The main driving force of an increasing demand was identified to be the strong population growth in Malawi. Through modeling the demand and supply for the future, a big gap between the two was found, threatening the biomass availability. Even though other (not yet used) sources like crop residues may be used in the future, the demand will still exceed the supply up to a very high extent.
What is the government doing? Is it enough to ensure enough fuel for the Malawian people in the future?
The answer, given by the research, is that the planned methods will not be sufficient. The main strategy is the provision of efficient cooking stows to decrease the amount of fuel needed for cooking. The different models, with an optimistic and pessimistic scenarios, showed that, even with a high acceptance of the cooking stows, the supply gap remains.
Despite this finding, the research went further and provided a solution: different, individualizable agroforestry systems to include woody biomass in the farms to increase the fuelwood supply.
Do you also get this uneasy feeling when participants from all institutions are always sharing one common opinion, one not really pronounced vision? It´s not that I would mind if we were all working together to achieve all sustainable development goals, a common vision. But this is obviously not the case!
There were some first signs of the diverging notions of sustainable development on Monday's keynote. Someone asked: „So why are there still poor people getting poorer?“ (See Elsby´s blog entry on it here: http://blog.tropentag.de/node/495). Sustainability is a very broad term, comprising also many contradictory opinions on how to reach the goal. Are primed seeds or rather commonly owned landraces the answer to food security? Is it really food security or rather food sovereignty that counts? What is our vision really about? Don’t we need to ask more fundamentally critical questions: which economic system will allow a world of equality, sustainability, and solidarity? And are systems going to be the solution anyway?
Once again, if anyone happened to have missed Monday's Keynote speeches from David Molden (Sharing Hindu Kush Himalayan Resources in a Changing World), Poonpipope Kasemsap (Solidarity in a Competing World and Food Security Challenge), and Ann Tutwiler (The Growing Importance of Equity and Fairness using Agrobiodiversity to meet SDGs), please take a look at the professional coverage of the presentations on youtube!
David Molden's presentation:
Poonpipope Kasemsap's presentation:
Ann Tutwiler's presentation:
Tropentag is a scientific conference - surely. Yet each serious research project has a work package dealing with implementation (because funders know it´s good for publicity) - so has Tropentag.
Solidarity in a competing world - a theme directly put into practice at the conference dinner on Tuesday night.
In a role game, participants could emotionally experience competition for limited resources. Solidarity developed - at least amongst the most marginalized at the very end of queues sharing the last bits of food. Meanwhile, waiters were emptying half empty plates into the darkness of Vienna´s sewage system.
But - let´s not forget: this conference is not only about solidarity. It´s also about fair use of resources. But what´s fair, anyway? Yet again: food proved to be the most hands-on- area of implementation. The following images of the Tropentag lunch will not need any further comment.
You are facing quite lots of difficulties, and if the quality of the milk is bad, you cannot sell it anymore. You bear the risks, you lose money if the milk gets bad. Controlling the product by smell, taste, texture and density without technical support needs much expertise.
Traveling to the producers, controlling and keeping the quality to resell to milk stations is certainly a hard job. So, how to improve the situation?
The presented research takes a closer look at those limitations and possibilities for improving the situation of small-scale milk trading from the perspective of a local milk trader. What are the results?
The second day of this year's conference just ended. It has been closed by the conference dinner at Vienna's historic City Hall: the perfect venue to feel the warm welcome from Tropentag. A traditional Viennese music ensemble, some delicious food, and an amazing location seem the be just a perfect combination to wrap up the intense day.
Indeed, I personally enjoyed when some participants took over the stage and performed their traditional dance. The others banqueters apparently had my same feeling as they clapped and joined the dance. Five people also got to receive the Ecoland Poster Award and a prize of 300 € each as the best Tropentag's posters. I hope you had a wonderful night too. But still, remember to spare some energy for the closing day tomorrow!You can find more pictures of the dinner on our Flickr.
A concerning fact that stood out during the presentation on lettuce contamination in Burkina Faso along the value chain was that 70% of the water being assessed in the study was above the safety or “health based target” threshold as set out by the World Health Organization. This water is being used to irrigate crops in urban and peri-urban locations, and is often derived from sewage contaminated sources.
Lettuce is an important crop in this area as it is considered “exotic” and has high value, especially during wedding season and other important occasions. Conserving its hygiene along the value chain is critical in preventing the food-borne illnesses that are all too frequent when using coliform-polluted water as an irrigation source.