The TROPENTAG has become the most important international conference on development-oriented research in the fields of food security, natural resource management and rural development in central Europe. Since 1999, it is convened alternately by a number of German universities engaged in agriculture and forestry in tropical countries in co-operation with the Council for Tropical and Subtropical Agricultural Research for Development (ATSAF e.V.) and the GTZ Advisory Service on Agricultural Research for Development. This year, for the first time in its history, the TROPENTAG will be held outside of Germany - at the ETH Zurich in Switzerland. Since quite some years, members of the North-South Centre of the ETH Zurich have been regular participants of the TROPENTAG, leading to this adventurous experience of moving the three-day conference to a new national and cultural environment.

The TROPENTAG provides an international platform for scientific and personal exchange for students, junior and senior scientists, development experts and funding organisations together with their various international partner institutions. The increasing international interest in the TROPENTAG of a large and still growing audience - some 1200 participants from 82 countries have registered so far - demonstrates its importance on the agenda of both, the development-oriented scientific community and the implementing development organisations.

The TROPENTAG 2010, organised by the North-South Centre of the ETH Zurich, will shed light on the conference theme ``World food system - A contribution from Europe''.

The world food system encompasses all the natural resources required for, and affected by the production, distribution and consumption of food. This also includes resource management and food processing. The world food system provides the foundation for the nutrition of humankind and includes all related ecological, economic, health and social aspects.

The global population faces many challenging problems, among them population growth, food, water and energy scarcity, climate and land use change, as well as threats to human health. All these problems are interrelated and most are also connected to the world food system. Food production under changing climatic conditions will become even more difficult as human population grows, natural resources such as soils and water become increasingly depleted, and global markets set diverging priorities such as agriculture versus bioenergy. By providing relevant information and advice, scientific knowledge supports policy-makers and society in implementing strategies that address and solve these problems.

The TROPENTAG 2010 will address these enormous challenges in a development-oriented and interdisciplinary manner. To broaden the accessibility of the results of this venue, the abstracts of all contributions are published both as hardcopy and at In addition, student reporters will contribute to a multi-author blog with text and visual content in order to increase the outreach of the conference.

We would like to express our sincere gratefulness to Eric Tielkes, DITSL Witzenhausen, who handled the registration, the book of abstracts and many more issues. Our very special thanks go to the team of the North-South Centre who organised the conference in Zurich: Mathias Egloff, Emma Lindberg, Dorota Niedzwiecka, Ursula Gugger Suter and Lukas Egetemayer. Our thanks include all the reviewers and additional contributors who have made this conference possible.

We wish all participants a most interesting and rewarding conference.

For the programme committee and the organising committee
of the TROPENTAG 2010

Michael Kreuzer and Barbara Becker

Zurich, August 2010

by 0pt plus 2pt Table of Contentstoc

Andreas Deininger, October 2010