MPS Class of 2024, Global Development
- Grand challenge: Development and facilitation of underproductive and under-resourced smallholder farmers to build inclusive food systems based on food sovereignty
- Where he calls home: Lahore, Pakistan
- Connect: aj568 [at] cornell.edu | LinkedIn
Coming from an agricultural background, Abdullah Jehanzeb always had an interest in agriculture. While studying Chemistry at LUMS, Pakistan, he worked on formulating an organic fertilizer from burnt crop residue. This research pivoted his career path, and upon graduation in 2020, Abdullah joined the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives as a Research Associate. However, to further explore the sector, he joined a private company that made specialized animal feeds. There, he envisioned and led the Small Farmer Outreach Program to expand access to improved animal feeds to smallholder farmers, boosting their productivity.
In 2022, Abdullah was awarded the prestigious Commonwealth Shared Scholarship and proceeded to the Royal Agricultural University to undertake an MSc. in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security. Having completed his coursework with distinction, he wrote his dissertation on the "Potential and Challenges of Uplifting and Empowering Smallholder Farmers in Pakistan: A Multi-stakeholder Viewpoint", co-supervised by Dr. Jonathan Code and Dr. Khalid Mahmood.
Over the years, Abdullah has developed a keen interest in smallholder farmer development in low-income countries. He believes that food insecurity is more about distribution and accessibility, instead of a problem of insufficient production. He aims to meaningfully contribute towards this after his time at Cornell by joining an organization that is working towards improving smallholder farmer livelihoods.