The SysCom Team was awarded with the SFIAR team award during a public ceremony at the 4th December 2019 taking place at the ETH Zürich. The SFIAR award is intended to award new, innovative and result oriented research. With this award the SFIAR pursues to support relevant agricultural research for development, and promote knowledge on and visibility of Swiss ARD.
The West African Organic Conference (WAOC) is held every two years in one of the countries in the sub-region. About 300 participants attended the conference from academia, government institutions, NGOs, industry players within the sub-region, the continent and the larger organic world. Noah Adamtey from the SysCom team presented results from the SysCom program and other projects in the WAOC. His talk in the plenary session "Is organic a viable option for smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa - evidence from more than 10 years of on-station & on-farm research" showed performance of organic agiculture with regards to productivity, profitability and soil fertility.
Harun Cicek from the SysCom team presented results from the SysCom program and other projects in the EU-NACOA in Marrakech, Morocco. His talk "“FiBL’s experience on smallholder organic agriculture relevant to North Africa" showed performance of organic agiculture in terms of comparative yields, soil quality and economics and how this information is relevant to the North African organic sector.
Marking 40 years of DOK field trial, FiBL (together with Agroscope and ETH) organized an international conference from 06. – 10. October 2019, at Monte Verità (Ascona), Switzerland. The event entitled “Comparing organic and conventional agricultural cropping systems - What can be learned from the DOK and other long-term trials?” was attended by scientists leading LTEs across globe. Results from SysCom program were shared in an oral presentation at the conference.
David Bautze from the SysCom team presented the results from the termite study (SysCom Kenya) at Tropentag in Kassel. The presentation was an outcome of the two published peer-review papers on termite abundance, diversity and damage in maize crops. Termites are an important ecosystem engineer, but also seen as major pests in crops. Managing termites on agricultural fields with the aim to protect termite diversity without loosing crop yield is a challenge, but solvable with agro-ecological approaches.
The aim of the FiBL-led workshop was to stimulate debate on the role of organic agriculture and other agro-ecological approaches in the European and international development policy frameworks in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. FiBL researchers presented the results from SysCom and other projects on the performance of organic agriculture in tropical and sub-tropical climate zones to an audience of over 150 people, which included participants from the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament, diplomats, academics, practitioners as well as civil society organisations.
The Brussels Policy Briefing n. 54 discussed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, examining the status of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the progress made with respect to Zero Hunger (SDG 2) on agriculture, food security and nutrition in ACP countries. In particular, the Briefing featured an exchange of views and experiences on: the policies, practices and partnerships that have been successful in driving the goal of SDG 2, with a focus on landmark developments at local, national and regional levels. SysCom team member Gurbir Bhullar was invited to present results from the SysCom program and other projects.
For further information: - 7.79 MBReport with highlights
The Annual Swiss Development Cooperation Conference tooks place on 29th June in Bern. Topics of the conference were food security and urban development in Africa. The goal of the conference was to inform the general public about Swiss development cooperation and its commitment to food security and urban development in Africa. The SysCom team was present with a stall to showcase the results from SysCom Kenya.
On 8th November, the pre-conference "Accelerating innovation - the role of science, policy and practice" took place as part of the Organic World Congress in Dehli, India. The pre-conference was organized by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL and TIPI, the Technology Innovation Platform of IFOAM - Organics International. The main objective of this event was to offer a common platform for dialogue between science, policy and practice to initiate the development of scientifically informed policy for practice oriented solutions. The SysCom scientist Dr. Gurbir S. Bhullar and Amrit Riar were part of the organizers and also presented results from the SysCom trials.
The SysCom team was hosting two session at the ICRD conference in Bern, which was organised between the 5th - 8th September at the University of Bern. The title of one session was "Organic farming for improved livelihoods, health and food security in tropical smallholder farming communities" and aims to provide evidence that organic farming and agroforestry systems can improve livelihood and food security. This will was addressed from the point of view of the productivity, profitability, sustainability, ecosystem services and social learning aspects and how these components interact and influence the livelihoods and welfare of smallholder farming communities in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) Switzerland together with the Kenyan partners, Institute of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), the School of Environmental Studies of Kenyatta University (KU), Kenya Institute of Organic Farming (KIOF), Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN) and the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Institute of CIAT (TSBF-CIAT) have organized a stakeholders’ workshop on the 28th June 2016 at KARLO-Kandara Center, Kenya. The objective of the workshop was to share the outcome of the research conducted in the last nine years with relevant stakeholders. National politicians, donors, farmers, journalists, researchers, students, agro-chemical dealers, and others attended the workshop. The main activities of the workshop include oral and poster presentations on the first-six year results and student studies (see Publications). In addition, there was a guided field visit to the trial sites in Thika (28th June) and Chuka (30th June).
With an objective of further developing the capacities of the research staff and fostering learning through mutual exchange, we organized a North-South learning event at FiBL during the last week of August 2014. The participants from our partner countries (Kenya India and Bolivia) joined this event and stayed with us for one week from 23. - 31. August. This event provided, for the first time, an opportunity of mutual learning and sharing among the teams located in geographically distant SysCom countries. Besides the training sessions on new research methodologies, technical tools, data management, quality control and reporting, a specific emphasis was laid on participatory research methodologies. A video documentation of the event can be seen by clicking on the picture on the right.
For further information: - 354 kB"Research to enhance the sustainability of agricultural systems" (Brief report)
Dr. Gurbir Singh Bhullar, from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland discusses how Participatory On-farm Research (POR) is able to provide solutions that are tailored to individual contexts and problems. The interview was recorded in occasion of the International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition, held at FAO HQ in Rome on 18-19 September 2014.