When the paved road gave way to red-brown dirt and our Toyota started to bounce around more, Daniele and I knew we had almost made it to meet with a farmers’ cooperative in Kiambu county, Kenya. We were extremely excited but also somewhat worried what farmers would think about the smartphone application we had worked on for the past four months. The moment of truth had arrived.
Climate change is a major challenge for smallholder farmers in developing countries and resilience is one of the key approaches to tackle climate change’s negative effects. Funding and interest for measuring and building climate change resilience have recently increased within the development sector. However, measuring resilience as a step towards improving livelihoods is still difficult and it is only a first step. We wanted to go one step further and bring together resilience measurements with existing solutions and local knowledge to empower farmers. Using a 5-day Google Venture “Design Sprint” methodology, we created a theory of change, digital mock-up of a mobile app and tested it with development practitioners. The feedback we received was positive, so much so, that we are now working on a prototype and plan to test it with farmers in a developing country in the next few months.
A major challenge for humanity in this century is the increased demand for nutritious food in consideration of the growing world population, consumption levels, dietary shifts and the consequent environmental degradation. Photoautotrophically grown microalgae are a possible solution to tackle these problems. These microalgae can be grown on non-arable land and fix CO2.
This summer, I had the opportunity to present the first results of my research project DIVERSGRASS at the 30th International Conference of Agricultural Economists in Vancouver, Canada. I used the opportunity to gather knowledge within my research area but also to get insights into new topics and methods.
As an enthusiastic globetrotter and a food scientist by profession, I tend to notice during my travels, how food plays an important role in different cultures, how it is procured and most importantly, how it is made available to consumers.
I met Sisay in the first stakeholder workshop we held in March 2017 for a research project called “Assessing and Enhancing the Resilience of the Teff and Cocoa value chain” (AERTCvc).
ver since I was a child, I have had a passion for cooking and for nature. As I have grown up, my passion for cooking has shifted toward the study of the ingredients in the foods themselves and how they are linked to health. During my studies, I have understood that nutrition is not only connected with health and food, but also with economic, political and environmental aspects that are reaching greater global importance.
Last March I had the opportunity to travel to Nepal as part of my ongoing collaboration with The Food Network Academy (FNA), an initiative that aims to carry out action-oriented research on alternative ways to shape the food-value chain as a way to achieve a truly equitable and sustainable food-system, with healthy and nutritious food for everyone.
Why do our apples need to look perfect in the grocery stores? How is our Swiss milk produced and where? Why is soil quality important for our agriculture and what is soil quality, how can I measure it?? These are biological questions in an agricultural context but moreover, young pupils ask these questions when they are requested to think of “Agriculture in their life”.
What is the environmental impact of the various meals that we eat? Are meals cooked from organic ingredients better for the environment than ingredients from conventional produce? What impact categories are relevant to measure environmental impact of meals anyway?