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Meet Willem Jansink, a former student in African Studies with a background in Environmental Sciences.

In 2022, he conducted a research internship for Seed2Feed in Ghana interviewing farmers and other relevant stakeholders to explore the question of how the adoption of remote sensing technology in West African farming can be increased.

“My professor within the African Studies department recommended me this assignment, as it would be fitting to my interest in agricultural development, frugal innovation, and the region of West Africa. The research project had as the objective to speak with the people, companies, and organizations that will be directly impacted by the digital transition that is currently ongoing in the greenhouse farming landscape. Adopting this need-based approach allowed me to do full justice to the wide range of motivations and barriers stakeholders experience when engaging with technological innovation. The gained insights can eventually be used to ensure that future strategies and interventions are well adapted and integrated into the specific socio-cultural and economic context of this dynamic region.”

“During the research internship, I collected data in the field that can be used for analyzing the potential for remote sensing in agriculture in Ghana and Nigeria. More specifically, whether remote crop monitoring can be conducive to local agricultural transformation in a sustainable and inclusive manner, taking account of the specific farming context. This assignment has further confirmed my interest in the intersection of sustainable agriculture and technological innovation. It also inspired me to start my career at a small consulting firm oriented towards developing agricultural value chains in Africa, where I have been working now for a couple of months. In my current work, I still benefit greatly from the knowledge and skills gained during my research internship at Seed2Feed.”

“I greatly improved my qualitative research skills and learned to effectively collect and analyze large and detailed data sets. Furthermore, it taught me how to adapt myself to different socio-cultural contexts. For now, I would like to keep working in the field of sustainable agriculture. In the future, I envision myself working with organizations, be it the private or public sector, aimed at accelerating agricultural transformation on the African continent.”

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