Tropentag 2019:

Filling gaps and removing traps for sustainable resources management

September 18 - 20, 2019,
organised by
Universities of Kassel and Goettingen, Germany

Tropentag 2019 Workshops

Additionally to the conference programme you have the possibility to attend several pre-conference workshops. Below you will find short descriptions as well as details on time and date of the workshops.
If you are interested in participating in one of those workshops, please contact the workshop organisers respectively. You find the particular contact details together with the description. Please do mention `Tropentag' in the email subject line.

Tuesday workshops (workshop 1 - 9)
Wednesday workshops (workshop 10 - 18)

Tuesday PM workshops

Organisers: Ariane Götz, Hussam Hussein and Andreas Thiel, Section of International Agricultural Policy and Environmental Governance, University of Kassel, Germany
Contact: ariane.goetz(at)

Date: Tuesday, 17/09/2019, 14:00 – 17:00 h - Room: Campus Centre H2

The Workshop Exploring Agroecology: an interdisciplinary exchange aims to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue on State-of-the-Art sciences, theoretical perspectives and management practices of agroecology.The workshop consists of two parts. The first part is a stocktaking session of agroecology that introduces constitutive aspects and issues from the historical, ecological and agronomic side. Agroecology as a long-standing field of integrated resource science, movement and practice offers extensive experiences and scientific advancements that can inform current debates on sustainable agriculture and its governance. The second part of the Workshop then aims at stimulating an interactive interdisciplinary exchange on a range of interdisciplinary issues, including governance, management, and political economy of agroecology. Specifically, the session aims to collect ideas and explore whether and in which way different theoretical and operational perspectives can be integrated in a productive manner together with the audience. Overall, the Workshop aims to generate a holistic understanding of agroecology from different disciplinary angles and perspectives, and to explore what different theoretical traditions may contribute to the study of agroecological issues today. The guiding questions are: What is required to implement agroecology, including (but not exclusive to) operational issues, institutional arrangement, governance and government structures? What research and conceptual gaps need to be addressed? What do we know about relevant political, socio-cultural and environmental contexts and conditions?



Organisers: Johannes Peters / Anja Metz , Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) / University of Goettingen
Contact: johannes.peters(at)

Date: Tuesday, 17/09/2019, 14:00 – 17:00 h - Room: Campus Centre H3

Employment effects of agricultural development projects were often overlooked in the past. However, these go hand-in-hand with yield and income developments but are difficult to capture.
We will therefore discuss a method to assess employment effects of agricultural value chain projects developed by the GIZ Program 'Agricultural Value Chains for Sustainable Development (A4SD)'. The approach will then be deepened by the presentation of initial finding of an analysis of labour economics in cashew production in Western Africa. It seeks to find out the determinants for changing labour composition. Question include: at which farm size and production volumes do smallholders employ more hired labour? How does the gender composition of the work force change once more hired labour is involved in production?

Main purpose of the workshop: critically discuss with the audience employment effects of agricultural value chain projects, further needs of analysis and open questions.


Organisers: Dennis Lucy Avilés Irahola and Alejandro Mora Motta, Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn
Contact: davilesi(at)

Date: Tuesday, 17/09/2019, 14:00 – 17:00 h - Room: Campus Centre H4

Over-exploitation of natural resources for agricultural production constitutes a main trap for sustainability and, very often, triggers environmental conflicts (EC). The increasing number of environmental observatories in tropical countries succeed in making visible the impacts of agricultural practices on ecosystems and livelihoods. However, in monitoring EC, they often face a gap between scientific knowledge (e.g. research data availability) and local knowledge on natural resources’ management. Universities in Germany and in the global South are cooperating to fill in this gap, but they need more platforms to strengthen their collaborative research and partnership.

Main purpose of the workshop:
To share experiences between researchers working on EC from disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.



Organiser: Julien Lamontagne-Godwin, CABI – UK Scientific officer – international development / PhD researcher – University of Reading, school of Agriculture, policy and Development
Contact: j.godwin(at)

Date: Tuesday, 17/09/2019, 14:00 – 17:00 h - Room: Campus Centre S3

Clear gaps remain in the research and understanding of gender equality in agriculture, notably in the access to information, from a household and systems perspective. This participatory workshop firstly discusses research foci designed to improve theoretical and practical knowledge on household and systems gender inequality, aiming to gather knowledge from a variety of partners contributing to transformative change at the local and national level, and highlighting challenges to overcome. Secondly, we aim to create, or integrate an existing working group that shares knowledge, and develops R&D proposals on transformative gender research in agricultural livelihoods.
We will look to focus on the following questions:
  • Does access to external sources of information differ for different agricultural topics?
  • What do we know about suitability of different sources of information?
  • What are the issues that encourage access to different communication challenges – and what are the barriers?
  • How is information shared within the household – as well as external sources?
  • How does country context influence access to different delivery channels?


