Tropentag 2016

Reflective Photobooth– A creative method to challenge detachments in today’s food system

Workshop 2

Background: There is a rising detachment in agrifood systems as, especially in industrialized countries, the direct experience and contact with farmers is little and the gap between consumers and producers is high. Because of little knowledge about agriculture, there is an increased importance of second-hand sources like mass media communication about farming. Unfortunately, the stereotypic representation on the media with inherited values and pictures of family farming often distances groups further.

The goal: Challenging media perspective of farmers with several practical methods on public conferences and seminars. An innovative new approach to discovering power relations and problems derived from different cultural and social backgrounds.

Conduction: Setting up a studio -> selecting costumes –> taking pictures -> talk and reflect about it.

"Are you lecturing them?" - Self-critical reflexion on 5 year CGIAR experiment about livestock value chains

It’s nine o’clock on the first day of the Tropentag 2016, the room quickly filled up with people eager to hear what’s new about the sustainable integration of livestock smallholders in value chains through multi-stakeholder platforms. Following the motto „More meat, milk and fish for and by the poor “, during this interactive workshop CGIAR presented the results of their five-year research in developing countries, encouraging to ask critical and challenging questions in order to improve their model.

Workshop 5: Empowering smallholders through multi-stakeholder platforms and value chains

Background of the experiment is the increasing demand of livestock in developing countries, where smallholders currently provide about 70% of livestock produce. While the production of livestock thus offers great business opportunities, smallholders are often not part of this transition. CGIAR, in this “very expensive experiment”, tried to develop models, strategies and technologies to empower smallholders and women, ensure food security and improve health and environmental issues, amongst others.

Predicting the unpredictable?

In the workshop „From fragility to resilience - enabling vulnerable people to cope with shocks”, the question of how to deal with the unpredictability of crises, natural catastrophes and shocks led to an inspiring debate. Resilience, in the sense of ability to cope with shocks, is “a concept of an equilibrium” - as Michael Hauser from the Centre for Development Research at BOKU has put it. In contrast to resistance, it is a system´s dynamic response to change.

Workshop 6 on resilience

Leading up to multiple discussion groups organized in a world café method, three guests introduced the topic of resilience from different point of views. It has been most interesting to note how the debate was concentrating on the question of how to make changes, a crisis or even a shock more predictable. Possibly, predicting change is one option of increasing a system´s resilience. However, it may also be a way of resisting it. Furthermore, the question of differentiating between sustainability and resilience arose. In many ways, the latter is part of sustainability.

Prof. Bernhard Freyer on Tropentag 2016

We interviewed Prof. Dr. Bernhard Freyer, head of the department of Organic Farming System at BOKU University, and head of the local organizing committee before the beginning of the opening session. He shared with us the role of Tropentag in the North-South exchange of knowledge and the expected discussion in the several organized workshops and the exceptionally large poster presentation.

Interview to Prof. Freyer

Besides Tropentag 2016, “AgroFoods and Human Values: Toward Sustainable Foodscapes & Landscapes” in 2013, “Perspektiven sozialer und ökonomischer Gerechtigkeit Perspektiven sozialer und ökonomischer Gerechtigkeit - Auf den Spuren eines Wegbereiters: 150 Jahre Rudolf Steiner” in 2011, “Building sustainable rural futures. The added value of systems approaches in times of change and uncertainty / Transdisciplinarity as a framework for integrating science and stakeholders perspectives into development processes” in 2010, and “9. Wissenschaftstagung Ökologischer Landbau” in 2007 are only some of the several conferences he arranged and have been the chairperson of during his career.

Preparations finished, registration started successfully!

Today, September 18th, Tropentag 2016 received its first participants. Spring-smelling blooms have been put all around the University. The atmosphere is sparkling already.

The registration staff should better be sleeping tight tonight and be ready for tomorrow: Tropentag's guests will start arriving starting from 8 am!

Start of registration on sunday

Beauty in wait

We can't wait for the big start of Tropentag 2016!

Your Student Reporter Team

This year´s student reporters present themselves!

View a slideshow of this year´s student reporters covering the Tropentag conference at Vienna! Stay informed following our blog, tweets as well as our photo- and video stream.

Student reporters 2016

The student reporters wish you a great conference at the BOKU university!
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