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August-September 2013


For those who havent already, its time to move to the next study place. Packing, traveling, nding accomodation... We take advantage of this issue to give you some advice (p.2). No time to rest, busy with internships (p.3) and then there is the annual meeting in the Netherlands. We already introduce you to the AgTraIn students as from now on AgTraIn will be actively involved in the association, including the magazine. This issue is also an opportunity to reect on the strengths and weaknesses of the Master programme. Mariola (nishing her M2) ends this issue with a touching reection on her Agris Mundus experience.
Did you know about EMA? Busy summers, the Erasmus Mundusers know that there is always something to do! Internships, learning a new language, discovering the world... Or just moving your stu (p.2)! I would like to take advantage of this preface to introduce you to the Erasmus Mundus Association (EMA). There is not only an Agris Mundus association, but also EMA. This association is funded by the EU and organizes an annual General Assembly, which the programme representatives attend. It consists of dierent Chapters grouped in countries and of working groups with dierent themes. They work on themes as diverse as promoting the Erasmus Mundus programmes, community development, gender equality... Besides networking it allows you to start your own project with the platform called REALIZE IT. Or if you have other ideas you can also bring them on. And do you know what? They even fund your dinner! Indeed, students of dierent Erasmus Mundus programs can apply to funding of up to 10 euro/pp/year for joint activities. Have a look at the EMA website: t Even if you are not program representative or an alumnus you can get involved. This year 6 Agstudents went to the General Assembly and we discovered a group of motivated people with a lot of ideas. Although it oers such an array of opportunities the activities of EMA are quite unkown among Erasmus Mundus students. So dont hesitate to ask us questions at the annual meeting in the Netherlands! (Us= Mara, Loet, Amanda and I).

Mara at the EMA General Assembly

The Editor, Marie Herman (Belgium)


Agris Mundus guide to moving accross Europe: by Amanda Klarer (Canada)

Amanda tells you how (NOT) to get from your M1 to your M2 country...

This is a foolproof 10-step guide to ensure that you have an eventful trip to remember. Step 6: Make sure the overnight train you are on is the only one that ! will experience technical diculties. Spending hours in the middle of nowhere countryside is a great way to relax during your voyage. Step 7: Try to transfer through Paris stations- they have no lifts, lots of stairs and are fantastic when you have numerous handless bags; most transfers require going to a dierent station across the city. Step 8: Break prescription before you you get to be to Corey Hart your sunglasses at your glasses days travel so that a living tribute and wear [prescription] night.

Step 1: When analyzing routes to get from your M1 country to your M2 destination; make sure to choose the longest and most inconvenient. If you chose the train, make sure you have a minimum of three transfers and chose a date where there are strikes all across your nal country of destination. Step 2: When living in your M1 city; make sure you accumulate as much stu as possible. Step 3: Defy laws of physics and pack all of the above-mentioned stu into a few, very overweight suitcases. For optimal results make sure the suitcases used are old and partially broken (broken wheels and handles are ideal). Step 4: Make sure to buy an expensive bike and plan to take it to your M2 destination. As you will nd out, it is hard to move bikes internationally (especially on trains). Unless, that is, you partially dismantle it and reconstruct in into an abstract shape, then cover it with a blanket (no one will know you are cheating the system by packing a bike!). Step 5: When you rst transfer of handle of your bag you to explore your construct a new broken pieces- sharp encouraged to be left uncovered. have made it to your many, break the further. This allows creativity and handle out of the edges are

( ! Step 9: Be sure that you take the rst train, after numerous cancellations, that departs right at rush hour. Be sure to let out a nice Baa as you are herded like sheep towards the only available train for hours. Step 10: Once you have arrived at your destination, pour yourself a cold drink and remember that there is a reason people dont ascend Mount Everest on an escalator. The feat you have just conquered is a prize all on its own.

Research credits for this article go to Loet Rammelsberg, Marie Herman and Amanda Klarer. A special thanks to Gustavo Togeiro Alckmin for all his help.


CORK on Internship -by Cllia Roucoux

My year in Ireland is over and I'm now in Canada, working on a farm. Every day, I wake up early to feed the animals: chickens and chicks, pigs and cows grazing across the road. I spend 20 minutes in the pasture waiting for the water barrel to ll up. In the horizon, I can see the breath-taking blend of the clear blue line of the sky and the deep green of the elds. I then walk to the eld to begin my daily chores: weeding to protect the carrots, the pretty little clovers lost in the invasive grass or the peas, up with their little swords and thinning to let the beets, parsnips and rutabaga grow large enough to be harvested. The rest of the time, I enjoy cleaning the pig pen, tidying the barn, carrying around tools such as shovels, hoes, rakes, pitch forks, and wheel barrows here and there, everywhere! Then more weeding, sometimes by hand, other times with the hoe or the wheel hoe, standing up, sitting in the aisle, bending, with two hands, with one handFor sure I'm doing organic farming! The farm is a CSA (community supported agriculture) which means that not only do they produce food that will be sold locally (within 15 to 30 km) but also belong and participate in a community. Twice a week, we harvest for the members and the Farmers' Markets. Every Harvest Day, our bins are lled to the brim with fresh cut greens, onions and garlic and every week, our boxes become more and more full with beets, peas, radishes, strawberries. Soon, well be adding green beans, cauliower, tomatoes and zucchini to