Organiser: Ruth Tariebi S. Ofongo, Poultry Nutrition and Animal Biotechnology research group, Department of Animal Science, Niger Delta University, Nigeria
Contact: ruthofongo(at)

Date: Tuesday, 17/09/2019, 14:00 – 17:00 h - Room: Campus Centre S6

The following sub-themes will be discussed by participates for networking purpose and possible future collaboration:
  1. Interdisciplinary approach to antimicrobial use and resistance for sustainable livestock production in sub-/tropical regions: The role of veterinarians, animal nutritionist, veterinary pharmacologist, and drug developers.
  2. Neglect of relevant stake holders in filling gaps and removing traps for livestock production: farmers, animal nutritionist, veterinarians, veterinary pharmacologist and policy makers.
  3. Gaps in education and awareness of livestock famers
  4. Short-lived innovation testing by relevant stake holders with farmers
  5. Identification of Fragmental systems assessment to avoid.

Main purpose of the workshop:
The main purpose is targeted at Networking for interdisciplinary approach towards innovative solutions to antibiotics use in sustainable ruminant, poultry, pig and fish production.


Organiser: Christoph Scherrer, University of Kassel, International Center for Development and Decent Work, Germany
Contact: scherrer(at)

Date: Tuesday, 17/09/2019, 14:00 – 17:00 h - ICDD, Kleine Rosenstraße 1-3

It will shed light on the relation between actors in global agricultural production systems. It will start with small holders and their relation to input providers, labourers, and buyers. It will end with the relation between financial actors and focal firms. The analysis will be guided by Luke’s four faces of power, Williamson's transaction cost theory and Schmalz et al. power resource approach. It will draw on case studies concerning staple, cash and perishable food stuff. Participants will be asked to analyse the power relations at a specific nodal point in the production systems based on their own familiarity with an agricultural product.

Main purpose of the workshop:
To raise awareness about the different power relations in global agricultural production systems.


Organiser: Ralf Schlauderer, Hochschule Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Contact: ralf.schlauderer(at)

Date: Tuesday, 17/09/2019, 14:00 – 17:00 h - Room: Campus Centre S4

The ERASMUS+ funded project TOPAS promotes and supports exchange on teaching methods, student placement schemes and management of empirical farm data for education and research since 2017. The subject of the workshop is the presentation of experiences made by project participants from Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Armenia with the promoted changes. This includes achieved improvements in education as well as challenges during their implementation and expected effects on the skills of graduates in agricultural studies and their suitability for local job markets.

Main purpose of the workshop:
Information and exchange on teaching methods, student placement schemes and empirical farm data as central elements of higher education studies in agricultural management.


Wednesday AM workshops


Organiser: Francois Stepman, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)
Contact: F.Stepman(at)

Date: Wednesday, 18/09/2019, 10:00 – 12:00 h - Konzertsaal, Mönchebergstr. 1

The call for proposals syndrome:
  • A multitude of fragmented, competing and sometimes contradicting calls for proposals;
  • Abandonment of core funding;
  • The unrealistic time frame of donor funded research and their expected impact on development;
  • The absence of well-elaborated national research priorities and innovation policies are over-compensated by an excess of donor driven research calls;
  • Donors and their research administrators have short memories, not capitalizing on past research.
  • Excess of submitted proposals, including from actors with limited capacity to develop good proposals;
  • Developing concept notes and grant proposals and assembling the required documentation entails high transaction costs (time, resources);
  • The frequent ‘adjustments’ according to the donors’ own priorities;
  • Very demanding research results reporting requirements and financial accountability procedures;
  • Lack of alignment with national development priorities;
  • Donor and government “driven” research activities prevents actors outside the research sector from entering into collaborative arrangements;
  • Limited incentives to involve the private sector and farmers’ organizations in research;
  • Enticing the best people to work on short term research, distracting them from long term research agendas.



