- Adam Willman
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- Thesis title:
- Farmer's decision-making process: lessons learnt from rural farming communities in Ethiopia & Kenya
- Year of Study:
I was born and raised in the US state of Iowa surrounded by fields of maize, soybeans and hay. This environment triggered my interests in conservation and agriculture. I earned two BSc degrees at Iowa State University—one in Agronomy and another in Global Resource Systems with a minor in Horticulture. During this time I also interned with several international agriculture businesses and research centres including Cargill, Inc., DuPont Pioneer and CIMMYT. While I found the technical natural science aspects of agriculture interesting, I knew something was missing from my understanding of the global agricultural production network. That feeling is the reason I came to SOAS to earn my MSc in Research for International Development. The modules in my degree programme gave me the tools to critique various issues in agricultural production. I applied for my current PhD project in the last couple of months of my MSc programme. This project, 'Farmer's decision-making process: lessons learnt from rural farming communities in Ethiopia & Kenya', is allowing me to combine the technical aspects of my undergraduate degrees with the social science aspects of my MSc by deploying an interdisciplinary methodology and engaging with several different disciplines.
I am currently designing a framework, to answer the question 'how do small-holder farmers make decisions and innovate in Ethiopia and Kenya?' This research will utilize theories, insights and methodologies from three academic disciplines: Anthropology, Agronomy and Economics. Using this interdisciplinary approach will enable me to investigate this question through multiple lenses which will provide more holistic insights into my research question. I will be conducting my field work in southern Ethiopia focusing on small-holder cotton farmers. This research is funded through an ESRC Studentship Grant and in partnership with the Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN-UK).