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Tropentag 2019 | Filling gaps and removing traps for sustainable resources management | Universities of Kassel & Goettingen, Kassel, Germany, September 18 - 20, 2019

Tropentag 2019

Can Scientist have fun? Case study: #Tropentag2019 Conference Dinner

S.Oladokun and F. Martinelli
Student Reporter at the Tropentag 2019 Conference, Kassel, Germany

IMG_3333 This study aimed to question the long-standing premise that “scientists are boring”. We hypothesize that given the right conditions, place and time; the fun in scientist can be unleashed.

The study location was the Bio-Restaurant Weissenstein, at the University of Kassel, venue of the conference dinner of the 2019 Tropentag Annual Conference. The program started at 19:45h with live music from the stables of FitzPassing. The FitzPassing live band consist of Vincent Wolf (guitar) and Lisa Karkos (singer), who are inspired by the works of the great jazz musicians Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass. Other local experimental conditions include; an indoor temperature of 18C and 50% humidity. At least seven types of intercontinental buffet service were available, with a supply of drinks ranging from red wine, beers, fruit and fizzy drinks. Dessert was described to be as much as the desert sand. The study population in attendance was 560. A mixed model approach involving the use of photography evidence and sample interview was used to test study hypothesis.

“I’m sorry for your loss. May I check your pig?”

Does it sound cruel? If you said yes, researchers from Friedrich-Loeffler Institute agree with you. They had to go back to after-ebola-outbreak regions to perform a sorology research and here is what they went through.


All of us remember of the 2014-2016 ebola outbreak in West Africa. It was the largest in history leaving more than 10 thousand deaths behind. Although people are not in such high risk anymore, livestock animals such pigs and sheep might still be vulnerable to the disease and threaten local food security. That is why scientists funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) decided to go back to those most affected areas in past and collect animal samples. How would you feel however if a stranger asks to check your animals out after losing a beloved one from the same disease?

Edible Insects- the solution to hidden hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Approximately 239 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa could be free from micronutrient deficiency, if only they chew on the nutrient laden sap of the tasty insects around them. Nils Nölle poster at the #Tropentag 2019 highlights this and more.


While the potential of insects to serve as alternative protein sources is already gaining reasonable traction, Nils Nölle, a student of the University of Hohenheim, chose to sail uncharted waters. His objective was to investigate the potentials of edible insects to combat hidden hunger, a less researched area. Using target edible insect species that included long-horned grasshopper, edible cricket, shea butter caterpillar, cabbage tree emperor moth and Zambezi emperor moth from Kenya and Uganda; samples were analysed for provitamins (vitamin B2 and carotenoids) and dietary minerals.

Go Greta!

At only 16 years old, Greta Thunberg is making waves that can only be described as unbelievable around the world as a climate activist. Fed up with climate change being considered a partisan issue, and political inaction on the climate change agenda, Greta is without a doubt an inspiration to both young and old. Perhaps it’s her age fueling her passion for climate action. She’s well aware her generation will bear the brunt of climate change; a roaring commonality seen through Tropentag’s wide range of academic presentations.

As many of Tropentag’s participants work to mediate and mitigate climate change’s impact on the population of the tropics, we cannot ignore tomorrow’s #FridayforFuture #ClimateStrike. However, we also cannot ignore that we have two highly esteemed keynote speakers scheduled just before the strike, and closing ceremonies during it. As participants debate attending the strike, or the closing ceremony, Tropentag has offered a solution to add their signature to the climate strike.

The importance of local population on transforming environments

The GIZ’s project in Ethiopia, which began in 2008, shows that engaging local population on transformative actions for environment is more important than implementing techniques alone.


Why don’t some people living in Ethiopia’s rural area have strong livelihoods? Boris Büchler, a researcher funded by GIZ, has a strong suspicion: land degradation. After performing “bigger picture” research, taking into account environment, economic and political dimensions, the main finding that Boris Büchler’s suspicion was correct: land degradation is the main problem weakening rural livelihoods.

As any agriculture specialist would agree, the next steps were to implement techniques to reduce and revert this process, such as rehabilitation of degraded land, controlled and zero grazing and integrated soil fertility management. However, what it was not in science books is that another solution could bring unexpected positive results: the promotion of the local watershed user associations.

Rethinking Packaging Solutions- We might shop with leaves.

The leaves we trample on may very much bring the end to plastic paper bags used in shopping. Ms Barbara Götz, PhD student at the University of Bonn got to share her research work with #Tropentag2019 audience.


People always say the solutions to problems lies within; we only need to look inward to project them outward. I guess this is not just a cliché, Ms. Barbara Götz has taken a step backward to project forward sustainable solution to plastic pollution. By digging deep into the potential of leaves; common food packaging material that has been well used over centuries in Africa, she might be using old ways to solve the problem of the present and as well the future. Microbiologist by academic background, she was and is still concerned about issues pertaining to #zerowaste, #antimicrobialresistance, #zerohunger and #sustainability. She is also enthusiastic about travelling and learning other cultures. Little did she know that her passions were setting her up for something worthwhile.

The flavour of good intention

Why chocolate? In 2018, chocolate consumption worth about 828 billion USD in USA. Per capita consumption was about 5.5kg and 8.5kg in USA and Germany, respectively. The main driver for such higher chocolate consumption in Europe comapred to the USA is the flavour. A keynote speaker, Carla Martin, Founder and Executive Director of The Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute said it is not just chocolate, “it is a flavour that has value”. “The best flavour shows status, enjoyment and so on but, farmers get less credit on it.” The best flavour of the food can be used as a factor to express originality and status. However, the question is are farmers getting the right profit value of their cacao?

IMG_2486 Youtube video: Carla shares her love & enthusiasm for cacao

The world has only 10 harvests more!

Shocking! You think? This was the reality shared by Jacques Wery, the Deputy Director and Director of Research of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Egypt; a keynote speaker at this year’s Tropentag.

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