Celebrating the World Food Day in Hohenheim

Celebrating the World Food Day in Hohenheim

“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.” Unknown
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” L.M. Montgomery

World Food Day is a day of action dedicated to tackling global hunger. Held annually on 16th October celebrating the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The focus of the day is that food is a basic and fundamental human right. Yet, in a world of billions, over 820 million people worldwide suffer from chronic undernourishment, 60% women and almost 5 million children under the age of 5 die of malnutrition-related causes every day. People from around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate worldwide hunger from our lifetime. Events are organized in over 150 countries across the world, making it one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. These events promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all.

I celebrated the 16th of October this year by participating in the World Food Day Colloquium 2019 organized by the Food Security Center (FSC) at the University of Hohenheim, Germany. FSC is one of the five DAAD EXCEED – Excellence Centers for Exchange and Development at German universities  funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). FSC focus is to establish international networks in the field of food security for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On my way to Stuttgart 🚅 , carrying a back-bag full of insects 🐝 🐛 & daydreaming about Porsche and Mercedes Benz 😆🚙🚙🚙

Arriving at the University & looking for the event venue: Castle Hohenheim

The University of Hohenheim (German: Universität Hohenheim) is a campus university located in the south of Stuttgart, Germany. Founded in 1818, it is Stuttgart’s oldest university. Its primary areas of specialisation had traditionally been agricultural and natural sciences.

Forget about Porsche and Mercedes Benz, INSECTS are taking over Stuttgart for the day 😎 😈

I presented two posters and set an insects tasting session at the conference foyer. I was pleased to see many curious & courageous people willing to learn about & taste edible insects. Again many thanks to our friend Folke Dammann and Snacks-Insects for supporting our public activities & providing us with insects snacks to give away.

Keynote speakers, experts talks and a discussion panel

The colloquium lectures and talks surrounding food security were diverse and well rounded. There were experts from Academia, the FAO and several NGOs covering topics ranging from climate change, the status of global hunger, sustainability and inclusion in agricultural value chains. At the end of the Colloquium, the experts debated -in a panel discussion- the specific roles of trade with agricultural and food products on global food security. Here is a list of the impressive speakers and talks I attended during the day.

Prof. Martina Brockmeier (Manager of International Agricultural Trade and Food Security, University of Hohenheim) presented a talk entitled “Changes in Global Agricultural Trade and Potential Impacts on Global Food Security”.

Dr. Andrea Zimmermann (Economist, FAO) presented a talk entitled ” The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2018: Agricultural Trade, Climate Change and Food Security”.

Ms. Bettina Iseli (Programmes Director, Welthungerhilfe) presented the latest Global Hunger Index Report.

Mr. Martin Schueller (Development Policies Manager, Standards, M&E, Politics & Environment, Fairtrade Deutschland) presented a talk on Fairtrade – Origin, Impacts & Outlook.

Dr. Pedcris M.Orencio (Head of R&D, SEARCA, Philippines) gave a presentation on Enablers of Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural Value Chains.

Young Scientists Session: Summarizing my doctoral research in a 3 minutes elevator pitch

During the young scientists sessions, 5 young scientists from developing countries (including myself) were given only 3 minutes to deliver an elevator pitch & present an insight into their research. Each pitch was followed by a 1 minute dedicated to questions or remarks.

The 5 participants were: Powell Mponela, Shova Shrestha and Marwa Shumo from ZEF and Habtamu Demilew Yismaw and Vladimir Korovin from FSC.

Prof. Dr. Achim Dobermann received the Justus von Liebig Award for World Nutrition 2019 endowed with 25,000 Euro

Prof. Achim Dobermann received the Foundation fiat panis the Justus von Liebig Award for World Nutrition for outstanding performance in the fight against hunger and rural poverty on the occasion of the World Food Day Colloquium. The independent council of the Foundation unanimously awarded the prize to him for his outstanding achievements in the field of sustainable agricultural development and contributions to improving world nutrition as his life’s work up to now has been in the service of a world free from hunger. Prof. Dobermann is currently the Director and Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research in England (the oldest agricultural research institute in the world) . In this role, he leads a variety of research programs aimed at developing new solutions for the sustainability of agricultural systems.

Enchanted by the beauty of the campus & asking myself: Is this the most beautiful university in Germany?

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”

Lauren DeStefano

I would like to thank Dr. Günther Manske our academic coordinator at ZEF for selecting me among the 3 ZEF junior scientists who participated in this year’s event. I would also like to thank the FSC, University of Hohenheim for sponsoring the costs of my trip and stay in Hohenheim. Last but not least, Ms. Anna Borsuk (Public Relations and acquisition of third-party funds, FSC, University of Hohenheim) for her assistance with the bookings and the event preparations as well as with helping me set-up my stand at the venue.

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