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.
The Tropentag conference this year has been organized by the Universities of Göttigen and Kassel that are currently cooperating in green areas of research. This cooperation between the 2 universities started in 2005 with synergies that extend to shared professorships and a joint Masters’ Programme on Sustainable International Agriculture that focuses on 3 key areas of agriculture: international organic agriculture, tropical agriculture and agribusiness and rural development economies. The joint research focuses on agroecological problems and the resilience of food production systems which is the theme of the tropentag this year.