Tropentag 2011

Stuck under the Weather

A short film depicting impacts of the Orissa Floods on land and livelihoods by Dr. Joe Hill (Tropentag October 6, 2011). The Cyclone warnings on the radio were only sent out hours before it hit. The people of Orissa suffered significant losses and after the storm resided, their only resort was to salvage rice and coconut water. Relief aid only came 4-5 days later. This can almost be seen as an regular scenario in Orissa. Farmers have no land of their own, and if they do it's not fertile to grow enough. Farmers are also aware of their fertilizer use degrading their land fertility, but they have no choice despite the fact that it could cause the next floods to be even worse. Many farmers have resorted to fishing in order to survive but this too is not enough. While cyclones and floods wipe out any coastal aquatic life, industrial fishing in deep waters outside Orissa significantly reduce fish numbers coming into the coast, significantly reducing local fishermen's catch. On land, there is a lack of water and a lack of work. "Every day is a struggle to make ends meet."

The Seeds of the Future

The thematic session on Crop Biotic Stresses on Friday 7 October, 2011 touched upon various research into crop production and crop management methods. While the results were also unique, the discussions at Tropentag focused their interest on the improvement of methodologies. The impacts of crop management. The session looked at the effects of Chlorpyrifos in Costa Rica and how they are having a negative impact on the children in the area. The exposure came from the use of Chlorpyrifos-bags used in banana and plantain Plantations. We were also introduced to the research through a microarray analysis of gene expression induced in tomato leaves. The genes were compared between treated/untreated/diseased/healthy tomato plants and observed for activation of plant resistance. Interestingly enough, someone in the crowd commented on the research and arrived at opposite results having done the same research. The debate was left up in the air… to be continued during the following coffee break. DSC_0236 Fellow presenters listening to their colleague's presentation. Africa stricken with Striga!

To Feed or not to Feed?

The Tropentag 2011 Thematic Presentations on Animal Production Systems discuss various trade-offs between different animal feeds and feeding practices. The livestock in question ranged from cattle to shrimp and even guinea pigs! _DSC0215 Presentations on Animal Production Systems at Tropentag 2011. Transforming to Integrated Ecosystems The common thread through all the presentations was how to integrate livestock production into the natural environment. Sustainable aquaculture that aims at minimizing impact on the environment can in the long run provide farmers with much better livelihoods. We were presented with some great use of Google map imaging depicting the boundaries of land usage and how livestock production can be integrated without degrading the environments around it. A ratio between environmental land coverage and live stock land usage enforces the ongoing theme of 'doing more with less'.

The Meat behind an Enabling Environment

Sir Gordon Conway, an Ecologist from the Imperial College London well experienced in development policy, describes an environment with three key challenges for food security. Challenges for food production. 1. One billion people hungry in the world. 2. A necessity of increasing food production by 70 to 100%. 3. A world price-crisis that still now is causing problems for marginalized people in developing and developed countries. The higher demand for food is explained by a rising population, an increase in income of some countries with economic growth and energy policies (demand for bio-fuels). On the other hand, degraded lands, degraded water, impact of climate change is negatively affecting food production at a global scale. “Marginalized people are those who own less than 2 hectares of productive land, involving 400-500 million of smallholders, most of them in Asia and Africa.” DSC_0164 Sir Gordon Conway, Key Note Speaker at Tropentag 2011. Multiplier effect of agriculture.

Tropentag 2011 is back with a bang!!!A warm Welcome to all the participants!!!

One of the established agricultural research conferences is back on tow.

Prof. Dr. Mathias Becker
, University of Bonn started by stating that he was sure topics titled such as “Iron Assimilation pathways are not the blockbusters” for participants to trail back year after year to this conference. He feels this year’s theme “Development on the margin” reflects the present scenario in the world very well with issues like soil degradation, inequality and so on being on the rise with globalisation aggravating the situation. This situation does not make the achievement of MDG’s easy. The worst hit due to these issues are the people living on the margins. It is one of the priority areas of the Federal Ministry of Economic Corporation and Development in Germany and hence Tropentag 2011 was strongly encouraged by the Federal Minister of BMZ, Dirk Niebel.

Search Engine for Jobs and Networking

Tropentag is a good platform for getting connected and to know about the various opportunities and current trends in agriculture and natural resource management research, according to three agricultural graduates from the University of Hohenheim. University of Hohenhiem students and Student Reporters Master's student Dusenthi Manoharan thinks the conference is a good starting point for young researchers. She is presenting her work on a course module of Food Ethics in the Vulnerable People that she helped designed this year. As an advocate for Food Ethics her experience from last year’s theme "World Food System - A Contribution from Europe” in Zurich, Switzerland was contrary to the actual practicality during the conference meals.

Use your opportunity to shine!

IMG_9096 International conferences, like Tropentag, are excellent platforms for scientific knowledge exchange, networking, and for talented new professionals to present themselves. At least this is the experience of Dr. Barbara Ramsperger, the Executive Manager of the center for Agriculture in the Tropics and Subtropics of the Univesity of Hohenheim. This experienced researcher also has advice for new and ambitious researchers: - If you have a poster, show what you have already done with confidence. Exploit your 3 minutes of fame! - Be proactive and don’t be afraid to approach people and talk to them - Participate in the conference activities that you’re interested in. Environmental issues in tropical countries have different dimensions: There are many researchers working with these issues from different perspectives, such as poverty and development. Tropentag brings together Universities, researchers, students, NGOs and other institutions and allows them to share their knowledge in several poster sessions, oral presentation, plenery sessions and social events.

Tropentag 2011: The Final Countdown

In less than 24 hours Tropentag 2011 in Bonn will begin. This event is not only interesting for well-known speakers, but it’s also a unique opportunity for young scientists to present their research and meet with people from all over the world. This event will be covered by a group of 12 selected students of 11 different nationalities and 10 European universities. Last weekend, all student reporters arrived from different corners of Europe to attain two days of training session at the University of Hohenheim. After workshops such as ‘journalism ethics and standards’ and ‘how to catch attention’ by Mr. Florian Klebs from the Press Office of Hohenheim University, we got an introduction of the use of social media and trained on reporting skills. The next coming days, we will keep you updated on all the most important activities and outcomes of Tropentag 2011. What are the controversial issues around themes such as food security, biodiversity, climate change and development on the margin? We will help you to find out! You can read our blogs, watch our videos and look at the photographs that will be published on this website and social media. So follow us on Twitter and Facebook! We are ready, are you?
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