(last update 20-11-2015)


International DAAD-Alumni Winter School “Organic agriculture in developing countries – Quality management along organic agri-value chains: production, post-harvest technology, processing, marketing and trade”,
held February, 2nd (arrival date) to February 9th 2016 (departure date to Nuremberg) in Witzenhausen, Germany
followed by a visit to the world's leading trade fair for organic products
BioFach 2016, February 10th - 12th 2016 in Nuremberg, Germany
(departure date from Germany is February 13th)

The seminar and trade fair visit are part of the program DAAD Alumni Special Projects.

The program is organized and hosted by the Department of Agricultural Engineering in the Tropics and Subtropics of the Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences of the University of Kassel (Prof. Dr. Oliver Hensel, www.uni-kassel.de/fb11agrar/en/sections/agrartechnik) and DITSL Witzenhausen (www.ditsl.org)

in close cooperation with the
Department of Organic Food Quality and Food Culture of the Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences of the University of Kassel (Prof. Dr. Dr. Angelika Ploeger, www.uni-kassel.de/fb11agrar/en/sections/oekologische-lebensmittelqualitaet-und-ernaehrungskultur)

with financial support from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

The seminar targets German University alumni from developing countries (DAC country nationals) who studied, carried out research or worked in Germany for at least 3 months and are presently living and working in their home countries. The alumni should be professionally involved in production, handling, transport, processing, marketing, certification, accreditation or legislation in the field of organic agriculture and in the framework of rural or urban, public or private sector development, and should be working for academic or educational institutions, development organizations, NGO's, donor agencies or private enterprises. The prospective participants should be potential multipliers in a position to spread the acquired knowledge and experience and/or take decisions on implementation.

The seminar will promote exchange between the participants in the field of organic production and produces, facilitate international scientific cooperation and qualify the participants in the field of quality management along organic agri-value chains. The seminar will foster exchange of experiences, establishment of international networks between the participants, scientific discourse on organic agri-value chains and international academic cooperation in this field. It will stimulate and promote ideas for joint research, strategy development and knowledge transfer.

The seminar is scheduled in the run-up to the BIOFACH 2016 (www.biofach.de). BIOFACH in Nuremberg is the place where people share their passionate interest in organic food, get to know each other and exchange views, and this for more than 25 years. As a visiting professional you can meet organic producers from the international organic market and be inspired by the sector’s latest international trends. In 2015 BIOFACH attracted 2,141 exhibitors and 44,624 trade visitors from 130 countries.

The Topics

The Topics of the DAAD Alumni Seminar are:

  • Principles of organic agriculture (production and processing of organic products)
  • Status-quo and capacity analysis of organic agri-value chains in participants home countries
  • Agricultural value chains in developing countries – reduction of losses (volume/quality/value) and opportunities for additional value creation
  • International standards for organic products
  • Local and national Standards for organic products in participants home countries and strategies for export market access
  • Quality of organic products – methods of quality assessments (laboratory measurements, sensor technology)
  • Standards for food safety and quality management systems
  • Marketing of organic products – regional and international value chains and the organization of smallholders in developing countries
  • Business plan development for enterprises within the organic sector

The Program in Witzenhausen

The program will include:
  • Papers and case studies presented by the participants (alumni) and invited experts
  • Group work and group discussions
  • Lectures, seminars and practical workshops
  • Excursions to organic and fair trade producers and retailers and to the university’s extension farm Frankenhausen

Cost Coverage

The following expenses will mainly be covered by funds of the DAAD provided by the BMZ:
  • International return ticket (to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt)
  • Transport from Frankfurt airport to Witzenhausen (by train)
  • Transport from Witzenhausen to BIOFACH 2016 in Nuremberg (by bus)
  • Transport from the Hotel in Nuremberg to Frankfurt Airport
  • Entrance fees and transport to the visited projects during the excursions
  • Entrance fees at the Trade Fair in Nuremberg
  • Accommodation and living expenses during the stay in Witzenhausen and Nuremberg
  • Travel health insurance (max. 30 EUR) and visa costs for the stay in Germany

Please note: All other costs, such as transport costs from participants’ home town to their home airport or travel costs for visa application in the home country have to be borne by the participants.
Please keep in mind that living expenses are only covered partly during your stay in Witzenhausen as well as in Nuremberg.

Participants’ Profile:

Eligible for participation are:
  • German university alumni from developing countries (DAC country nationals) who have stayed in Germany for at least three months for study or research purposes and are:
  • Residents of DAC-countries and are:
  • Working in the field of organic developing, marketing, certification or similar disciplines and are:
  • Multipliers, e.g. people who are in a position to spread the acquired knowledge and experience.
  • Women are particularly encouraged to apply.

Application Requirements and Process:

Please send your application latest by 29th of November 2015 via email to: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein! .

» Download the application form (docx)

The application (in English language) must include the following documents in one single pdf file:

  • A letter of application, stating your motivation for participation and your special interest in the topic
  • A short CV with personal data: Therefore download the Application Form
  • An abstract on „Organic agri-value chains” with reference to the participants' home country and self involvement in the field of organic agriculture (the main topics are listed above; abstracts must not exceed one page; please use font type “Arial”, font size 11, 1.5 line spacing)
  • A short description of your present duties/position and your personal professional goals, indicating your envisaged field of activities and duty level
  • An overview on seminars, workshops or conferences visited in Germany after finishing your studies in Germany
  • A passport size portrait photograph

The PDF-document has to be named ‘Last name_First name_country’ (e.g. Boehm_Franziska_Germany).

Please note: Completeness of personal data mentioned in the online application form will affect your eligibility as a participant.

The seminar will be held in English, hence English proficiency is essential to follow the presentations and participate in the discussions. It is necessary to participate in the whole program (seminar, trade fair visit and social program).

The program for the visit to the organic trade fair BIOFACH 2016 is prepared by the DAAD.

All applicants will be informed about the results of the selection process latest by mid of Dezember 2015.

Travel dates

The date of arrival in Germany will be February 2nd, 2016 (arrival at Frankfurt International Airport, FRA).
The date of departure from Germany will be February 13th, 2016 (departure from Frankfurt).

For any further questions please contact the organization team

Mrs. Franziska Böhm and Mrs. Anne Siegmeier
DITSL Witzenhausen
Steinstrasse 19, 37213 Witzenhausen, Germany
Fax: +49 (0) 5542 607 39
E-mail: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!

Organic Food Quality and Food Culture