Spring 2013 Borlaug LEAP Alumni Akuffo Amankwah has had a variety of experiences in which he served in a leadership position and, over the years, he has learned as much from his successes as from his failures. Learning from failed actions and facing challenges has had an impact on Akuffo’s perspective on leadership. He sees leadership as a collaborative effort to achieve a common societal goal. He considers initiative, objectivity, the ability to delegate responsibilities, and having sufficient knowledge to come up with and rethink strategies as valued traits in a leader. He hopes that his research findings will influence policy not only in his native Ghana but throughout the sub-Saharan African region.
The objective of Akuffo’s research was to comparatively study aquaculture technology adoption in fish production involving water reuse and feed nutrient management in ponds among fish farmers in Ghana and Kenya. Fish farmers in these countries are currently being encouraged to use these best management practices (BMP) in order to enhance farm productivity and efficiency of rural aquaculture systems. The study focused on the economic risk levels to farmers and the construction of a spatial econo-metric model to analyze farmer’s adoption decisions.
During the Borlaug LEAP fellowship, Akuffo traveled to International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Kenya to work with Dr. Isabelle Baltenweck, who oversaw the data collection aspects of his project. ILRI has been involved in implementing sector-specific policies that are transforming the Kenyan livestock and aquaculture sectors. Akuffo also worked with his US mentor and advisor at Purdue University, Dr. Kwamena Quagrainie, who helped him design analytical tools for the study. Akuffo is looking forward to pursuing work as an Agricultural and Rural Development expert in his home country upon completion of his PhD in Agricultural Economics in 2015.