The role of universities
We are pleased to present in this book all the abstracts that are being presented both orally and as posters at the 2018 Tropentag Conference that is organised for the first time in Belgium at Ghent University. This conference forms the culmination of a whole year effort by a wide team of committed collaborators both in Belgium and Germany.
Tropentag is an annual, international conference on tropical agriculture, food security, natural resource management and rural development. It is the largest European interdisciplinary conference on research in (sub)tropical agriculture and natural resource management. It rotates between universities and research institutes in Berlin, Bonn, Göttingen, Hohenheim, Kassel-Witzenhausen, and since 2014 Prague and Vienna. Tropentag 2018 is organised by Ghent University, Belgium (predominantly the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering - Department of Plants & Crops, Laboratory for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture and Ethnobotany, and the Africa Platform of Ghent University Association), jointly with the Council for Tropical and Subtropical Research (ATSAF e.V), in cooperation with the GIZ Advisory Service on Agricultural Research for Development (BEAF). This year’s theme of the conference is ‘Global food security and food safety: The role of universities’, but the numerous sessions and workshops cover a much broader range of subject areas that all centre/ focus on ‘tropical agriculture’.
Agriculture deals with the cultivation and breeding of animals, plants and fungi for food, fibre, biofuel, medicinal plants and other products used to sustain and enhance human life. Its prime vocation is and should be to sustainably maintain and – where needed and possible – significantly improve the nutrition and health situation of people around the world. Hunger, malnutrition, and poor health are global, and increasing development challenges. Agriculture has made remarkable advances over the last decades in increasing quantity and quality of food and other produce, but its contribution to improving the nutrition and health of poor farmers and consumers in developing countries often still lags behind. In cases where food provision is structurally guaranteed, food quality may still be a problem. Agricultural research and universities have an important role in addressing and solving both food security and food safety. They should do this in collaboration with national and international governmental and non-governmental donor and policy-oriented organisations, with respect for local, regional and global socio-economic and cultural situations, legal conditions, markets and market mechanisms, limitations and opportunities, gender equity and the natural resource environment, in order to provide for sustainable solutions.
The conference theme is addressed in plenary keynote lectures and in presentations and poster contributions organised in 24 thematic sessions. This year a special emphasis will be given to ‘agriculture for nutrition and health’ with contributions of this year’s CGIAR feature research project A4NH (see: a4nh.cgiar.org), as indeed we opted for featuring a program rather than a centre as the CG system itself is organising itself much more than before around federating themes that bring together CG centres but also partners from academia and research sensu lato. All in all, we received some 960 abstracts addressing these issues. This book contains about 340 poster abstracts, and 110 abstracts for orals, whereby a big portion is in line with the conference’s theme. The role of universities, or academia in general, apparently inspired a lot of scholars. Additionally, you will also find the keynotes’ abstracts.
We hope that the scientific contributions in this book will help you to broaden your knowledge, and find answers to a number of important research and development questions and to the conference theme. We wish you an enjoyable and rewarding Tropentag!
For the organising committee of Tropentag 2018Prof. dr. ir. Patrick van Damme
Ghent UniversityGhent, September 2018
2018, 594pp.; 14,8 x 21 cm; paperback
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