Editor’s note: This is the seventh in a series of articles highlighting the summer research activities of Michigan State University doctoral students, funded in part by ESPP’s Summer Research Fellowship program. To learn more about the program, go to http://www.espp.msu.edu/research/Summer_fellowship_2018-final2.pdf
Awa Sanou is a PhD candidate in the Department of Community Sustainability. This summer, she is conducting research regarding Nigerian farmers’ perception of climate variability and how it affects both their productivity and adaptability decisions in poultry farming. In recent years, this sector has grown considerably due to rising incomes and urbanization but there are still many challenges such as limited access to electricity and water.
According to Sanou, this research is vital because if water and electricity are scarce, then food can become scarce as well.
“Nigeria’s poultry sector is critical in ensuring food security because it is a source of inexpensive protein for the growing middle class in urban areas,” Sanou said.
Sanou’s advisor, Dr. John Kerr, also believes that this topic is very well-suited for Sanou and for this year’s theme for the ESPP Summer Research Fellowship. “Poultry production is an important topic in Nigeria, a burgeoning country of over 160 million people whose population is expected to soar in the coming years. Meeting the demands for animal protein is critically important, and poultry is attractive because of the high protein to feed ratio for production of both eggs and meat,” Kerr said.
Sanou plans on taking an interdisciplinary approach in regard to her research. She plans on using open-ended qualitative questions to understand from the farmer’s perspective how climate change has affected their operations and how they have learned to adapt. She also conducted a choice experiment related to the different attributes of poultry feed and plans on analyzing the data using econometrics.