This month, ARN is thrilled to spotlight one of Nigeria’s finest development economist, professor Peter Njiforti. Peter is one of the 12 Principal Investigators under the USAID’s ALL-IN Project implemented by ICED and Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk and Resilience across Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana and Malawi. ALL-IN is advancing host country leadership in defining and implementing research projects and to deepen host country connections.

Professor Njiforti speaks to Annsofie Misiani, ARN’s Manager, about his research interest, challenges he has encountered and some of his most interesting research findings in his many years of experience in the industry. Here’s the intriguing conversation:

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am a Professor in the Department of Economics at Ahmadu Bello University Business School (ABUBS). I hold a PhD in Agricultural Economics, M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics, and a B.Sc. in Economics, all from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. At ABUBS, I teach courses in Research Methodology, Mathematical Economics, and Advanced Econometrics.

What are some of your research interests and why are you passionate about it?

My research interests span the fields of agricultural economics, environmental economics, and development economics, and I have published widely in both local and international peer-reviewed journals.  As the Principal Investigator for the ALL-IN research project titled “Mutual Weather Index Insurance for Adaptation to Climate Risk in the Sudano-Sahelian Zone of Nigeria: Evidence from a Framed Field Experiment”, I am currently overseeing a study that will provide insurance coverage to farmers in three intervention groups in seven states, 35 Local Government Areas, 70 communities, and among 1028 respondents.

What are some challenges you face in your industry?

My research team and I have encountered numerous challenges, including security threats such as Boko Haram, kidnapping, banditry, and abduction. As a result, we must appraise the security situation before going into the field, and often must go undercover or in disguise to avoid drawing attention to ourselves. Irregular rainfall patterns have also posed a challenge, recently, and we have had to adjust our work-plan and timeline accordingly.

In addition to the ALL-IN research project, I have been involved in a range of empirical research projects, including the “Assessment and Analysis of Economic Cost of Land Degradation and Hotspot Mapping in Semi-Arid, Sub Humid and Humid Regions in Nigeria,” “Trash to Cash” in five communities in Yola, Nigeria, and “Alternative Livelihood for Communities within the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW) Corridor in northwestern Nigeria.”

What are the most interesting research findings from your work so far?

My research has led to several interesting findings, such as the significant role that traditional beliefs and religion play in influencing the uptake and use of weather-related insurance products in our study area. Most recently, I concluded a study on the foresight analysis of groundnut, pearl millet, and sorghum, sponsored by the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRIAT).

What is the most promising and /or exciting part of your research work?

I am committed to using economic principles and techniques to address agricultural, environmental, and development-related issues and contribute to the development of Nigeria and the African continent.


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