A few weeks ago, Rachel Schurman and I published The Complex Choreography of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Africa in the journal African Affairs. In the article, we surveyed nearly 30 years of strategic and well-funded efforts by donors to bring GMOs to Africa. These efforts, we contend, have so far yielded very little. How come? We argue that … Continue reading Sharing findings with different audiences
I'm very excited to be giving a talk at UC Berkeley next month on genetically modified crops, sustainability, and qualitative research methods.
Happy to share that my article, “We Are Not Starving: Challenging Genetically Modified Seeds and Development in Ghana" received the 2019 Boahen-Wilks Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Article in Ghana Studies.
It’s December, which means I’ve hit the year anniversary of my defense (wow!) and 2019 is near. I’ve been reflecting on work done the past year – not because productivity is the goal – but because I, like many others, constantly fall into the trap of feeling underproductive and therefore overlooking actual accomplishments. So, I … Continue reading 2018 in Review
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
Why aren't rich and tasty food cultures more central to development efforts?
It's been two years since Ghana's High Court overturned a temporary injunction on the commercialization of genetically modified (GM) rice and cowpea. Since then, research on both have continued (though there was no indication that it stopped during the injunction), and GM cowpea is slated to hit the market in 2018.
By using "The Case for Colonialism" as a point of departure to discuss Ghanaian school curriculum, my intention is not to overlook the very real problematics of the article, nor to suggest that Gilley's argument is exceptional (it is not). Rather, I believe the quick lining up of for/against overlooks the need to interrogate the very real ways in which colonial legacies exist within, and mark, every day life.
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.
Let these wise taxis and trotros guide you through fieldwork's unexpected challenges.