomie. The flicker of hope du jour is tech, and writers, especially when discussing agriculture, often cite high … Continue reading On tech, representation, and African agriculture