Organiser: Liza Melina Meza Flores, SiABioS (Scientists in Action for Biodiversity and Sustainability)

Date: Wednesday, 18/09/2019, 09:00 – 12:00 h - Room: Campus Centre H4

SiABioS (Scientists in Action for Biodiversity and Sustainability) is an international organization whose 24 members are professionals from 14 countries. Our common objective is to provide solutions related to sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity management at all levels.
  1. Presenting SiABioS, who we are and what we have achieved so far: work-plan, our logo, concept notes in 7 different languages, social media, website and introductory video.
  2. Mapping actors for potential partners and information: To gather information, experience and new contacts to our interdisciplinary and multi-cultural platform.
  3. Adjusting our strategy to overcome our current challenges and apply knowledge towards sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity management.
  4. Outlining next steps: A case study proposal to provide (as a unified SiABioS) solutions on sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity management, according to the strategy designed in the workshop.

Main purpose of the workshop:
To outline a future actions map as a worldwide network of scientists concerned on sustainability and conservation.


Organiser: Ann Waters-Bayer, Agrecol Association / CELEP (Coalition of European Lobbies for Eastern African Pastoralism) and Brigitte Kaufmann, DITSL (German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture) and CELEP (Coalition of European Lobbies for Eastern African Pastoralism)
Contact: waters-bayer(at)

Date: Wednesday, 18/09/2019, 09:00 – 12:00 h - Room: Campus Centre H3

In line with the Tropentag theme on gaps & traps, the workshop will focus on the UNEP analysis of gaps in information on pastoralism & rangelands, how the gaps could be filled and methodological traps to avoid. The lead author of the analysis, Kathrine Johnsen (Norway), will present the main findings. Panellists from Kenya, Turkey and Germany will discuss how researchers could fill some of the gaps. They will highlight challenges in conducting research on pastoralism, e.g. mobility and multifunctionality in common property systems, and suggest appropriate research methods for working with mobile peoples who use heterogeneous rangeland resources. Discussion will then be opened up to the public.

Main purpose of the workshop:
To raise awareness of research needs and relevant methodologies related to pastoralism and rangelands.


Organisers: Matthias Jäger and Christine Chege, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali-Colombia
Contact: m.jager(at)

Date: Wednesday, 18/09/2019, 09:00 – 12:00 h - Room: Campus Centre H5

In order to navigate the complexity of food systems and identify entry points for nutrition-sensitive policy and investments, nutrition-sensitive value chains (NSVC) have emerged as a useful analytical framework, and are increasingly recognized as a way to operationalize nutrition-sensitive food systems. CIAT researchers will present case studies and lessons learned from past and ongoing projects in which the NSVC framework has been tested and validated. By mainstreaming NSVC methods and tools, CIAT now influences more than half a billion dollars of investment in rural development in Asia and Africa increasing the nutritional impact of the IFAD investment portfolio in value-chain projects.

Main purpose of the workshop:
To showcase the R4D continuum of developing, testing, validating and upscaling the NSVC conceptual framework.


Organiser: Libuška Valešová, YPARD - Young Professionals for Agricultural Development / AGRINATURA - The European Alliance on Agricultural Knowledge for Development
Contact: europe(at)

Date: Wednesday, 18/09/2019, 09:00 – 12:00 h - Room: Campus Centre H2

The workshop will explore with students, researchers, young agricultural professionals, and other stakeholders what actions can the youth take to contribute to the improvement of the agricultural sector for future generations and how YPARD and AGRINATURA can contribute more in this issue. Youth will be the central vision as present and future agents and beneficiaries, the other participants will play the role of supporting partners as a source of inputs, experience and knowledge sharing.
A highlight of the workshop will be a training on how to publish a scientific paper in agriculture-oriented research: tips for early career researchers.

Main purpose of the workshop:
Explore the main strategies for improving the position of young people in the agricultural sector as youth based NGOs and provide valuable training for young researchers.


Organiser: Andrea Ruediger, Supporting Sustainable Agricultural Productivity Programme (SSAP) / Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Contact: andrea.ruediger(at)

Date: Wednesday, 18/09/2019, 09:00 – 12:00 h - Room: Campus Centre S3

Small farmers often lack opportunities to participate in agricultural markets. Where farmers pool resources, where they organize marketing of outputs or the procurement of inputs jointly, they can leverage market opportunities and improve livelihoods. This is a central working hypothesis of work of the Supporting Sustainable Agricultural Productivity (SSAP) Programme, funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). In this workshop we want to share qualitative and quantitative evidence from the past 5 years of working in Ethiopia with the Federal Cooperative Agency at the macro-level and with 9 seed-multiplying cooperatives at the micro-level. Moreover, colleagues will share experiences from other countries. Workshop participants are invited to critically discuss the evidence presented.

Main purpose of the workshop:
Share experience and critically engage with a wider audience on our working hypothesis.