the collection. As a part of the community, the farm is always open to the people: members that come every week to pick up their share, visitors and families on Farm Crawl, school kids that spend a day discovering animals and take walks in the forest and neighbours and friends during big events like the recent Solstice Party. Although things are not easy for the farmers, people at the market complain when they see that the bundle of organic asparagus locally produced is twice the price they found in their grocery shop. Veggies are under-valued and sold at a price just enough to recover the cost or less. The work is constant, hard and under-appreciated. Organic farming is not supported by the government, thus faces unfair exploitation by distributors and retailers. It is part of a small and shrinking market. Deep within Canada right now, working the dirt, I reect back on my experience with farmers a few years ago in Senegal. Watering from a 15-metre deep well, less than 1 acre of onions that might not survive the drought, planting baby trees in a valley of sand ravaged by the winds and nding a solution to cut the hay without a hay-bind to endure the dry season. I remember farmers going to the market to sell carrots only to nd the ones from at a cheaper price. I also remember the kids and the women in the elds, groundnuts freshly harvested and eaten and the much awaited mango fall after the rst rains. Farming all over the world is the hardest, yet most beautiful thing one can do.


How to nd your way in ...

by the Montpellier crew, with special thanks to Anna-Sarah Eyrich

10 suggestions to get around in Montpellier

1. Housing--The SupAgro residence located right next to campus oers the benets of living close to school, communal BBQ tables for nice evenings in the summer, and laundry/internet/ bar services. It's pretty pricey, however, and though the residence sta may tell you otherwise, it IS possible to nd nice and aordable housing elsewhere. The CROUS oces oer rooms for students around 200 Euros. It is always possible to move out of the residence into a shared apartment. 2. CaF--The CaF is the French government's subsidy for student housing, the amount depends on your earnings two year's before. If you earned less than 10,000 Euros that year, you can receive up to about 190 Euros. After lots of paperwork, you usually need to wait at least a month before receiving the rst payment (it is deducted from your rent). Tip: Fill out your document online and print it as soon as you arrive to speed up the process. 2. Food--Students from SupAgro generally ock to Lidl around the corner for the cheapest prices around. The market on Saturday and Tuesday mornings under "les Arceaux" oers a much more authentic experience of French specialties and local products, but be ready to pay substantially more. With SupAgro's "Panier piano" group, you can sign up to receive a vegetable/fruit basket for 2 from a local farmer every Tuesday, at 10 Euros per week. 3. Weekend Trips: Buses run out of Mosson (North of Montpellier). For 1.50 Euros you can hope over to countless surrounding villages and explore their hiking trails. Good spots include Lac de Salagou and St. Guillaume le Desert. CHEAP BUSES: Not just Moson, there are other stations too: horaires_tarifs.html they go quite far in the department). Every department has long distanceinter department bus services for 1 to 1.5 Euros... very useful during the stage in August also) 4. Bikes: You can go for a VeloMag -- people who got them were generally quite content. Or buy one second hand - that is hit or miss--- id_rubrique=314 5. Second hand shopping: Mosson Flea Market every sunday morning on the parking lot adjacent to MOSON tram station. Clothes, household stu, bikes (but choose wisely.... some of us had terrible luck!). Also look for "vide grenier" signs... meaning ea market. They occur around the city 6. Markets: There are 2 farmers markets per week at the Arceaux - however there are also other markets around. A nice one on sunday morning is on the southern side of the Olympic pool in Antigone. 7. Phones: It seems the best option for a Phone is FREEMOBILE. You buy the SIM online once you have a bike account and they send it to you. They have a 2 E option that will give you certain deals and a 20E package taht is unlimited internet and international calls and texts ... other providers are quite expensive... 8. Museums/galleries: Free to everyone under 25 years old....(entire France). First sunday of the month FREE to everyone 9. Estivales: every Friday evening in the summer at the esplanade.... Very nice. drinks and food. 10. Beach: To get to the beach you can take the tram to Etangs-D'Or, then walk or take a bus to the beach Palavas... OR you can take a paved trail all the way to the beach following the river.... Go to the river LEZ (place dEurope), and to the same side as the University (opposite to the antigone). Follow that path all the way through elds and suburbs along the waterfront to the beach....


