Dear Delegates,

We extend a very warm welcome to all the delegates attending the conference `Deutscher Tropentag 2003' to be held at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in October 2003. A very special welcome to all young scientists and students from overseas and elsewhere. Please be our guests.

The `Deutscher Tropentag 2003' is the 5th annual meeting, which was preceded by conferences organized by the Humboldt Universität Berlin (1999), University of Hohenheim (2000), University of Bonn (2001) and University of Kassel-Witzenhausen (2002) in cooperation with the Association for Tropical and Subtropical Agricultural Research (ATSAF). The theme of the conference is "Technological and Institutional Innovations for Sustainable Rural Development" where research experiences on food security, natural resource management and rural development will be shared and discussed. This year we are overwhelmed by the large number of submitted contributions. This has been a challenge to the scientific committee and often decisions were difficult to make. We are proud seeing the `Deutscher Tropentag' to be recognized as an international event on the agenda of the scientific community and decision makers. The programme and proceedings are published on

The number of plenary sessions has been increased this year. There are four parallel sessions on the first and second day, and plenary sessions on the first and third day. In total, we have 16 thematic sessions and three plenary sessions. Each session begins with an invited paper and is followed by three oral presentations and several short poster presentations. Please appreciate the posters, which are on display throughout the conference. Please take your time and have a look. There are a couple of open discussion fora and meetings of associations taking place as well. Last but not least, we invite you to socialize at our conference dinner on Thursday evening.

We wish you interesting sessions, valuable discussions, and please use the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds. We hope that you will enjoy the three-day event and leave exhausted, but enriched. To help us to improve the conference in the future we would like to receive your feedback.

We would like to thank all the DTT team members, who contributed to the planning and organization of the conference. The local organizing committee receives special thanks for having prepared this meeting. Last but not least we acknowledge the sponsors for their generous and essential support.

We wish you all a successful and enjoyable event and a safe journey back. We hope to meet all of you again at `Deutscher Tropentag 2003', to be organized by Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.

Göttingen, 8th October 2003

$\textstyle \parbox{\linewidth*45/100}{\textbf{Gode Gravenhorst}, Director [0....
...opical Agriculture and Forestry (CeTSAF)\\
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen}$ $\textstyle \parbox{\linewidth*45/100}{\textbf{Clemens Wollny}, [0.2ex]
Organizing and Scientific Committee DTT 2003\\
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen}$

Andreas Deininger, 2003