AfricaRice Scientist Dr Aminou Arouna wins AAEA Quality of Research Discovery Award 2022


AfricaRice Scientist Dr Aminou Arouna

AfricaRice is delighted to announce that Dr Aminou Arouna, Impact Assessment Economist and Leader of the Policy, Innovation Systems and Impact Assessment Program, has been selected to receive the 2022 Quality of Research Discovery Award of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA).


The Quality of Research Discovery Award is granted annually to recognize outstanding scientific article published in the Journal of Development Economics in fields consistent with the AAEA Vision Statement. The Award is given to the publication that demonstrates excellence and creativity in research methodology and/or expands the frontiers of applied economics.


Dr Arouna is receiving this Award for his pioneering work with Jeffrey D. Michler and Jourdain C. Lokossou on contract farming. Their paper “Contract farming and rural transformation: Evidence from a field experiment in Benin” was published in the Journal of Development Economics in 2021. The Journal of Development Economics is considered the top field journal in development economics. Dr Michler is Associate Professor from the University of Arizona. Mr Lokossou is pursuing a doctoral degree at Laval University, Quebec, Canada. His earlier professional experience includes time as a Research Assistant at AfricaRice.


The paper presents results from a field experiment that tested different contract farming models for food value chain development and rural transformation, focusing on contract farming for rice production in Benin. The study found that while all contracts have positive effects on welfare and productivity measures, the simplest contract has impacts nearly as large as contracts with additional attributes. This suggests that once price risk is resolved through the offer of a fixed-price contract, farmers can address other constraints on their own.


The nomination dossier states, “The work of Arouna, Michler, and Lokossou is a shining example of how researchers and industry can work together for the mutual benefit of both parties. Not only is the work innovative, but the findings of the study advance the frontiers of knowledge in applied economics.”


Congratulating Dr Arouna on behalf of the AfricaRice family, AfricaRice Director General Dr Harold Roy-Macauley said, “We wish to extend our warmest congratulations to you for your work that highlights the culture of scientific excellence and innovation at AfricaRice. This award is extremely well deserved as I understand your work is the first field experiment conducted on contract farming and your paper presents results that have significant implications for rural transformation.”


The Quality of Research Discovery Award will be presented to Dr Arouna and his co-authors at the AAEA Awards & Fellows Recognition Ceremony on 1 August during the 2022 AAEA Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California, USA.


Read the award-winning paper:

Arouna A, Michler JD and Lokossou JC. 2021. Contract farming and rural transformation: Evidence from a field experiment in Benin. Journal of Development Economics, 151: 102626.

(https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304387821000031)

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdeveco.2021.102626