Basics for living in


by Adriana Sanchez (Nicaragua)

So now you have the privilege to belong the Agris Mundus family. We want to provide some useful tips for your rst stop in Wageningen. Study in the Netherlands... Prepare yourself to deal with a bipolar weather -opportunity to experiment the 4 seasons in just 45 minutes- impermeable clothes even in summer! Buy a bicycle during the rst 5 minutes you arrive to the town. Where? You can ask the friendly sta of the infopoint in forum, check the facebook groups or ask to international students associations (IxESN and ISOW) Looking for a cheap place to live? Student ats are good options. Hoovestein, Assepark and Dijkgraaf are located just a few minutes from forum. There you will live in a corridor with international colleges sharing facilities (kitchen, toilet, shower) if you want something private you can apply for Bornsesteeg of the self containers in haarweeg. The last period of the MIL programme includes a professional practice in Valencia, for that reason a good recommendation is to start learning some useful words in Spanish. Free courses in several languages are given by students that belong to ISOW. So do not hesitate to join this association and make your experience in Wageningen more multicultural than it already is.


and Ireland, 4 x top 5! by the Cork team, special thanks to Cllia Roucoux
Cork Hipster Town Finishing a tiring weekend listening to the featured DJ at the Pav'. 4. Shopping vintage clothes and other useless items at Mother Jones Flea Market 3. Ride your fixie in Cork streets (if you dont have a bike yet, try the Bike Shed on Barrack street: pages/The-Bike-Shed-Cork/197477380311387? fref=ts) 2. Then have a coffee at the F I L T E R 537055749645261 1. And be ready to see the same face at the pub next door when the night's on! Try a traditional pub like Sin to fill up your ears with sweet Irish music or fill your pint with local brew at the Franciscan Well then go dancing late at night at the Crane Lane Theater or the Pavilion! 5.

Top 5 of the alternative places in Cork and in Ireland in general Camden palace, to listen and participate to the Cork Sacred Harp or just hang out. 4. A weekend in Cloughjordan Community Farm to learn everything about this eco-village or volunteer there 3. When spring call, enjoy free Gardening Classes and give a hand in everybody's garden 2. Never miss Veg'out on Tuesday and movie night on Wednesday at the Solidarity Bookshop. Or just go there for a read. https:// 1. And after all that, go for delicious raw, vegan, healthy food at Very Healthy Food, best place to eat in Cork. fref=ts Amazing stuff to do in Ireland 5. Cycle in Inishboffin 4. Sleep in a ghost village in Achille Island 3. Camp in a ring fort in West Cork 2. Hike in Gougane Barra 1. Rock climb in Dalkey Quarry

Tips for getting by in Cork and Ireland. 5. Participate in sports, great way to meet people. 4. Every time you go to Dublin for any visa procedure, make it worth it with a visit to places and concerts you are interested in. 3. Banks take time. If you need anything from them, ask at least three weeks in advance. 2. Inter-city buses and the Irish Rail offer free wi-fi, may be handy to have your device with you while travelling. 1. Learn a few words of the Cork slang and accent, might be of big help. A guide to Cork slang:


All you need to know about Copenhagen!

By Gabriela Maciel (Mexico)


