I Have A Dream – Dialogue with Christian Andres

Christian Andres – a young scientist and a specialist on yam – a native plant in West Africa, is one of the 3 award winners of the Hans H. Ruthenberg Award for Graduates. This is a prestige award in the academia of agriculture for diploma or master thesis that contribute on food security research and reduction of poverty in developing countries. He is now working as a research assistant for production system at the Research Institute for Organic Agriculture (FiBL). Chritian wrote his master thesis at ETH Zurich about fertilization of Yam with poultry manure and its effects on nutrient dynamics and nutrient use efficiency. fiat panis4 As a student reporter and also a colleague from FiBL, of course I can’t miss the chance to talk to the award winner! Now let Christian tells us about his personal feelings in this wonderful evening. IMG_2737 Christian was presenting about his thesis on yam in Ivory Coast, West Africa “I feel much honored to have received this important award. When I know that there are people who acknowledge your work, and it actually has an impact on helping the farmers in West Africa in a certain way. It’s great that I can present my topic to the audience in this special event and I know that I can keep my research work going.” Christian’s research on Yam is being regarded as a systematic study and it provides farmers in Ivory Coast with an option to choose using the organic fertilizer poultry manure to lower their production costs. His research also fills the gap of farmers’ lack of knowledge of fertilizers application for yam in West Africa. Readers of this blog might wonder why did Christian go all the way to Ivory Coast, or if he is particularly in favor of yam? “Yea, I love the country, the people there and of course yam – I wrote my bachelor thesis on yam too, and I returned there in 2010 to continue my master thesis.” Being a master student myself and also working on my thesis now, I know there are tough moments when you feel stuck and cannot go further. I wonder if Christian has some challenging time and how he coped with it. “For me there were two dimensions. When I left my family for Ivory Coast in 2010 I was facing some family issues and I thought it was time for me to do a self-reflection. But worse thing could happen. The Second Ivorian War broke out in 2011 and I was forced to leave the country without even finishing my thesis. My friend died in the war and it was a traumatic moment for me. And you cannot put too much expectations on the laboratory condition there.” I Have A Dream… However, life must move on and what Christian hopes for his future research on food security is to help the farmers to be able to supply enough food to feed their families with surplus to sell to local market to improve their livelihood and cure sickness of children and the “Poor People” in the Global South. Website recommended by Christian - Link to 'Organic Africa' http://www.organic-africa.net/


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