Arrell Scholar, Geography
Fast-paced advancements in technology have become the norm today but widespread implementation is not always the solution. Through exploring the current and anticipated impacts of digital technologies, Abdul hopes to shape the direction of digital transformation research in academia and inform government services and programs so farmers receive relevant resources.Learn more about Arrell Scholarships
“We have to be very strategic in how we implement digital transformations in agriculture. It is very important that we first explore how they interact with society before applying the same principles globally.”
Research Interests and Future Goals
Abdul has a BSc in development planning and MA in environmental policy. His previous projects involved a range of topics including community development and planning and exploring policy-based solutions to attract and retain more farmers in the Canadian east coast.
In August 2022, Abdul defended his PhD thesis in Geography. Driven by his mission to provide smallholder farmers with inclusive and sustainable digital transformation in their agriculture practices, Abdul drew from his experience as the son of a smallholder farmer in Ghana to tackle his PhD research with the Arrell Food Institute.
His PhD research combines his previous education with his first-hand experience helping his family navigate using technology on their farm. His research specifically aims to understand how the adoption and use of digital technologies in agriculture transform everyday farming practices, and how we can leverage technology to enhance the livelihoods and resilience of rural communities in Canada and Ghana.
Why become an Arrell Scholar?
Abdul chose to apply to the Arrell scholarship because he wanted to work in a multidisciplinary environment where his diverse interest in food and agriculture would fit into a wide range of conversations amplified by opportunities presented to Arrell Scholars. Outside of his studies Adbul is a co-host of a podcast program at the University of Guelph called “FoodFarm Talk”. This podcast explores diverse topics from farm to fork and agriculture research in the Guelph community.