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Tropentag 2018 | Global food security and food safety: The role of universities | Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, September 17 - 19, 2018

Tropentag 2018

In Zambia, if you touch maize, you lose an election!

Agriculture can improve nutrition but it is not what you think. Namukolo Covic, coordinator A4NH in Ethiopia gave an interesting perspective in her keynote speech at the plenary session II.  She reiterated that countries must leverage on non-agricultural sectors to complement agricultural interventions. Unless this is done, agriculture and food systems cannot work to ensure optimal nutrition outcome. This is not peculiar to developing countries, even the developed countries face similar challenges. An integrated or holistic approach will no doubt improve the contribution of agriculture to food security and nutrition.

Stand Up (for the champions!) – Part 2

Tropentag 2018 Day 1-056

And this year Josef G. Knoll European Science Award goes to …. Dr. Denise Margaret Matias (University of Bonn), Dr Cristian Andre ETH Zurich) and Dr. Ariane Krause (TU Berlin).

One striking quote from Denise’s presentation was presumably from Albert Einstein – which says that "if bees disappear from the earth, humans would be extinct within 4 years". Though this quote is definitely not from Einstein, it carries equal weight as Einstein – the greatest scientist ever! This same level of importance of bees drives Denise’s life-saving mission. In pursuing her passion, she systematically integrated indigenous groups and honey bees, thereby improving the livelihood of the people and promoting conservation agriculture. 

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It's Already Been Worth It

If you're thinking about being a Student Reporter for Tropentag in the future, I really recommend it. Of course it's the 1st day and we're riding on a high of exhaustion, buzz from the energy at the conference and, yes, a buzz from the wine offered at the social gathering. But if the past 3 days are anything to go by, I'd say send off your application ASAP and pack your bags for Tropentag 2019 Kassel-Witzighausen. 

I don't want to speak to you about the conference, who won what award, or who presented what poster. I want to speak to you about the backstage action in room 057 in Block A. 

Student reporters 2018

Plenary Session I: Keynote speeches

Dr. Ramon L. Espinel from the Facultad de Ciencias de la Vida, ESPOL-Guayaquil, in Ecuador, started our first plenary session doing a presentation about smallholder agriculture, biodiversity and food security. He explained the aspects involved on the small-scale agricultural production, mostly done by family members aiming to combine different species of vegetables and animals to build a resilient and complete ecosystem. “Conventional agriculture” (name questioned by an audience member, since it is more industrial than actual traditional agricultural methods), creates basically extensive monocultures with intensive technology and inputs, based on the principles of the Green Revolution. Dr. Espinel stated that the results obtained on his research supports the agroecological approach, which would give an opportunity for thousands of peasants to have a living and offer good quality food for the population around.

Tropentag 2018 Day 1-026

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Tropentag 2018 Participant Infographic

Tropentag 2018 is the largest conference related to Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture. This year, Tropentag is held in Ghent, Belgium. There are almost 900 people registered coming from 70 countries all over the world. More than half of these participant are students; Bachelors, Masters, and PhD’s. 450 contributions to tropical and subtropical research consist of 111 oral presentations, 339 poster presentations, and 9 keynotes.

Tropentag 2018 Participant Infographic

Stand Up (for the champions!) - Part 1

Tropentag 2018 Day 1-057

And this year Hans Hartwig Ruthenberg Graduate Award goes to …. Beatrice Nöldeke, Bezawit Adugna Bahru and Lutz-Heiner. Beatrice from Leibniz University of Hanover conducted a research in Zambia on “Gender-Specific Aspects of Transforming Fish Value Chains in Zambia”. She found that better food security can be guaranteed by empowering females in fish value chains. The second recipient, Bezawit from University of Hohenheim researched “Climatic shocks and child undernutrition in Ethiopia: a longitudinal path analysis’’. She observed that program targeted at climate affected areas have a positive effect on the livelihood and nutrition of households especially the children.

A fit of giggles

Gabriela_student reporter 2018

Gabriela is doing her MSc in Tropical Forestry in the University of Dresden, Germany. Apart from being a coffee lover and a curious traveler, one of her passions is the Eastern Plains of Colombia where she did conservation work with palm communities. Currently, she is planning to develop her thesis research about fire management in the Colombian savannas. She believes that being a Tropentag student reporter is an opportunity to communicate through simple and attractive channels on what’s happening in the scientific community. This year, Gabriela is going to be part of the blogging and photography team, which she hopes to use to dig deeper into the agroforestry field and uncover interesting discussions about land and biodiversity conservation.

Intro Video to Tropentag 2018 Student Reporters

The Tropentag 2018 Student Reporters team have an introductionary video to present themselves!

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