Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Between 26 November and 10 December 2014 I was Visiting Professor at the National Agrarian University of Habana (UNAH), Centre for Agrarian and Rural Studies (CEDAR), as guest of Prof. Rafael Ojeda, the Director of CEDAR. During this visit, I gave an intensive series of lectures to a group of more than 30 lecturers and researchers of the University and organized, together with CEDAR, knowledge exchange seminars  on topics such as food security, land grab, agrofuels, inequality, water policy and land reform. Furthermore, I gave lectures to the Masters Programme (around 40 students) in Sustainable Agrarian and Rural Development, and held discussions with the authorities of the University about possible cooperation with ISS, in particular in the field of education and research on Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies /AFES), which will hopefully result into joint research and publications, research stays in Cuba for ISS doctoral students, and CEDAR staff studying at ISS. Finally, there were visits to innovative small farmers and a workshop with members of one of the Municipal University Centres (CUM), in the town of Madruga, which are supported with training and education by CEDAR/UNAH.

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From 9-13 June 2014 I was invited at the Institute of Development Economics (ID/JETRO) in Tokyo, Japan, to give some lectures on the topic “Agricultural and Rural Development Policy: Interventions and Institutions”, and to talk about future cooperation..The topics included:

  • Changing global and national institutions, actors and political structures, and policies, focusing on rural and agrarian transformation in developing countries and transition economies.
  • The current environment of global markets and the dominance of private agri-business and global value-chains; the impact of liberalization, deregulation and privatization policies and the role of domestic/international institutions of governance.
  • The increasing rural-urban inequalities (income, access to services, assets and risk), weak social policies for the rural population, but also within growing linkages between rural and urban spaces, expanded peri-urban and peri-rural areas; the  intensified flows of goods, services and information, but also the localized initiatives of ‘food sovereignty’, and new forms of rural institutions and organizations.

The lectures were given especially for a group of officials (from government, but also from private business) who were preparing themselves to study abroad, and had already been accepted at well-known univrsities in th US, UK, and Singapore.

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Between 9-20 December 2013 I assisted Joop de Wit from ISS in gving a tailormde course on “Management of Natural Resources”. Our counterpart is already a longstanding one, namely the Ho Chi Minh Academy, which stands for the training and research insitutes of the Party. We had had already some staff members from the academy at ISS in the past years, and we jointly planned the course. This course was given in the premisses of the HCM Academy (see photo participants).

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We also planned and executed an intesief 3-days fieldwork visit to the province of Thanh Hoa, where the group studied the various aspects of the pollution of an important canal, which was mainly used for irrigation, but also for household use. We discussed the problems with the people’s committee of the municipality close to the canal, and finally made group reports in order to come to analysis of the actual problems and possible suggestions for solution to diminish the pollution in severeal parts of the canal.

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DSC02668  The polluted canal, close to Thanh Hoa (around`160 km south of Hanoi)

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