I had been waiting for some conflict and controversy...for nearly three days. It was decidedly inconspicuous at a conference bearing those very words in its title. But now, here was conference organizer Stefan Sieber promising that controversy in the closing keynotes and plenary. The speakers, and their topics of choice, followed one of the most fundamental debates in the fields of agriculture and rural development - pitting the core philosophies around technology dissemination and institutional support versus grassroots innovation and social movements against one another.
I talked to Mr Siegfried Harrer of the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) – an office that is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) with German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Schmidt. BMEL is one of the donors of Tropentag 2015. Harrer said that BMEL is spending 8.5 million Euros on 8 different science projects this year. The main interest of BLE being at Tropentag is to get in contact with other organizations and researchers. They organize workshops for local farmers around the world. Furthermore they have upcoming possibilities for young scientists from developing countries to get grants.
When visiting the conference, you cannot have missed the different stands, where various organisations have set up camp for these days. One of them is DAAD, the German Academic Exchange Service. We had a quick interview this morning, to hear more about what they are doing and what services they offer! Continue...
Thursday was a vibrant and full day, filled with exciting presentations and new insights. Later there was the conference dinner, and for the lucky few even a small dance party in the basement! Thursday’s quote: "To reach your aims- work together, not against each other" - Max (Boku, Vienna)
An interview with this unique participant, the only representative of Fiji!