Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tropentag 2014 International Conference

17 - 19 September 2014.  Czech Republic. Tropentag 2014. International Conference on Research on Food Security, Natural Resource Management and Rural Development. Bridging the gap between increasing knowledge and decreasing resources.

The annual Conference on Tropical and Subtropical Agricultural and Natural Resource Management (TROPENTAG) was jointly organised by the universities of Bonn, Göttingen, Hohenheim, Kassel-Witzenhausen, Hamburg, ETH Zurich (Switzerland), Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (Czech Republic), as well as by the Council for Tropical and Subtropical
Research (ATSAF e.V) in co-operation with the GIZ Advisory Service on Agricultural Research for Development (BEAF).

Natural resources provide the basis for human survival and development but the increasing demand for these resources, and their decreasing availability, emphasise the need for sustainable resources management approaches.

  • Although a considerable amount of knowledge is available on natural resources management and sustainable development, today’s world is still a place of unequal development, unsustainable use of natural resources, worsening impact of climate change, and continued poverty and malnutrition. 
  • Therefore the question is raised how scientific knowledge can be transformed better into sustainable management of natural resources and towards poverty alleviation, especially in developing countries.
List of all abstracts of this years Tropentag

Highlight: Farmer-led research featured at Tropentag in Prague

A study of farmer-led research, carried out by Prolinnova in partnership with two CGIAR research programmes (CRPs), was presented at the Tropentag Conference on International Research on Food Security, Natural Resource Management & Rural Development, held in September 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic. The study examined the documented impacts of CSO-facilitated “informal” agricultural research and development (ARD) in terms of food security, ecological sustainability, economic empowerment, gender relations, local capacity to innovate, and influence on ARD institutions.

From over 100 cases identified through Prolinnova’s various networks and a Web search, 11 cases from Africa, Asia and Latin America were selected for the study. The farmer-led innovation processes built on local knowledge and sought more intensive ways to use local resources with low levels of external inputs. Three of the cases were processes initiated by farmers themselves, five were initiated through interventions by CSOs, and three focused on scaling up the approach to supporting farmer-led research. The presentation (PPT and 4-page paper) draws lessons for future partnerships with formal ARD actors. The study was carried out with the support of the CRP on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AA) and Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). The report is now in press as an AAS Working Paper.
Video Interviews:

Interview Michael Hauser, Agrinatura:

Michael Hauser: “we are dealing with a systemic challenge”

Interview with Patrick van Damme, professor at Ghent University


Prof. van Damme underlined the importance of promoting local food production as one of the focal points to make food available and cheap, under the guidelines of agroecology philosophy. According to him, in agroecology “you take into account environmental parameters and conditions, you don’t try to bend them (in opposition to what he calls “modern” agriculture), you try to see how plots and crops can fit into those systems and you try to make the best of it and optimize production”. (Continue...)

Interview with Judith Francis (CTA) 

Interview with Jimmy Smith (ILRI)

Speaking at the Tropentag conference this year in Prague, Smith stressed that smallholder livestock producers can meet the growing demand of animal products in developing countries. What is required, however, is a system transformation. In order to be sustainable, such a transformation would result increased productivity with limited resources, or in Smith’s words, “producing more with less.” (Continue...)

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