- Press Release
BFH-HAFL gets its first institute
BFH-HAFL in Zollikofen is getting its first institute. The interdisciplinary HAFL Hugo P. Cecchini Institute will focus on promoting sustainability on smallholdings in developing and emerging countries.
The School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (BFH-HAFL) in the Bern suburb of Zollikofen is getting its first institute: the HAFL Hugo P. Cecchini Institute for International Cooperation and Development. The institute aims to promote sustainability on smallholdings in developing and emerging countries all over the world.
It will address a wide range of issues, from afforestation in Africa to value chains in South Asia and coffee growing in Latin America. The institute, which sees itself as an interdisciplinary centre of competence, brings together some 50 researchers and members of staff from all HAFL specialisms. Dominique Guenat, Professor of Agricultural Economics at BFH-HAFL, will be director of the institute.
The institute is named after Hugo P. Cecchini, a former student and long-standing member of staff at BFH-HAFL. His life exemplifies the values and goals of the new institute: sustainability, cultural diversity and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Cecchini came to Switzerland in 1980 as a political refugee from Argentina. He worked on a Swiss farm and at the age of 38 enrolled as a student at BFH-HAFL. He later became a teaching and research associate and assumed responsibility for numerous projects, many of them in West Africa and Latin America.
The institute was presented to the public for the first time today, Thursday 23 January 2020, during a symposium at BFH-HAFL to mark the International Year of Plant Health.