Regional and Strategic Partners of UHOH-led Food Security Center meet in Costa Rica
Participants in this year’s workshop.Front row, left to right: Dr. Manfred Zeller, UHOH Professor and Director of FSC, Germany; Ms. Julia Schwarzenberger, Program Manager of DAAD-Exceed, Germany; Dr. Alice Perez. Vice Rector of UCR, Costa Rica ; Dr. Mary Abukutsa-Onyango, Professor of JKUAT, Kenya; Dr. HasanahMohd. Ghazali, Professor, UPM, Malaysia; and Dr. Victor M. Jimenez, Professor, UCR, Costa Rica. Second row, left to right: Dr. Adriana Murillo, Professor, CIGRAS, Costa Rica; Dr. Editha C. Cedicol, Program Head, SEARCA, Philippines; and Dr. Lucas Borras, Professor, Campo Experimental de Villarino, Argentina. Third row, left to right:Dr. WiboonChongrattanameetekul, Professor, KU, Thailand; Dr. Wellington Ekaya, Training and Quality Assurance Manager, RUFORUM, Uganda; Dr. Reinhold Muschler, CATIE, Costa Rica; Dr. Luis Felipe Arauz, Professor, UCR, Costa Rica; Dr. Detlef Virchow, Executive Manager, FSC-UHOH, Germany; Dr. Eric Guevarra, Professor, UCR, Costa Rica ; and Dr. Miguel P. Guerra, Professor, Universidad Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil.
“Knowledge is the key to overcoming poverty.” This statement was highlighted by Ms. Julia Schwarzenberger, Program Coordinator of the German Academic Exchange Service or Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) during the opening ceremony of the Food Security Center (FSC) Annual Planning Workshop held at the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) in San Jose, Costa Rica on 4-7 September 2012.
In her speech, Ms. Schwarzenberger stressed that the key role of universities in development cooperation is to develop educational strategies to integrate teaching, research, and extension towards achieving the mission of eradicating hunger and malnutrition. She said that the German universities have a long history of relationship with the UCR and that many academic and research staff from the UCR obtained their PhDs in Germany. She lauded FSC for putting the idea of EXCEED-Higher Education Excellence in Development Cooperation into practice.
Dr. Manfred Zeller, FSC Director, welcomed the partners and guests to the planning workshop, on behalf of the FSC at the University of Hohenheim (UHOH), Germany. He expressed his appreciation to all partners for actively pursuing the interdisciplinary approach and for their strong collaboration in implementing the programs of the FSC. He said that during the workshop, the partners will review what FSC has done in the past three years and whether or not FSC has delivered what it has promised.
Lastly, Dr. Alice Perez, Vice Rector of UCR, welcomed the participants and guests to Costa Rica and to UCR. She expressed her appreciation to DAAD and to FSC for choosing UCR as one of the partners in the project and said that she looked forward to a long-term collaboration with the University of Hohenheim and other partners of FSC. She also said she was confident that very important activities on food security will be held in 2013.
During the workshop, the idea of following up on the establishment of the Global Consortium on Food Security Initiatives (an output of the FSC workshop group in Singapore last year), was broached during the open forum following Dr. Cedicol’s presentation of SEARCA’s accomplishments in the FSC project. The group expressed interest in pursuing this consortium initiative. After the presentation of accomplishments, each of the regional and strategic partners of FSC worked on the plans for 2013.
On 6 September 2012, the FSC group visited the plant collections, the botanical garden, the cacao collection, and coffee farm at the Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigacion y Ensenanza (CATIE), one of the strategic partners of FSC, at Cartago, Turrialba.
The activity was capped by an expert meeting on priorities for national and global agenda on food security under climate change on 7 September 2012 at the Faculty of Agronomy, UCR, which was attended by all representatives of the regional and strategic partners of FSC. During the expert meeting, Ms. Schwarzenberger presented the EXCEED program of DAAD.
The FSC Project, which started in 2009, meets every year through the Annual Planning Workshop that provides the venue for presentation of accomplishments of the project for the past year; sharing of experiences/challenges, how problems were overcome, and objectives achieved; and presentation of plans for the succeeding year. SEARCA is the strategic partner of FSC for Southeast Asia. (Editha C. Cedicol)
Ms. Schwarzenberger presenting the EXCEED program of DAAD
FSC group visit at Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigacion y Ensenanza (CATIE)