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Ag's Future or Past?

At what point should a researcher with limited understanding of the socio-political context and no lived experience in a country, feel comfortable questioning the strategies of an expert from that country?

Speaking of food producers in Sierra Leone in his Tropentag 2017 keynote speech, World Food Prize Laureate Monty Jones claimed, “these people deserve to use external inputs, such as fertilizers, improved seeds, gm."

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Looking to the future, shouldn't we transform the food system, rather than just reform an admittedly flawed system? We must be openly critical of existing production standards that shape these systems, for example, agricultural production methods that rely on mechanization and rely on external inputs. Jones’ direct emphasis on biotechnological innovation and production intensification in Sierra Leone seem to conflict with, at least in my mind, a pathway towards sustainable transformation.

Fadli, the man with the plan

Fadli

Fadli is studying Agricultural Science and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics at the University of Bonn. Last year he was also a student reporter, and found it fun and wanted to do it again-so he did. “The Tropentag conference itself is a big conference, and an opportunity to discuss with a variety of people from a range of expertise”, he said. He hopes to earn a deeper understanding of blogging and managing the team, now as chief editor. He hopes to catch some of the presented topics at the Tropentag 2017. This year at the conference, he would like to learn more about organic agriculture.

Multinational team, same passion

This year's student reporters come from different parts of the world. Twelve students, nine nationalities, same passion. We are here to ensure you get a glimpse of everything ranging from keynote speeches to poster sessions at Tropentag 2017.

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Liz eats bugs

Liz

Meet Liz from Nairobi! Liz is from Nairobi, Kenya. She is a PhD student in Agricultural Science at the University of Bonn. She is currently working on “Edible Insects in Kenya” for her research project at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Kenya. The student reporter call posted on the Tropentag website caught her attention as she was registering to present a poster. She went for it. Even if it meant more work, her acceptance was exciting. This would be a starting point for her path towards a potential career in science communication. Liz flew in from Nairobi expecting to meet people, learn new skills in photography, blogging and editing and, most importantly, have fun. She has interests in entomology, agrobiodiversity and nutritional diversity.

Giulia, looking forward to the future

For Giulia, Tropentag will be a great place to learn, share, and get new research ideas in her field. The first time she heard about the student reporter position from her professor when he promoted it at the University of Florence, Italy and he encouraged her to join. At Tropentag she expects to produce useful content that interests young people, both expert and non-expert alike, on issues linked to agricultural sustainability. Her interest is agro-biodiversity conservation in future agriculture. If she has the time, she hopes to find interesting discussions about this topic. Giuilia

Diana, "The Princess"

Diana, from Syria, is a PhD student of Organic Agricultural Science at the University of Kassel. She was just checking her emails as usual when a friend sent her the announcement about Tropentag student reporters. She knew right away this was for her. One of her passions is to discover people through interviews, and this was just the opportunity to practice that. Diana cancelled an invitation for a vacation in Berlin to come to Bonn to learn more about reporting and the technical aspects around it, like video editing, sound mixing, and photography. Even though she will be busy covering the conference, she hope to learn more about her interests in biodiversity, soil and soil fertility.

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Rami, video enthusiast!

Rami hails from Syria and he loves connecting with people. Rami is pursuing a PhD in Organic Agricultural Sciences at the University of Kassel, Witzenhausen, Germany. His passion for film led him to the position of student reporter at Tropentag 2017. This was his chance to shine. He would be able to capture on film current research affecting food security globally. So, he hopped on a train to get to Bonn and tell the Tropentag story. Otherwise, he hopes build networks at the conference and improve his overall skills as a science reporter.

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Markus - "I hope there will be a controversy"

markus Tell us more about you. I am Markus. Currently, I live in Berlin, and stressing about my Master Thesis which I will write next year. It will be in the field of agroforestry. My goal is to specialize in the promotion of indigenous rights and subsistence agriculture. How did you get here? I am a student at University of Kassel in Witzenhausen. There I got acquainted with the topics around development aid and sustainable nutrition. Kassel has a very dedicated team, which motivated me to do public relations for international agriculture. What are your tasks here at Tropentag 2017? I would like to critically discuss the content at Tropentag by writing articles that provide an authentic insight in what is being done for small-scale agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. What do you expect from Tropentag 2017? My expectations are not high, actually. It won't be life changing. I find the real world is about economics and less about social and cultural values. Still, I hope that I can learn something either from the speakers or our team. Maybe, there will even be some controversy I will write about .
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