Waking coffee farmers up to better pricing strategies

Millions of the world’s poor depend on agricultural products to make a living. Most are small farmers in Africa.

To help them— and to help meet the U.N. Millennium goal of eradicating extreme hunger and poverty in Africa — NJIT’s Junmin Shi studies Kenya’s coffee industry, looking specifically at whether small-scale coffee farmers can use inventory management to thrive financially in the face of unpredictable coffee supplies and wide price fluctuations.

An assistant professor in NJIT’s School of Management, Dr. Shi applies mathematical modeling and theory to the real-life practices of Kenya’s 700,000 small-scale coffee farmers and the 5 million people they support.

His research aims to answer two questions about storable agricultural products under price fluctuations: How can inventory be effectively managed to hedge price risk, and how do diverse cost structures and harvest/price processes affect the results? Dr. Shi hopes his work will improve the livelihood of millions of farmers across the globe and help sustain agricultural industries in the long run.


Production-Inventory Systems with Lost Sales and Compound Poisson Demands

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Junmin Shi
Junmin Shi Assistant Professor of Supply Chain and Finance, School of Management