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Harvest Speaker Series - Valerie Valerio

On Friday, February 19, 2021 Valerie Valerio continued the HARVEST speaker series with a discussion about the structure of livestock trade in West Africa. Her presentation was entitled "The network structure of livestock trade in West Africa". Below is a short bio on Valerie Valerio and an abstract of her talk as well as a recording of the presentation.

Valerie Valerio

Valerie Valerio is a Data Scientist with Surgo Ventures, and a Ph.D. Candidate in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Florida. Her research consists in building agricultural value chain and system dynamics and network models to understand livestock consumption, production, and distribution patterns in the developing world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Mrs. Valerio is a collaborator of the African Networks Lab, a multidisciplinary team that studies trade and politically violent networks in Africa. She holds a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from the Santo Domingo Institute of Technology in the Dominican Republic.

“The network structure of livestock trade in West Africa”

Livestock production, distribution and processing support the livelihoods of more than 20 million people in West Africa. Despite its food security, economic and regional integration relevance, intraregional livestock trade remains understudied in this region, partly because official figures do not capture it well. While existing studies recognize the importance of cross-border live animal trade, few efforts have studied these flows between multiple countries simultaneously. This talk will present the findings of a study that, taking advantage of the relational characteristic of trade, modeled live animal trade in West Africa as a network of animal movements between localities. Using a trade survey collected by a regional organization, the network is mapped and characterized, and important implications of the network structure for regional food and nutrition security are discussed. This talk will also briefly highlight applications of network analysis to the study of agricultural commodities in other contexts.

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