Welcome to the Tropentag 2017 blog!

Follow us for live updates from student reporters on conference sessions, side events and more.

Tropentag 2017 | Future Agriculture: Social-ecological transitions and bio-cultural shifts | Bonn, Germany, September 20 - 22, 2017

Tropentag 2017

An Apology Poem to Institutions and Livelihoods

oral4.1

Yes, I attended Oral four in LH8.

My attention, I'll admit, truly a sad state.

Would you mind just looking on Twitter?

That global forum clogged with litter.

Let's move to Plenary 2, lest we be late.

Malnutrition in Africa: Oh, the Irony!

It is 8:00 a.m. and I am already at the Agrobiodiversity and Nutrition diversity poster session. Today, I am doubling as a student reporter and a poster presenter. The room is filled with enthusiastic faces, hungry for information on the topic. The session started on high note with a presentation on potato farming in Peru. However, something caught my eye throughout the presentations. All the other topics, including mine were about Africa. One of the speakers swept me away with his research on biofortification of cassava. This is good news! However, allow me to talk about the other side of the story.

Hana Khanh's picture

Value Chains are Valuable

Value chains is the hot topic currently in agricultural economics. As a result, not surprisingly, many people came to the poster session, although it was organized very late in the afternoon of the second day, just before the biggest event of the conference, the "Gala dinner’’.

valuechain1

This year, there were up to 15 posters registered, and they had only one hour to present their work. I felt very positive as I learned about the many attempts to find the bottlenecks in the value chains of tropical and sub-tropical products in developing countries, perhaps leading to new suggestions and solutions for farmers. While Sham UI Haq and Yee Mon Aung worked on rice and pulses in Myanmar, Hazal Akcakara from the University of Bonn, evaluated the impact of sustainability certification on palm oil.

Silly Q&A at the "Social Event at Haus der Geschichte"

dinner34

The conference was nearly over, and it was time to celebrate. I walked around the room and asked a few silly questions (and some serious), many of which were collected from around the room. Enjoy!

What livestock animal would you be? Why?

A grass-fed milk cow in an agroforestry system in Columbia. –S.S.

A bull in a cattle herd in Switzerland. I could go everywhere in the pastures in the mountains. It would be a Demeter farm so I would hopefully live longer.-Dr. Christoph Reiber, Uni Hohenheim

I would be a rabbit because I am so fertile. –Anonymous

What’s the difference between a crocodile and an alligator?

The teeth…the size in general, the ecosystem… -Baldur Janz, IMK-IFU

One you see in a while, and the other later.- Jessica Lloyd (the creator of the joke), Uni Hohenheim

When you started (MSc. or PhD) what did you think you would be after?

Hmmm, nothing exciting, a professor teaching at the academy. I didn’t expect to be in agriculture. Back then I was only focused on biology. -Dr. Alejandro Pieters, Venezuelan Instititute for Scientific Research

Qui est ce qui est jaunes et qui attend?

Rethinking the Way We Farm

Keynote speaker Bina Agarwal, Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, elaborates on the three areas, or pillars, any pathway towards a future agriculture needs to address. In the first video, Professor Agarwal provides an overview of her three pillars, technology, ecology, and institutions.

In the second video, she describes in more detail group farming as a promising institutional innovation.

ICRAF on Improving Agroforestry Farming Systems

ICRAF is a world-leading research centre in agroforestry. In the video below, James M. Roshetko gives an overview of some of the projects in Indonesia he and ICRAF are leading with the support of the Canada and Australia. Their work is focused on smallholder farming systems, like those found in tea production. In particular, they are researching gender issues, value chains, and farmer to farmer extension methods to improve intervention strategies that can provide landscape management options that provide environmental services and financial benefits.
marlemke's picture

Agroforestry Won't Save the World, but our Planet

According to the numerous audience's questions, agroforestry is in demand.

Of course! In terms of water and nutrient efficiency, trees are optimum, and hence are key for solving problems like nitrogen leaching and drought mitigation. Moreover, they can provide an additional income source for (smallholder) farmers in terms of fruit, medicine and timber. Their ecological value cannot only be reduced to shade provision and hydraulic lift for water and plant nutrients, they also function as a shelter belt for annual crops nearby. Trees also drastically reduce wind speed, minimizing transpiration. Niels Thevs from ICRAF reinforced these points in his oral presentation.

As far as resource efficiency is concerned, trees can substantially contribute to mitigate climate change and secure the existence of smallholders.

Audience_asking questions

Ending Hunger... or Writing Papers?

Like many of my peers in attendance at for the "BMEL Session," oral presentations, I have spent the last year wrestling with one quite specialized, and quite complex, research problem. Mine falls under the umbrella question, "What are pathways towards sustainable food system transformation?". Safely contained within this one research question, I am often tempted to isolate the subtleties of my research from the sweeping and disastrous reality, hunger. Occasionally lost within an abstract cloud of data and theory, I try to remind myself of the necessity of resituating my research within the context of the larger research environment.

The logical, but not always obvious, next question: Should we extend this interrogation one step further and question how our research, our knowledge, and our resources, will be used in application to better society? Are we making change, or are we just writing papers?

impressions449

Syndicate content