Tropentag

Science networking: a necessary challenge.

It is not simple, as demonstrated in the third oral presentation session today. But the co-production and sharing of knowledge is an important approach to create awareness, improve social-economic conditions and find appropriate technologies in different places. The challenges and barriers are numerous, as Ms. Kristina Roesel from the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya and Dr. Tom Bischof from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences emphasized on their presentations: long distances, difficulty of communication, poorness of infra-structures and cultural differences. All of these make the co-working of partnership of universities a complex task. But the benefits are undeniable, and successful cases like the e-learning platform offered by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences to the University of Lubjlana in Slovenia and the University of Agricultural Sciences in India, the RELOAD project from The University of Nairobi in partnership with University of Kassel (presented by Ms. Catherine Kunyianga) and the Mytox South, created at the University of Ghent between multiple universities in sub-Saharan Africa to reduce the risk of mycotoxins contamination in food (explained by Dr. Arnau Vidal from the University of Ghent). These programs show how it is possible to offer effective solutions to complex interdisciplinary problems. Ms. Camilla Adelle, from the University of Pretoria further unraveled the issues involved on trans-disciplinary research and production of knowledge, and the role of scientists on this mutual relation.

Nourishment by Insects!?

Yes, this idea is slowly being more accepted by western societies and becoming accessible to the increasingly growing population worldwide, as we could see in some of the presentations today! Traditionally used in Asian, Latin American and African cuisines, this practice has the potential to play an important role for nutrition security, helping to attend food demand and combat hunger. Due to the limited amount of agricultural land and natural resources, there is an urgent need to find other alternatives for protein sources than conventional meat products. In some places (e.g. Kenya and Uganda), it already constitutes 5–10% of protein intake of the rural and urban populace. Also, livestock production is a leading cause of anthropogenic-induced climate change; therefore more sustainable diets are needed.

Gabriel, the explorer

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Gabriel is an Agricultural Engineer from Brazil that just arrived in Belgium to start a MSc. Program in Nutrition and Rural Development at the University of Ghent. In the past years, he had some experiences with Sustainable Agriculture that significantly changed his way of understanding food production and the use of natural resources. He is looking forward to enjoy this opportunity of studying in Europe and learn about cultural and technical aspects of food production and consumption in a different continent. He is really excited to work as a Student Reporter at Tropentag as he believes this event covers a lot of the needs for enhancing agricultural production around the world, and it will be a great start for his young career abroad.

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 ("http://dpg.phytomedizin.org/de/die-dpg/auszeichnungen-preise/")
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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 (www.tropentag.de) 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
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