Katri Leinonen, 29, is a Master of Science student (Agricultural Policy) from the University of Helsinki working at MTT Agrifood Research Finland. She’s doing her thesis in FoodAfrica work package 6 by analyzing what kind of reasons are behind the Ugandan smallholders’ access to markets.

What is your research about?

katri_leinonen– I am researching which factors are the most relevant when it comes to Ugandan smallholders access to markets based on the baseline survey conducted in Ugandan households by IFPRI. These factors could be for example the size of the yield and what is produced as well as the size of the household and other demographic factors. I will also take account of the market information SMS provided to local farmers to see if it has had some effect when it comes to market access, Katri Leinonen explains.

How did you end up doing your thesis for FoodAfrica?

– I’ve always been interested in African agriculture and once I heard about MTT’s FoodAfrica programme, I was instantly interested. Luckily there was a good slot for my masters’ thesis in WP6. My supervisor is Principal Research Scientist Jarkko Niemi from MTT. I started working at MTT in the beginning of June and will be done with my thesis within a few months time.

How do you think your research can improve African food security?

– Smallholders are a majority of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa and most of their income relies solely on small scale farming. Better market access and information can significantly improve their position in the market. The information provided can for example help them find better market prices, which can improve the smallholders’ welfare, Katri Leinonen sums up.

More information:
Katri Leinonen, MTT, katri.e.leinonen@helsinki.fi