Organiser: Karin Gaesing and Jana Herold, Institute for Development and Peace Institute, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Duisburg, Germany
Contact: karin.gaesing(at)

Date: Wednesday, 18/09/2019, 09:00 - 12:00 h - Room: Campus Centre S4

Sustainable resources management is not a top priority for smallholder farmers. At least not, if they do not have enough food to feed their families throughout the year and if they do not see the benefits. The door openers to create a win-win-situation for people and environment are thus twofold: Firstly, farmers have to fully understand what happens, if they continue “farming as usual” as compared to applying sustainable resource management techniques. Secondly, resource management should be linked to answering to the farmers’ immediate needs likewater, road access and otheractivities that can increase their incomes in short term like small-scaleirrigation, intensification of land use etc.
Main purpose of the workshop:
To discuss approaches to actively engage male and female smallholder farmers in sustainable resources management.


Organiser: Daniel Grimm / Gerold Rahmann, Thünen Institut für Ökologischen Landbau, Trenthorst, Germany
Contact: daniel.grimm(at)

Date: Wednesday, 18/09/2019, 09:00 – 12:00 h - Room: Campus Centre S5

Agriculture in tropical countries has to adapt not only to climate change and resource depletion but also to population growth – especially in Africa, where around 80% of the growth until 2100 is predicted to happen. The medium estimate of the United Nations predicts an increase from currently 1.2 to 4.4 billion people by the end of the century – but no strategic plans exist beyond the year 2050. Since Africa is a continent with large deserts, arid and semi-arid areas, only about 400m2 of agricultural land will be available per person according to these predictions. In the LandLessFood project, we are trying to design an agricultural system, based on the principles of circular economy, in which it is possible to feed everyone on this little space, focusing on Nigeria as an example. The main idea is the combination of `landless' food systems such as microalgae production and mushroom cultivation, with organic, `land-based' food production. Microalgae are very spatially efficient, can be produced independent of fertile soils, could be used as a pathway of nutrient recycling in the sewage system and can produce large amounts of oils or starch, to fulfil the energy-need of the population. Land-based food production should be used to fulfil the need for “quality food” (vitamins, nutrients, minerals) of the population. Mushroom Cultivation is a form of “selective composting” in which food is produced. While mushrooms themselves are an excellent meat-substitute, spent mushroom substrate can be used as animal feed (ideally for invertebrates, such as earthworms, which are good chicken, pig and fish feed).

Main purpose of the workshop:
Discuss and find mistakes in the LandLessFood concept. Think about easy, low-tech solutions: how can these ideas be implemented in developing countries? Also discuss in the context of German development aid (Gerd Müllers “Marshallplan für Afrika”). Since we are holding a workshop on this subject in Marrakesh in November, it would be a good test-run for us to hold a similar, smaller version of the workshop in Germany before.


Organiser: Udo Rudiger / Boubaker Dhehibi / Bao Quang Le, ICARDA Tunis
Contact: u.rudiger(at)

Date: Wednesday, 18/09/2019, 09:00 – 12:00 h - Room: Campus Centre S6

The workshop will be dealing with the challenging question of the “adoption gap” in small scale agricultural production systems. Research of innovative agricultural technologies in rural areas has been successful. However, the adoption of these innovative farming techniques remains low.
The “Mind the Gap” project in Tunisia has been using Randomized Control Trials (RCT) with 700 farmer households to see which extension approach is the most effective regarding the adoption of innovative technologies. The Workshop will focus on approach and results of the project and stimulate the discussion and reflection concerning successful innovation transfer.
The workshop will take about three hours and have four parts:
  1. Presentation of the research project (Mind the Gap), which has been testing different models of technology transfer. There will be a short film showing the project approach and some activities as well as three PPT presentations with discussions. Topics of the PPT are:
    • Baseline, Follow up and gender survey results (by Boubaker Dhehibi)
    • Project activities and results (by Udo Ruediger)
    • Geoinformatics Options by Context (GeOC) tool (by Bao Quang Le)
    (120 min)
  2. Group work on questions regarding technology transfer. Questions to be looked at are:
    • Which factors influence the successful adoption of agricultural innovation at smallholder level
    • Socio-economic factors influencing the adoption
    • Examples of scaling of innovations of other projects (analyse success and weaknesses)
    • How to make adoption of innovations sustainable
    (30 min)
  3. Presentation and discussion of group works also in relation to the Mind the gap project results (15 min)
  4. Short introduction of the “scaling scan” tool developed by CIMMYT (15 min)

Main purpose of the workshop:
The purpose of the workshop is to reflect about the challenges of agricultural innovation transfer and scaling of innovations.