Behind the scenes with Sarah – you cannot plan everything

“If the students are happy – I am happy” – Sarah Glatzle has the right attitude for her position: She is the organizer of the ATSAF-Student Reporters program. Every year at Tropentag, twelve students learn in workshops to report about scientific themes resented at the conference. Sarah not only has to handle the chaotic creativity of the student reporters—her work starts even earlier with the selection of them. “There was even an application from Trinidad-Tobago,” tells Sarah, “but unfortunately only students from European Universities can apply.” Otherwise the traveling costs would be too high to be covered by ATSAF. IMG_6935 Learning by doing – you cannot plan everything. Sarah knows that the only way to handle the unexpected is to be flexible. Rooms are locked, material is in the wrong place – lots of problems have to be solved behind the scenes to keep the Conference working. But the stressful moments last only for a few hours and there are, of course, many positive experiences. Last year the students surprised her with flowers for her support. Next year Sarah is going to do her pHD research in Brazil about integrated crop- livestock system – let’s hope she has next year nevertheless the time to help the students.
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The 2013 Anton de Bary Medal Prize Laureate: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kranz

Crop biotic stresses (DPG Session) The Board of the German Society Phytomedicine (DPG -Deutschen Phytomedizinischen Gesellschaft) as part of Tropentag, organized an award ceremony to celebrate one of its member with outstanding scientific achievements in the field of Phytomedicine. The 2013 Anton de Bary Medal was presented to Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kranz in recognition for his scientific work in the areas of tropical and subtropical plant pathology and epidemiology of pathogens. The award consists of a medal named Anton de Bary on one side and bears the name of the award winner on the back, and a certificate that contains the focus of the presentation Anton de Bary_MedailleAnton de Bary_Medaille1 The 2013 Anton de Bary Medal ("")
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Brigitte Maass, forage expert of CIAT encourages young scientist to participate in the Tropentag

“Trying out for the Tropentag is an excellent opportunity to get an exposure”, says Brigitte Maass who has been mentoring graduate students and early career scientists throughout her 40 years of scientific career. “I like mentoring and I always make sure that my students gets to submit an abstract for oral or poster presentations before they leave to their home countries”, she added. “The Tropentag is a great opportunity to meet people and to see what scientists are doing, young and old alike – nobody works on long term projects – so it is important to keep and maintain relationships and build new once”, she said. registration17 maintaining relationships

We part to meet again: Tropentag 2012 makes way for Tropentag 2013.

This year’s edition of the esteemed conference, Tropentag ( was brought to a close on Friday 21st September 2012 in Göttingen. Running under the theme “Resilience of Agricultural Systems against Crises”, the conference brought together 721 participants from 71 different countries to provide solution for agriculture especially in this era of global warming. Addressing the closing Ceremony, Professor Andreas Bürkert offered an invaluable highlight of the discussions that characterized the 3 day conference. He reiterated some important lessons, ideas, innovations and technologies to buffer the agricultural systems to ensure productive and sustainable output from the micro-level to regional scales. Commenting on the success of the conference, He commended the magnitude of poster sessions that characterized this year’s Tropentag which amounted to some 287 posters. He evaluated the poster sessions as an important part of the conference as most of the innovative ideas were presented on the posters. On attendance, 20% of the registered participants whose work had been published in the Tropentag brochure were noted to have been absent for which Professor Bürkert gave an advice to be present next year as the work of any absentee participants will not be published and the owners blacklisted. Women were also advised to take the opportunity of reaching out to society and making impacts by participating in such platforms as Tropentag as the women attendance was 35%.

Resilience Addressing the Social Aspect of Rural Development

Rural Development is diverse and needs to be approached from many directions. In the session on the art project “Resilience – Touching a Colourful Sky” the social and emotional dimension is addressed by helping people to reflect on and express their feelings in different ways. There was not much debating involved in the session on resilience performed by the students of the program Rural Development and Communication from Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences. Rather taking part meant: “Grab a brush, choose your colours and paint what comes to your mind!” Tropentag 2012 With content smiles on their faces, students and professors alike got down to the artistic business. Within only one hour the participants each produced a painting and a poem dealing with the topics that concerned them the most during the last few days. Various subjects came to the minds of the participants from different disciplines and nations. Tropentag 2012

GIZ – Resilience is about decreasing vulnerability

On Tropentag 2012, the GIZ presents its different approaches to enhance resilience in agricultural systems by depicting some fields of action. The key-factor opposing resilience in rural development is the vulnerability of agricultural systems. The approach to decrease vulnerability acquired by the GIZ comprises economic, political and ecological as well as social aspects. Thus, it is distinct from approaches that focus only on ecological resilience of agricultural systems. Presenting experiences gained in Afghanistan, it was analyzed what development work needs to consider in a fragile state that faces insecurity, lack in welfare and political guidance. Key findings were that firstly main components in livelihood need to be assessed and respective main problems need to be identified. Then, taylor-made approaches that are sensitive to the traditional structures can be applied. Also of importance is the long-term commitment to the development. Finally, the new public knowledge platform is presented. It aims at overarching gaps between different sectors and on the other hand filling the general knowledge gap. The target group of the platform are young professionals and practitioners that can share knowledge on their respective field of experience.

Awarded: Research Contributing to Poverty and Hunger Reduction in Practice

On Tropentag 2012, three young scientists are each awarded 10 000 Euro for their excellent doctoral dissertation directly applicable to the enhancement of food security and poverty reduction. The Joseph G. Knoll European Science Award 2012 is funded by the Fiat Panis Foundation. Tropentag 2012 Infos on the theses With her thesis on “Implementation and Optimization of the Doubled Haploid Technology for Tropical Maize Breeding Programs”, Dr. Vanessa Prigge helped to exploit maize genetics more effectively, by increasing production rates and reducing breeding times. Concerned with the “Operational Poverty Targeting by Proxy Means Tests Models and Policy Simulations for Malawi”, Dr. Nazaire Houssou investigated how to reduce poverty by more effective targeting and avoiding inefficiencies by leaking money to the non- poor. In her thesis, “Determinants and Impacts of Smallholder Collective Action in Kenya”, on the micro level, Dr. Elisabeth Fischer identified under which conditions farmers join smallholder collectives and assessed impacts on the role of women and food security. Selection criteria

Göttigen and Kassel Universities Collaborate to host the Tropentag Conference 2012

Collaborating, Promoting, Discussing and being always relevant is key for the success of our institutions. This is a trait well portrayed by the Universities of Göttigen and Kassel.

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.

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