After I had finished all my university courses and also the Master’s thesis, I was – similar to many other students – a bit lost in the many visible or also seemingly hidden possibilities, which were now ready to be discovered. After a few talks with my master's thesis supervisor a great opportunity opened to continue my thesis project. I received a grant from the World Food System Center (WFSC) to collaborate with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to further work on my project of assessing and measuring farm system resilience – and this time, on a global scale.
Can Dynamic Agroforestry reverse the negative impacts on soils of long-time pineapple production and simultaneously create beneficial growth conditions for the delicate cocoa trees? A Swiss pioneer wanted to find out and four years ago installed a 50-ha plantation in Côte d’Ivoire. There, everything is managed according to the principles of Dynamic Agroforestry – a perfect playground for two motivated master students!
When I arrived in Sapporo in November 2018, I wanted to learn a scientific technique that the laboratory of flow control at Hokkaido University is specialized in. I had prepared a list of questions. I came back with lots of answers as well as other questions to reflect upon.
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.