Moving to another country, culture and university requires some adaptation, but in Copenhagen you will nd it easy! Hope this brief section can provide you basic information about the city and some useful tips on dierent topics besides the ones touched upon on during the two weeks International Orientation Program oered by the University of Copenhagen (August 19th to September 2nd). Housing It is known that Copenhagen is a very expensive city for housing and it is hard to nd accommodation, but the rst (and safest, though not the cheapest!) option I would suggest is the Housing Department of the University of Copenhagen, because it will give you a contract, exibility in the dates to pay your installments as well as assistance in case something is not working at your place. There some other options to look at, like or the Facebook group Legebolige til unge og studerende, gratis og sikkert. The former one, requires a payment of some DKK (Danish kroners) to get access to the oers in the internet, but it is somehow safe. The latter, is an informal site where you can post your need for accommodation and you can also have a look if someones oer matches with your needs; normally, the renting periods in this page are short. Be aware of the fake contracts and the super high deposits that are sometimes required by fake landlords; make sure you go to the place, you have a look and you ask all your doubts and concerns. Transportation Copenhagen is denitely a biking city! There are plenty of second hand shops and Y you can also check the Facebook group ESN CPH: GiveBuy-Sell-Rent which is a very useful website where you can look not only for bikes but for many other things. Be aware of the bike stores owners who try to charge high prices for second hand bikes (more than 800-1000 DKK), normally they are used for the customer to bargain until the price gets a bit lower. It is essential also that you get a lock and a pair of lights for your bike. Other places to look for a bike are and For transportation by public service, it is useful to order a REJSEKORT ( which is free of charge and you buy saldo for it via internet. The transportation fares are lower with the Rejsekort than buying the regular tickets. If you plan to often travel inside the country and if you are under 25 years old, it is recommendable to get the WildCard at DSB, it will allow you to get 50% discount in all the train tickets you buy during the week, except during Friday and Sunday, when you will get only 25% ( University Regarding academic matters (e.g. ocial documents, assistance on opening of a bank account, and courses registration) it is useful to contact the Erasmus Mundus Coordinator, Lene Kristine Christensen ( In case you need assistance about procedures at the University, the types of examination and other general information, contact the International Oce (, Tel. +45 35 32 29 18). Last but not less, it is always super helpful if you contact our dear Agris Mundus Coordinator, Andreas de Neergaard ( for information about the program, the courses approach and much more ! He might broaden your point of view, discuss the thing or place you in the reality, but for sure you will always get a big smile and an encouraging word! A good idea is to sign up for the Mentor Program through the University webpage or in the Facebook group (International Students and Mentors @ SCIENCE-KU), where a Danish student will give you plenty of advice regarding student life and Copenhagen. The University webpage ( has a lot information that sometimes is not very visible but useful, so you will sometimes need to dig in and have a look at the dierent guest lectures that are taught along the year, the exhibitions and fairs at the Uni from the private sector, the dierent possibilities for students to participate in workshops, the research news and more. If you are looking forward to get a bit or experience or to use your time doing some work, there are many possibilities to get a Student job, which you can look for at the Uni webpage or directly asking to your professors.

There are also some opportunities in places dierent than the University, such as non-prot cafes and tourist guides companies, among others. When talking about books, the University has an Academic Book Store where you can get them new, but if you are looking for a more economical way, you can check, where you can get second hand books for cheaper prices. Food and Drink You will nd a lot of places with dierent kind of food in CPH! Nevertheless, the cheapest way during the week is to cook for yourself but when at the Uni, it is also common to go to one of the two Kantinen Gimle & Gamle, there is also the Greenhouse Caf where you can get a fair discount if you get in your student card the DSR sticker (you can get it in the DSR oces below Gimle). Another good option for weekend is Paludan Caf, Caf Aura and some non-prot cafs in Nrrebro and Frederisksberg. For drinking cheap beer you shouldnt miss the University bar A-Vej, other places (although the music is not that good ! ) are Student Huset, LA Bar, Mlk and CafeEn, all of them in the city center. Culture and free time Something you enjoy in CPH is the various cultural events and places! you never get bored (not even in winter) because there are many museums (the ones belonging to the University are free with your Student Card, e.g. botanical garden) and parks where especially during springsummer, dierent festivals and shows are held. If you like music, theres is a jam session every Sunday in Christiania for free and some Fridays there is a chill out with electronic music in Our Lady s Church you shouldnt miss. There also dierent street musicians along Strget (main shopping street) and some cafes and bars with live music. Another idea is to register at the ESN Erasmus Student Network Copenhagen, where you will receive new about tours, events, and more happening around. Sports For doing exercise in many dierent ways, you can sign up at USG, an association that oers a lot of disciplines in Copenhagen ( Be aware that the courses start at the beginning of September and by then, the places left will be rear, so is it better if you have a look in August and decide early if you want to take action in. Another similar possibility is to sign up with VLI ( If youre more the gym person, World Fitness is the option, with a discount if you show your student card. Otherwise, in spring-summer, all the parks bloom and get green beautifully and you can do sports yourself enjoying the nature. Bank If you dont have an Agris Mundus Scholarship (with Danske Bank as the assigned bank), Nordea Bank is a good option if you want to open an account, because it is free of charge while in Danske Bank it costs 400 DKK. Mobile telephony Many companies oer their services in Denmark with slight fares variation. You can go for the monthly payments and a contract for 6 months to 2 years, but if you prefer prepaid plans, you can get a Lebara SIM card free of charge, while in many other companies you need to pay for it. Shopping It is impressive how many retail stores you can nd in Copenhagen! One every corner and sometimes one by the side of the other! Anyhow, if you are watching over your budget, the german supermarkets are the cheapest ( ALDI and Lidl), you might not nd everything on them because they are small but they are still good for basic stu. Then, FAKTA and Ftex are the next recommendation and only if you want a very fancy ingredient or you are in the mood to spoil yourself with a luxurious meal, the most expensive supermarkets are Irma and SuperBrugsen. A real fact is that since you are coming to Denmark, all the websites are in Danish, although many of them have a site in English. Anyhow, it is not that dicult to gure out most of the information because you always can use your computers translating tool and if not, if you register to the Mentor program, your mentor will help you. Well, this is not the whole recipe of how you are going to enjoy and spend your time in Copenhagen but hopefully it can give you an idea.


