An exchange between Göttingen and Colombia - developing a focus in sustainable agricultural development at the EAFIT University, with support from Göttingen

In the future, development economists from the University of Göttingen Faculty of Economic Sciences will work closely with economists from the Colombian university, EAFIT, in Medellín. Together, they will develop a specialization in the area of sustainable agricultural development in the context of a master's programme in applied economics at the Colombian university. The project will be financed by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The funding was secured by Prof. Marcela Ibañez Diaz, Ph.D., Professor of Development Economics in the Faculty of Economic Sciences. EAFIT University is a partner university of the Faculty.

Prof. Ibañez Diaz explains, "Im Verlauf der nächsten vier Jahre werden wir im Rahmen des Projektes ein konkretes Lehrprogramm mit entsprechenden Lehrveranstaltungen für den neuen Schwerpunktbereich entwickeln und uns dabei an den Strukturen der Göttinger Masterstudiengänge orientieren" (in the course of the next four years, we will develop a concrete teaching programme with relevant courses for the new specializations, taking lessons from the structure of the master's programme in Göttingen). In addition, knowledge transfer between Göttingen and Colombia will be deepened through the exchange of students and faculty. For example, an academic workshop will be organized once a year. Lastly, in Colombia, partnerships with local agricultural industries will be established in order to provide students with real world relevancy and for opportunities for research collaboration.

The agricultural sector plays an important role in Colombia. In the context of increasing population growth and climate change, the agricultural sector faces many challenges. The development of sustainable agriculture is an important goal to ultimately fight against poverty and hunger of the (rural) population. Prof. Ibañez Diaz adds, "Insbesondere im Bereich der nachhaltigen Landwirtschaft werden aber bislang noch zu wenige Fachkräfte in Kolumbien ausgebildet. Dem möchten wir mit der Etablierung des neuen Schwerpunktbereichs an der Universität EAFIT entgegen wirken" (particularly in the areas of sustainable agriculture, not enough people are trained as specialists in Colombia. We would like to counter this by establishing a new specialty area at the EAFIT University).