The official opening session at Tropentag 2018 in Ghent, Belgium.
Photo: © Tropentag/flickr


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The 20th Tropentag took place at the University of Ghent in Belgium in mid- September. The Tropentag is an annual interdisciplinary conference on research in tropical and subtropical agriculture, natural resource management and rural development conference hosted by a European agricultural university.

Around 630 participants, 59 countries, 320 posters and 80 presentations in three days – this year’s Tropentag, the 20th event of its kind, was organised by the University of Ghent in close co-operation with the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) and the University of Antwerp University, all of them in Belgium, and took place in Ghent in September. The international conference of agricultural researchers was entitled “Global food security and food safety: the role of universities”. 

Nowadays, 35 billion US dollars is spent each year on food imports to Africa. According to UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), this sum is set to rise to 110 billion US dollars by 2025, depending on Africa’s population growth. In this context, food security and safety will become more and more relevant. The current research focus to tackle this development lies on youth and jobs, trade, dietary transition, as well as private sector and agribusiness.

Franҫois Stepman of the Platform for African, European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD), Belgium, remarked that that the Tropentag provided a unique venue for companies, NGOs and research institutions to discuss the impacts of research findings on policy-making.

Emile Frison, IPES Food, Italy, opted for agroecological farming.

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