The best of Catania by Mohamed Benyedder
(Tunisia) For this issue, I would like to present Catania from the students life point of view, trying to give some references to those who will be there next year, but also trying to remember some interesting things for those who like us were there for one year. Catania is a wonderful coastal city in Sicily, its wonderful because by the end of summer and the beginning of autumn its still enough warm to go the beach, my advice here is to take vantage of this aspect to reach by bus the northern rocky beaches of Ognina, Lungomare, Aci Tressa, Aci Castello, Aci Reale or the very near southern sandy beach of La playa its up to you to choose if its for a bath of sun, a bath of sea water or simply for a bath of people with friends as the mood is very nice and the people are very warm. Next Must is the Etna volcano; to get there you have dierent bus inside touristic circuit, you could also try the folkloric closed circuit train of Circum Etnea who will turn around the Etna starting and stopping in Catania and passing by the dierent villages established in the valleys down the volcano. In the city you will have the central place of Piazza Duomo in front of the Cathedral of Saint Agatha. Up you have the castle of CastellUrsino and his museum, the archeological Teatro Greco Romano, the Museo Belliniano dedicated to Vincenzo Bellini, his life and his music. The other interesting place is the meeting point of Piazza Stesicoro in center, there you will nd roman ruins, old cathedrals, and the town administrative and commercial center of Corso Sicilia ending by the bus station of Piazza della Repubblica leading to town central station. Behind the place, you will have the market of the Fiera where you will nd absolutely everything on sale as rst or second hand for good prices. In the upper part, all long Via Etnea you will also nd the Villa Bellini: the central city park of Catania, where you could spend some time traveling through the centuries from the Barocco to the Rinascimento art and style, in the middle of the fountains, the sculptures, the trees Also very close behind Piazza Stesicoro you have, Piazza Teatro Massimo Bellini with bars, cafs, restaurants, ice cream shops, and obviously the theater. For your moving, the city provided lately with a fast bus, running through few strategic station who will lead until the university campus of Santa Soa from city center in a closed circuit, its also expected that the metro will be functional in 2014 with few but very strategic station. Along the hill of Santa Soa there is also the CUS dedicated to sportive activities especially for campus students. The old section of Facolt di Agraria di Catania where part the course will also be held is in Via Valdisavoia, not very far from city center. For the housing, the international section of Universt Degli Studi di Catania will do their best to nd good arrangement, generally in city center where its more interesting and very close. It would be very pretentious to summarize the beauty of the city in few lines, but the place is to enjoy, also is the island of Sicily, with cities, towns and villages like, Palermo, Messina, Marsala, Trapani, Siracusa, Agrigento, Enna, Ragusa Ibla, Modica, Scicli, Galati Mammertino, Taormina, Troina, Nicosiathe list is endless and every place is reachable by bus, in few minutes or hours with good prices and it will be very pleasant to discover on each of them some of the singular monuments, buildings, ruins or simply the local habits, feasts, cuisine or traditions that make the cultural and historical richness of this part of Mediterranean. In the end I will advice again to enjoy and with all thispleasedont forget to study.

M2 Master thesis NEWS FROM THE FRONTLINE: Pavel and Firaol

Our two M2 heroes chose Tanzania to deliver their battle for Knowledge, for Pavel its the Using of weaver ants to control fruit y damage in orange orchard on behalf of the research activity held in the Sokoine University of Agriculture and for Firaol its the eect of contrasting temperature on the developmental biology of Bemisia. tebaci and on its virus transmission characteristics of the two main virus groups of Cassava mosaic and Cassava brown streak virus disease on cassava on behalf of the activity held by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture of Tanzania. The 2

topics are linked with the threats to food security in Tanzania in particular and in east Africa in general. For Pavel the topic is linked to his former M1 University of Copenhagen on behalf of the Danish DANIDA program and for Firoal the link is from M2 professors of Facolt di Agraria di Catania. Both of them agreed that it is a very rich and nice experience dealing with green house and lab experiment and with surveys, in Tanzania, and that the real deal is to step over the bureaucracy related to their establishment there. As an advice, the best thing is to get prepared in advance, to dene perfectly the subject with the local tutors and to start the procedure as soon as possible in order to have enough time for the eld work. Best wish of success for them, from friends and colleagues from Catania, Copenhagen and from the whole Agris Mundus Students and sta. See you at the defense guys.



