BFH-HAFL students take part in the largest conference on tropical agriculture in central Europe
05.10.2020 From 9 to 11 September nine BFH-HAFL students participated in the largest annual conference on tropical agriculture in central Europe, Tropentag. Their presentations ranged from coffee agroforestry systems in Ecuador, through urban vegetable production in Ethiopia to the effects of mulch on onion yields in Bolivia, and demonstrated the interdisciplinary approach of HAFL studies.
Three unique days of conference, 9 students from BFH-HAFL participating as presenters, and more than one hour of online discussions from BFH-HAFL presenters all added up to a unique experience at the largest annual conference on tropical agriculture in central Europe, Tropentag.
This annual interdisciplinary conference addresses current issues of resource management, environment, agriculture, forestry, food security and related sciences in the context of rural development, sustainable resource use and poverty alleviation. Tropentag provides a unique forum for students and young researchers to exchange ideas and present their work, and this year the experience was even more special with all the events taking place online.
Dr Ingrid Fromm attends the event and supports the students every year, and this year she was particularly impressed by their high performance in both scientific and technical terms. According to Dr Fromm “the new virtual format had some challenges, but it also allowed many students who normally would not have been able to attend to join the presentations and connect with industry leaders. Having some of the new digital tools, like the Whova app, made it easier to follow the discussions online”.
Students demonstrate the interdisciplinarity of the BFH-HAFL approach
From coffee agroforestry systems in Ecuador, through urban vegetable production in Ethiopia to the effects of mulch on onion yields in Bolivia - the many poster and oral contributions from the 9 BSc and MSc students demonstrated their broad knowledge of topics and excellent thesis work. They also highlighted the interdisciplinary applied research approaches which are core to BFH-HAFL teaching and research.
“Our students delivered high quality, succinct presentations, replied well to questions from the moderators and were also able to ask questions to the other presenters, demonstrating their fluency in English, quick thinking and their broad knowledge of topics,” said Dr Lindsey Norgrove, who supervised many of the student presentations and was the principal advisor for some of the participants.
Some of the presentations were based on research completed as part of the BSc programme. This shows the impact and depth of research that BFH-HAFL students can achieve as part of their applied BSc course work. Being able to prepare and present at this level does not come without hours of preparation and behind-the-scenes coordination. According to Tabea Allen, one of the Tropentag presenters, “fellow students invested many hours for the research itself. Additionally, much work was put into creating, reviewing, editing and adapting the content of the presentations and visualisations for Tropentag. Supervisors and partner organisations put in a lot of effort to support the students and played a key role in achieving the high quality that was shown during the event. The online discussions were a great opportunity to communicate research results which otherwise would have remained unshared on people’s hard drives.”
In case you couldn’t attend ...
The online video conference offers a clear advantage: all those who were unable to participate can watch the recorded contributions after the conference is over.
Here we highlight the 9 poster presentations from BFH-HAFL that were delivered at Tropentag 2020:
Braun Anna Christina
Jacques Robert Kohli