European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE) 14th Congress

The IARD students from left to right: Pamela Velasco (Bolivia) and Andrea Juarez (Honduras).

From the 26th to the 28th of August two IARD students participated in the EAAE (European Association of Agricultural Economists) 14th Congress in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The participation pf the IARD students in this internationally and scientifically acclaimed event was possible thanks to DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauch Dienst) sponsorship.

The agenda of the congress consisted of different plenary sessions, organized sessions (with a mediator), contributed sessions, poster presentations and study tours. Equally frequent were the opportunities for networking that included various social activities.

The following is a summary highlighting the main activities the IARD students took part in:

Tuesday 26th August 2014

  • OECD Session: The day began with an OECD session that covered the main topic: "Agriculture policies and the environmental challenges in OECD countries". The latter narrowed into three different presentations given by OECD staff: "Reviewing the global agricultural markets and policy context" (by Jesus Antón); "Moving towards green growth in agriculture" (by Guillaume Gruère); and "Climate change, water and agriculture: a framework for adaptation strategies" (by Jussi Lankoski).

  • Opening Ceremony: Following the OECD session there was an opening ceremony that began with the welcome addressees' of the president of the Slovenian Association of Agricultural Economists (Mr. Jernej Turk); the Minister for Agriculture and Environment of Slovenia (Mr. Dejan Zidan); and the president of the Republic of Slovenia (Mr. Borut Pahor).

  • A concise, remarkable and pro-environment speech was given by Mr. Janez Potocnik, the EU Commissioner for the Environment: "Towards sustainable Europe". During his presentation, Mr. Potocnik spoke about the issues associated with the fact that resources are limited, and highlighted the importance of recycling (circular economy), cost structures and innovation capacities.

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    Mr. Janez Potocnik during his presentation at the EAAE 2014 Congress.

  • Mr. Allan Matthews' current President of the EAAE, gave a presentation under the title:"Trade rules, food security and the multilateral trade negotiations". Mr. Matthews discussed the impacts of trade on food availability and accessibility, and observed that current WTO trade regulations need specific revision. Finally he gave a review of the Doha Round alternatives to current trade issues.

  • Welcome reception: After the presentations and welcoming addresses, all the participants took part in a well-organized reception that was an initial chance for networking. Different dishes evoking the roman era of the Emona city (present Ljubljana), roman spiced wines, and staffs dressed up in roman clothing were part of the atmosphere.

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    Welcome reception evoking the ancient roman city of Emona.

    The welcome reception was an excellent chance for initial networking.

    Wednesday 27th August 2014

  • Contributed paper session: the second day of the congress, the students attended a contributed paper session titled: "Contract design in complex food networks" during the first part of the morning. The session was primarily focused on different cases and studies concerning transaction costs within vertical integration, margin gains and prices in local markets.

  • Poster session and contributed paper session: during the afternoon, the students took part in different activities. One poster session was attended concerning Food origin and quality schemes, and another contributed paper session regarding price volatility and international trade. During the poster session various participants presented posters summarizing their study results, and after each presentation there was a question-answer session.

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    In the picture above, Dr. Sebastian Lakner presenting the results from a study he carried out with some of his colleagues including past IARD student M.Sc. Thelma Brenes.

  • City tour: a guided tour through the city of Ljubljana was organized for the participants. The tour included the main sight-seeing places and attractions in the city. After this, everyone took part in a "down-town gathering" in the city center. Snacks and drinks were offered and it was yet another opportunity that fostered friendly networking.

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    A shot from Ljubljana city. Author: S. Lakner, 2014.

    Thursday 28th August 2014

  • Morning program: there was a plenary session in which distinguished Prof. Catherine Kling from Iowa State University, USA talked about agricultural land use and water quality among other issues. Following her, Prof. Salvatore di Falco, from Geneva University, discussed the drivers related to climate change adaptation in sub-Saharan agriculture.

  • Study tour - Novo mesto Region: the IARD students joined the study tour named "Short supply chain for fruits and vegetables". The study tour took place in Novo mesto, a region in the southeast of Slovenia. There they met with the director and marketing representative of the agricultural cooperative KRKA. The cooperative purchases meats, milk , vegetables and fruits from small farmers from the region, and in turn it helps them providing discounted material inputs and helping selling the product. It's Slovenia's largest national supplier of fruits and vegetables. (Webpage for further information:

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    Above, a moment between the participants visiting the KRKA Cooperative. Credits: EAAE Congress 2014 photos.

    The representatives of KRKA Cooperative before beginning their presentation.

    Greenhouse belonging to one of the KRKA Cooperative members.

    The students were utterly satisfied with their participation in this event. Their impressions and opinions are on the left side of this page.