DITSL – German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture –
DITSL supports capacity building and human capacity development, technology development, collaborative learning and rural innovation worldwide.
DITSL initiates, conducts and fosters research, and raises public awareness on sustainable regional management and resource and land use with a focus on agro-ecosystems, knowledge systems, food safety and security, food- and product-chain development and related issues.
DITSL follows an inter- and transdisciplinary social-ecological research approach and puts an emphasis on sub/tropical low external input systems and organic agriculture in the tropics as two major fields of activities and expertise.
DITSL is a non-profit limited liability company (GmbH) at the Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences of the University of Kassel at its campus Witzenhausen.


2013-2016 BMBF GlobE


2013–2016 BMBF GlobE
International Centre for Development and Decent Work (ICDD)

2009 – 2019 BMZ /
DAAD 2009 – 2019

WeltGarten Witzenhausen

Since 2002 Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung

eed, BMZ engagement global
2011–2015 BMZ / giz-BEAF GrassNet spin-off


International Training Programme 2017

Quality management and marketing for organically produced agricultural commodities

– February 13th to March 10th 2017 –

Training course – Certificate Education – 6 ECTS Credits

Excursion Biofach 2017: Friday, 17.02. – Saturday, 18.02.2017 (Introduction: Monday, 13.02.)
Theory and Workshops: Monday, 27.2. – Friday 10.3.2017

» Preliminary program schedule (pdf)
» Registration form for students (pdf)

Deadline for registration: December 15, 2016

Announcement: 6th Joint Interdisciplinary Study Tour – Costa Rica 2017

“Biodiversity as economic basis for welfare – the case of Costa Rica”, March 14th–26th 2017

Note: This excursion is part of the Module I07 “International land use systems research” (6 ECTS credits)

Costa Rica – the Central American country named by Columbus “Rich Coast” - did not prove to be rich in precious metals but is indeed wealthy in terms of natural treasures. Located between Panama in the South and Guatemala in the North, bordering the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, the Republic of Costa Rica hosts a variety of different tropical ecological zones and forest landscapes. Widely known for its rich biodiversity and strong conservation efforts, 26% of its land is currently under protection. Among the Central American States, Costa Rica has the highest standard of living. At the same time the country’s agricultural sector is famous for its cash-crop production - principally pineapple, banana and coffee - with all the ecological and social impacts of an intensive plantation economy.

The 2017 excursion will particularly focus on biodiversity as the economic basis for agriculture, forestry, tourism and all subsequent economic sectors. In cooperation with the Tecnologico de Costa Rica the organizers have developed a two-week study tour to a variety of producers, processors and projects, demonstrating the diversity of land- and resource-use systems in Costa Rica - from large to small scale, from intensive to extensive, from collective to individual. The excursion thus aims at a deeper understanding of transforming biodiversity into economic wealth.

Announcement of MSc thesis research fieldwork funding

Announcement of MSc thesis research fieldwork funding on the topic of

“Inter-group learning for critical reflection on innovation processes with smallholder farmer groups in Tanzania”

in the frame of the project
Trans-SEC - Innovating Strategies to Safeguard Food Security using Technology and Knowledge Transfer: a people-centered approach

Project aims and approach:

Within Trans-SEC (http://www.trans-sec.org), DITSL specializes in transdisciplinary approaches for participatory action research within low external input farming systems in Tanzania. The emphasis here is on farmer group capacity development, enhancement of participatory innovation processes, and support for the sustainability and social inclusiveness of innovation processes through collaborative learning (ditsl.org > Research > Trans-SEC).

Supervision: To be jointly supervised by DITSL (apl. Prof. Dr. Brigitte Kaufmann, Dr. Pamela Ngwenya).

Application by: 16.09.16

To start thesis preparation by: 17.10.16

Participation in Socio-ecology Module A08 recommended (26.09.16- 14.10.16)

Funded through the Research for the Global Food Supply (GlobE) initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Student facilitates video screening with CL group in Idifu, Dodoma (Source: Thapa 2015)

» Download full announcement