Knowledge for a sustainable world

Gillian Summers

Miranda Elsby is a current student on NRI’s MSc in Agriculture for Sustainable Development. In September, Miranda was selected to be a ‘student reporter’ at the annual Conference on Tropical and Subtropical Agricultural and Natural Resource Management, also known as Tropentag 2016. This conference addresses issues of resource management, environment, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food, nutrition and related sciences in the context of rural development, sustainable resource use and poverty alleviation worldwide, and this year’s theme was ‘Solidarity in a competing world – fair use of resources’.

This conference ties in well with Miranda’s MSc programme at NRI, her background and her future plans. Miranda is originally from Vancouver, Canada, where she grew up on a dairy farm; her background and interest in agriculture were important factors when it came to choosing the MSc in Agriculture for Sustainable Development. In addition, she says, “the programme flexibility allowed me to complete an independent research project jointly with the entomology lab back in Canada where I work. I was able to enjoy a mix of field data collection in Canada with course work and classroom learning here at NRI.”

Of her time at NRI, she says, “I have really enjoyed my learning experience here, particularly the exposure to challenges being faced by farmers and development agencies in lower-middle income countries – a topic that was not frequently discussed in my undergraduate coursework in Canada. It was also great to learn from and with my international classmates.”Student Reporters 2016 640

Here Miranda provides a perspective of her experience as student reporter at Tropentag 2016:
“This past September, I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of twelve students who received sponsorship to attend the Tropentag 2016 conference in Vienna, Austria. This event was the annual conference of Tropical and Subtropical Agricultural and Natural Resource Management, which is jointly organized by a number of European universities as well as the Council for Tropical and Subtropical Research. The conference focused on topics that are highly parallel to my studies at NRI, including sustainable and fair use of resources in a competing world; the increasing demand for sustainable food production; and gender policy issues affecting lower middle income countries. As a sponsored student, my duties included journalistic coverage of the conference proceedings, which gave all the students a fantastic opportunity to engage with presenters and conference attendees in a unique way. The highlight of this experience for me was working alongside other like-minded students interested in sustainable agriculture. The group of student reporters represented five continents, which offered a great mix of background, skills, and outlooks. The welcome dinner in the extravagant Vienna City Hall was undoubtedly another memorable highlight! For any students looking for an intense and rewarding week of sustainable agriculture workshops, writing, photography, and networking, I would absolutely recommend applying to this program in 2017. Please visit the following sites to see our coverage of the conference proceedings, and for more information on the student reporter program: | City Hall Welcome Dinner 750

As she finishes her MSc here at NRI, Miranda now looks to the future. Her plans include returning to Canada and remaining in a research-type role. “I also hope to become more active in British Columbia Young Farmers, an organisation that supports and encourages young farmers, particularly women, to enter and succeed in the industry,” she concludes.

If you are interested in food security, the challenges faced by farmers in the developing world, the role of agriculture in stimulating economic growth, agricultural and biotechnological science, and the economic and social context in which agriculture operates, apply for the MSc in Agriculture for Sustainable Development today!

Links: MSc Agriculture for Sustainable Development | Tropentag |