I am Niharika Rahman from Bangladesh. I have joined as Agtrain fellow at University of Copenhagen in 2012, while my second institute is Wageningen. The topic of my PhD project is Environmental Eciencies and Controversies: Yield Intensication in smallholders Oil Palm Production Systems of South-east Asia. I will do my eldwork in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia. Back home I have rather a small family, my parents and a younger brother. My parents are my continuous source of inspiration. It was always my dream that I will do PhD in my eld someday. Anyway here I am, I am very grateful to Agtrain for giving me this fantastic opportunity. I would like to engage myself with sustainable agriculture which is very relevant with my research direction. After nishing this PhD, my plan is to join International Organizations of the United Nations in the future.

Section realized thanks to Anna Snider (US), AgTrain representative

Hi, my name is Ruelyn Sungcaya Gravador, I am from the Philippines. I am doing the project on: Plant secondary compounds in small ruminant feeding: an alternative to drugs for improving animal metabolic state and product quality in low input farming systems, at Catania and Copenhagen. I believe that AgTraIn could help me make more signicant contributions to the developments and innovations of animal production practices and its commodities, and expertise on the processes from farm to fork, by applying the various elds of sciences, which in turn would help to further uplift the status of agriculture in the economy. Outside the academia, I prefer to be involved in community services, to cook and to travel.

Hi, my name is Abebe Nigussie Nigatu from Ethiopia. I am the second batch of AgTrain Erasmus Mundus PhD programme. I My name is Andnet Bayleyegn Abtew. My research project studied my M.Sc in soil science in Haramaya University, (SupAgro-Catania) focuses on a study of the behavior, Ethiopia. I have been working in Jimma University as lecturer ecology and control of legume ower thrips in Cowpea since 2009. towards the development of an integrated pest management program in Kenya. Currently, I am working my PhD with Prof. Andreas de Neergaard (Copenhagen) and I graduated from my master in Horticulture from Hawassa Lijbert Brussaard (Wageningen). My University in 2010. Afterwards, I have been working for a project is about improving the Dutch owned ower farm company as an agronomist and bioavailability of nutrients in compost and farm manager. There I learned the practical challenge that reduces GHG emission using farmers face to control pests. The Pest management problem commercially and locally available is even more challenging in the case of small scale farmers as compared with a big biofectors. I choose this project because I business company; and this leads my interest to contribute something by formulating am very much interested in soil biochemical processes and or adding some value on pest management practice for small scale farmers; which will recycling of wastes. support African farmers to achieve food security by minimizing the pest damage on Anika Totojani. I come from Tirana, cultivated crops. I am married and a father of one Son. After nishing my study I will Albania.Im in the second AgTraIN engage myself on agribusiness, research and development of plant based pesticide. batch. I study at the University of Hi all, my name is Eduardo Fuentes. I am Peruvian and I am part of the rst AgtraIn Copenhagen, Department of Food and batch. I am doing my doctorate studies at Montpellier and Cork. Resource Economic, and am aliated Currently, I am conducting a research-intervention work based at the SupAgro, Dpartement Sciences on the improvement of milk quality management of a dairy Economiques, Sociales et de Gestion supply chain in the highlands of Peru (Mantaro Valley), with the (SESG), UMR-MOISA. My PhD study is aim of strengthening small-scale dairy farmers against focused on Agribusiness Incubators in economic shocks. Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. Im working in close collaboration with the Danish International I earned a Bsc. in Animal Science and a Masters in Nutrition Development Agency which is implementing 6 agribusiness and Rural Development. I'm very talkative by nature but incubators in 5 African countries. sometimes I can be very serious. My favorite activities are going out with friends, reading books, hiking and playing soccer. After I graduate I would like In 2011, Ive obtained my Agris Mundus masters degree (track to work for a government agency, in the eld of agriculture sustainable development, Copenhagen-MOQUAS Montpellier). Im interested in research, transferring all the knowledge I learned about social, entrepreneurship, small and medium enterprises, agribusiness animal, environmental and agricultural sciences. development of transition and developing countries. Hi, my name is Uta and I am from Germany. For my PhD (Wageningen-Cork). I am looking for potato yield improvement and virus reduction by applying new potato seed technologies for small-scale farmers in Uganda. I will go the rst time to Uganda in August/September 2013 and truly I am excited about! I did my Master in Integrated Natural Resource Management at the Humboldt University Berlin. My Master thesis conducted the control of the potato beetle in organic farming. I really enjoyed my potato work and I am very happy to be back in potato research. Besides the challenging tasks as a Phd Candidate in the City of Life Science, I enjoy to meet all the dierent nationalities here in Wageningen. I like to go abroad and to explore nature. As I have to collect lots of data in the eld and also for the sociological study, then please do not hesitate to contact me:
! I am Sanjeeb Bhattarai from Nepal. I am enrolled in Montpellier and Wageningen. I have Masters degrees in Agroforestry and Agricultural Development. I like to relate academic learning to real world practices as far as possible, and so far I think have been lucky to have few years of experience in between my academic endeavors. My experience so far includes my work in various organizations - ranging from government through university research to NGOs - both in technical as well as managerial duties, and mostly related to natural resource management. For my PhD Project (CIRAD, CATIE in Costa Rica) I am applying both sociological and empirical tools and techniques, the topic is related to exploring opportunities for ecological intensication of coee production systems. Decreasing global coee price, increasing input costs, pest and diseases infection, and sustainable production are the key issues in the communities where I am collecting data, therefore if any MSc student is searching for opportunity to carry out eld work in related topics, feel free to get in touch. There is a lot to learn related to these and related issues here and visits to nearby picturesque tropical beaches, forests, volcanoes, mountains and valleys will be additional unforgettable and uniquepura vidaexperience.

Interested in a thesis-subject? Meet them at the annual meeting or ask their contact to the editor/through LinkedIn! ...The proles of Anna, Enrique and Mechthild can be found on the next page!


Branding of the AgTraIn programme by Anna Snider and

Enrique Uribe Leitz
Dear AgTraIn-ers,


scientic events and journals, this could develop into a sort of added value from which we could all prot -provided we all create high-quality work! (Im positive and assume and hope!- we will all deliver high quality). At the end, if we make something special out of the AgTraIn program and sell it as such to the outside world, we will be able to get a distinction over all other programs out there otherwise we will only be just another PhD program. All this is of course only possible, if we all work together and it will take some time. We are invested in the program at least a few more years, right? So, why dont make the best out of it? Heres why I think its worth the eort. The more people know about what makes our program special, the more people will be interested in our work. Through time, we could be able to create a body of high-quality international work, which will reward all of us and anywhere: people staying in academia, industry or the private sector. WE -the rst generations- have an important role to play in establishing a strong brand. This is very important from the beginning on, since there are at least 4 more generations coming behind us which will only strengthen our image and hopefully in the future open more possibilities for us through internationally public recognition. Its in our hands to create what will be our only distinction upon graduation: a strong, special and unique program (mainly

because of its students) and not just a PhD as any other! For the realization of our objective, we propose to create a branding and image committee that should take the lead in the coordination of this joint eort. This committee shall be working together with the elected student representatives and the AgTraIn secretariat. Therefore, we invite any of you to join this committee, especially if you have some marketing background and/or if your PhD is somehow related to this or related areas. Please contact us (see emails below) if you are willing to help. The committees rst step will be to determine the needs/wants of the AgTraIn group. It will then determine what we as students are able to do on our own and what we need the AgTraIn secretariats help with. We hope that the committee will be able to present its ideas and progress to Andreas and the whole AgTraIn group at our November meeting in the Netherlands. Finally, we would like to remind you that this is not just your PhD but OUR program and WE (all AgTrain-ers) are expected to make the best of it, so please show some initiative/ cooperation! Cheers, Enrique and Anna

What makes AgTraIn so special? ... well a few of your will have a long list of good arguments to answer my question, some others (as Ive discovered), dont nd the program is as special as it could be Either way I respect your opinion BUT: I really think that we need to better exploit the whole program setup and shape it into something that works for us. For me, the best way of doing this is by creating a strong and publicly recognized brand out of the AgTraIn. What I mean is a common face of all AgTraIners towards the outside world, for example through social media, networking and most importantly when we publish in the academic world. Until now, all people I know are publicly stating (Facebook, LinkedIn, email signatures, etc) that they are part of one or two universities but there is almost- no mention of the program, and that is a missed opportunity to educate people about AgTraIn. If we are able to create a strong and consistent look that unies and identies us as AgTraIn-ers, we will be able to give a special edge to our work. For example this may be by means of a basic identity package consisting of a template for email signatures, business cards, slide headers, a consistent look for public presentations. Especially when we start publishing in I am Enrique, born and raised in Mexico. After my high school, I went to Germany for some intense party, work and back-packing. I liked it a lot there so I ended up studying Agriculture at the University of Bonn.

After that I worked at GLOBALG.A.P. (a standard setting organization). It was a great time and an opportunity which gave me lot of the needed knowledge required for writing my AgTraIn application/proposal. My study is focusing on the impacts of certication schemes (such as Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade or UTZ Certied) on the value chain of cocoa. What are the costs involved? What are the benets? Who is proting from the certication business? Finally, I would like to invite any AgrisMundus students, who are looking for a thesis subject and might be interested in the cocoa-world to contact me for exploring cooperation possibilities, there are many exciting topics to be explored by any of you!

