From September 16 -18, some 1,000 participants from 70 countries attending the 2015 Tropentag conference in Berlin discussed how the world can use resources more equitably, ensure food security and fight poverty in the developing world.
Since 1997, the annual conference on Tropical and Subtropical Agricultural and Natural Resource Management (TROPENTAG) is a highlight for international students – a chance to get together to discuss current research, to network with each other, and forge ties to major institutions in the area of international agricultural research and development cooperation.
International research VIPs
The focus of this year’s Tropentag conference was the challenge of securing the food supply for the world’s rapidly growing population. At Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, prominent scientists were on hand to share their latest research findings, among them poverty expert Professor Thomas Pogge from Yale University, agriculture professor Miguel Altieri from the University of California Berkeley and Dr. Brave Ndisale from Malawi, who heads the Social Protection Division at the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
New ideas and networking
Three DAAD scholarship holders from South America, all studying International Agribusiness and Rural Development Economics (IARD) at the University of Göttingen, took part in the Tropentag conference for the first time. “In Berlin I heard lectures by prominent scholars of agricultural economics and development planning and was able to exchange ideas and viewpoints with other Master’s candidates from around the world,” reports Jose Miguel Acosta Barbosa from Colombia. “We forged networks that will truly help us drive development forward in our respective countries.”
The Tropentag conference is a forum for presenting and discussing research focused specifically on the world’s developing and tropical-region countries. For many DAAD scholarship holders, this means the insights and knowledge gained at the conference can be applied directly to their own work. “The conference topics and field-trip excursions were a perfect match for my Master’s thesis,” says Jennifer Rodriguez Franco from Colombia, whose work focuses on food security and urban agriculture.
For Ana Maria Perez Arredondo from Mexico, the conference provided the perfect opportunity to learn about the latest trends in global agriculture. “I learned about new opportunities in waste management, such as ways to improve storage to reduce crop loss.”
Next year’s Tropentag will bring tropical and agricultural researchers together at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna.