German-Tanzanian Simba

Student reporter Rebecca

Being passionate about sustainabilty and mindfulness, Rebecca came to Tropentag eager to find out more about research and projects around the world, seeking to accomplish the SDGs.
She came to Kassel straight after her Bachelor defence in Hohenheim, which explored the growth of tropical grasses through monitoring the leaf elongation of rice, maize, and panicum. This is also when things fell into place: after the defence, her professor asked her to replace a reporter that had left. Now she is part of the student reporter team- what an amazing coincidence!

Not only does she follow her passion for sustainability in her academic career but she also puts it into action as an active member of Greening Hohenheim, a student group rising awareness about mindfulness and sustainability at the university of Hohenheim.
Apart from saving the world, her dream is to build an earthship in Tanzania. As a first step after Tropentage2019, she is going to leave for an internship at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Sri Lanka.

Interview with the student reporter Amina Ahmed

Amina Ahmed is one of the student reporters for the Tropentag 2019. Our team asked her some questions about her participation during this week and the participant told us a little about her experience so far:

Why are you a student reporter at the Tropentag this year?

As a scientist, I believe I can effectively communicate results obtained from research and experiments with colleagues and professors from the same field, but I find it hard to vehiculate these pieces of information with people from other fields. Some of the participants or enthusiasts of Tropentag are not scientists or natural scientists - and reporters work as tools to give a chance to the outer public to understand what is going on during the conference and to connect people that share the same interests.

How did you come here?

Checking the website from the University I attend - University of Goettingen - I read the news that Tropentag was looking for student reporters. Fortunately I applied and was accepted into the team.

What are your expectations?

De J Vu

Jess was a Canadian masters student at the University of Hohenheim, and has completed her master's degree in agriculture in the tropics and subtropics. Currently, she lives in Stuttgart far from her home, Ontario, Canada where she fell in love with the "warm" weather.

Her interest in agriculture started really early, with her growing up on a farm in Lindsay, Ontario. And after completing her bachelor’s degree in environmental science, paired with a passion for helping others and interest in rural development, she knew what she wanted to do: sustainable tropical agriculture. She is currently searching for opportunities post-MSc and is super excited for the future.

This year Jess is both the editor of the Tropentag 2019 team and the team captain. This last comes naturally for her, since she already has experience from her last year, and is looking forward to collaborating with a new, diverse and fun group of people to promote Tropentag to the world.

Student reporter Jess

The secret for producing meat is microscopic

Meet Sam Oladokun, the young scientist from Nigeria who is changing the way we produce animal protein.


Animal production has been pointed out as the great villain for the environment. If on one hand, reducing meat consumption would decrease GHG emissions, on the other hand changing food habits and dealing with lack of protein are still a challenge.

In the climate change and food insecurity context, finding a way to produce sustainable meat seems to be a better transitional option. The increasing demand, especially from the European market, proves that this can be a way for the future. That is why Sam, as an animal science researcher, is looking for more natural and sustainable ways to produce protein, more specifically from chicken.

If an animal is treated with antibiotics for a prolonged time period, it will get create antibiotic resistance and the required doses of antibiotic will be higher every time. However, if they are treated with "good microbes" (probiotics) the use of antibiotics will decrease, and the products will be a more natural and healthy protein to consume.

And how has he discovered this?

Interveiw about studying PhD

Here three winners of Fiat Panis Award giving their recommendations to who is going to start a PhD study.
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Answering the Big Questions on Global Agriculture and Nutrition.

Answering big questions is natural to Tropentag, as the 20th edition of her prestigious interdisciplinary conference on tropical and subtropical agriculture kicked off today. Intuitive biodiversity, mythical organic agriculture and the nexus between agriculture, nutrition and health were some of the questions answered by the keynote addresses in this year’s Tropentag.

Redefining Smallholder Agriculture

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A Hero

In attendance of this year's Tropentag is the oldest among all other participants, Dr. Rainer Zachmann, a retired German phytopathologist. Earlier on in his research life, he worked for the CIP from the years 1973-1989. With his passion for developing countries, he worked for IITA also as a phytopathologist from 1989 to where he was mobile throughout sub-Saharan African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin, among others.

Dr. Zachmann did not only work as a researcher in Africa but also availed himself as a trainer on all aspects of most valuable food crops in Africa such as maize, cassava, and yam. During this time, he developed research tours and conducted several workshops with the aim of improving agriculture in Africa. Dr. Zachmann spent close to a decade in Ibadan, Nigeria and due to his friendly manner he was fully integrated in his Nigerian community in Ibadan where he was named "Akinkanju" which literally means "warrior".

During the oral presentation sessions earlier today at the AUD E2, Dr. Zachmann was the fifth to give a presentation. It was obvious that the audience were tired and bored already. In the quest to revive the tired audience, Dr. Zachmann greeted the audience in four different languages which then sparked inspiration in the audience. This indeed justified that there is a true hero in the house.

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.

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