My name is Anna Snider and Im an Ag TraIn batch 2 student from the United States from the state of Wisconsin. My two universities are Montpellier SupAgro and Universidad Politecnica de Madrid and my eld work is in Costa Rica. I will be moving to Madrid in September of this year, so if you are there at the same time, please let me know! I am studying the role of cooperatives in sustainable coee certications such as Fair Trade, Organic and Rainforest Alliance, the changes that these certications make in the cooperatives and the incentives that cooperatives use to convince farmers to change their farming practices. When Im not climbing mountains to interview coee farmers, Im usually dancing, doing yoga, blogging or reading. The most inuential book I ever read was The Introvert Advantage, but these days I mostly read journal articles and textbooks.

I am Mechthild from Germany, having an Agtrain 2nd batch fellowship, and studying in Montpellier SupAgro and Wageningen UR. My research is focused on territorial marketing in the North of Morocco, in Chefchaouen. After my master studies in German, French and Spanish Philology, I have done a 2 year MBA for international marketing at Reutlingen University. Thereafter, I have been working in the Netherlands for several years, rst in an internationally oriented language institute for professionals from the private and public sector, and later in a medium-sized food company. I am interested in learning other languages, literature and music (playing violin), as well as in international cooperation and sustainable development initiatives. After my graduation, I would like to work for an international research or development organization within the agricultural and food sector.


Mariola about her AgrisMundus experience
Mariola Acosta Francs
(Spain) It seems only yesterday when we, the 6th batch, started the AgrisMundus Masters Program and were in Prague at the Orientation week. After almost two years of amazing experiences, both personal and academic, I am arriving at the end of a fantastic chapter in my life. Back in 2011, I remember having some doubts about joining AgrisMundus and quitting my job in Barcelona. Now I can rmly say that it was one of the best decisions Ive made in my life. Coming from an engineering mindset, AgrisMundus has provided me with another way of looking into agriculture, another way to study and understand farming systems and rural livelihoods beyond increasing productivity (the king of spanish engineerings). The program has also given me the opportunity to meet, talk and learn from farmers across four dierent continents, which I nd absolutely priceless. We have done multidisciplinary eld work in Borneo (Malaysia) with the Sluse program from University of Copenhagen, have learned how to carry out an agrarian diagnostic in the Pyrenees with Montpellier SupAgro- and in Doukkala (Morocco) we were able interview smallholder farmes about their constraints for beetroot production, also part of the program in Montpellier. All in all, a very enriching eldwork experience! I am now in Cauca (Colombia), working as a visiting researcher at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) on a Gender and Climate Change project for my Masters thesis research. So far, this is also been a challenging and fantastic learning experience. The eld conditions we are having here are sti, mostly because of the long walking distances between households (sometimes more than one hour!) and the steep slopes of the Andes. Also, the dierent sites where we are conducting the research have been historically characterized by land tenure conicts between the campesino and indigenous communities together with the unstabilities that the guerrilla presence brings to the Cauca Department. The issue of land tenure becomes a huge constraint that farmers face to access credit and implement new farming practices and technologies. This is even truer for the majority of the women, who are more vulnerable to tenure insecurity and are often not directly involved in the agricultural projects that are being implemented in the area. With still two more months of research to come, I am sure that this experience in Colombia together with the eld courses and the inspiring classes weve had, will be very useful and enriching for my forthcoming professional life. However, the best part of AgrisMundus is not the opportunities and professional training that it brings, but the amazing people that one meets along the way. Its been a true pleasure having met my AgrisMundus mates, who I now consider as an extended part of my family. I dont know how the AgrisMundus direction does it, but they denitely select exceptional people from all over the world to join this program. So, if there is one thing I will miss from AgrisMundus, it is denitely the people.


Poll results?
Due to incomplete data the results of the Agris Mundus poll have not been included in the magazine. However, a message from your global representatives:
Dear Agris Mundus students, A big thank you again to all who participated Agris Mundus Course Evaluation Survey, giving their comments and ideas. Apologies for the long wait....It turned out that in order to evaluate the results properly, we had to manually enter the data for each student in each city, which meant a lot of spreadsheet-actionfun! The full results will be available to our course director Didier Pillot and posted on our AM facebook group. If you would like to receive the results by email, don't hesitate to contact us directly. You will be able to see the course ratings by student (anonymous), by city, and average ratings for each city. We hope the survey will be interesting for all! Your Global Representatives, Annabel and Gustavo

Thanks to Anna, Mariola, Mohamed, Amanda, Felix, Cllia, Aline, Paula, Anna Sarah, Annabel, Gustavo, Harriet and Gabriela, Sanjeeb, Anika, Mechthild, Enrique, Uta, Rufielyn, Andnet, Eduardo, Abebe and Niharika for their contributions! And to all of you who helped out! Good luck to the graduating M2s for their thesis and future projects!

Check out the Agris Mundus blog on: ! Deadline next issue: To be set!

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