Agricultural experts from the University of Hohenheim rate the results of the World Food Summit in Rome as very disappointing. UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon called for an annual investment of 30 billion dollars to improve global agriculture. But, conference participants only agreed to short-term measures amounting to a total investment of less than 10 billion dollars.
In the 1990s, expenditure for agricultural research in Germany and Europe were in decline, and agricultural faculties at German universities still have money saving measures in place. There are some positive examples from Asia where the budget for agricultural research has increased by 4 per cent annually since 1980. To achieve a reversal of the current trend, scientists called for agricultural systems that addressed the needs of small farmers in developing countries. They are aiming at agriculture that will lead to greater produce yields with less water, whilst not neglecting climate protection, protection of species, guaranteeing sufficient food supply and the prevention of political crises.
The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at the University of Hohenheim has the following priorities: securing global nutrition, quality and safety in the food chain, renewable resources and bioenergy, the adaptation of agricultural production systems to the consequences of global change, in particular to climate changes and the availability of water and the maintenance of genomic diversity in agricultural production. The faculty has 49 professors and 480 staff members of whom 220 are working on scientific issues. The faculty currently runs three bachelor’s degree courses, 10 master’s programmes and one PhD course for approx. 1,700 students as well as supervising about 350 PhD students.