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VII International Scientific Agriculture Symposium “AgroSym 2016”, Jahorina, Bosnia and Herzegovina 6th – 9th October 2016
The BSPP awarded me a travel grant to give an oral presentation at this international conference which was a fantastic opportunity to present my current PhD research to a wider agricultural audience and network with leading scientists from other countries which I would otherwise have not had the chance to interact with. “AgroSym 2016” was organised as a collaboration between University of East Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), CIHEAM – Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (Italy) and University of Belgrade (Serbia); however delegates from 30 different countries made up the scientific committee. There were over 1,000 delegates from more than 30 countries in attendance whose knowledge base covered a number of different aspects involved in agricultural research. The main aim of the conference was to provide an international platform to discuss the development of science between academia, public institutions, the private sector and civil society organisations on the recent global and regional trends in the agro-food sector.
The conference started with keynote speakers who covered different topics affecting the general agricultural community.
The conference was opened by Professor Dr Dieter Trautz who discussed the evolvement of technology in organic farming and further talks covered issues with cooperation between institutes in science, organic management of soil and the effects of climate change on forestry. The provision of ample time to discuss talks after they had been presented was a good way to instigate what was a lively and interactive session between the keynotes and listeners in a productive manner.
After the general welcome and keynote speakers, the conference was split into several different areas based on topic which maximised the number of delegates which were able to orally present their research. The main areas covered by the conference were: plant production, plant protection and food safety, organic agriculture, environment protection and natural resources management, animal husbandry, rural development and agro-economy, and forestry and agroforestry. Of these topics my research is in plant protection and food safety so I remained in that session and unfortunately did not get to listen to research from the other areas covered.
The research presented in the session I was in was extremely interesting and discussion sessions were always interactive and friendly with most delegates getting involved. There were a large number of successful studies being presented with a number of different management methods being shown as potentially useful control methods in the field. One presentation by demonstrated a very high level of control by essential oils on the Confused Flour Beetle, including a compound which my work is based around; this was fantastic to listen to as I both got a chance to speak to the presenters about their work and appreciate the research being performed on my subject successfully at other institutes.
My oral presentation was received well and sparked a good discussion around alternative methods to nematicides where several delegates were interested in the parameters required to successfully use biofumigation and natural chemicals in the field with a focus on differences in climate between countries. In addition to the extensive sessions where a large number of oral and poster presentations were presented, there was plenty of time for networking in between sub-sessions. I spoke to a number of different delegates who work in integrated and biological control, including one professor who I have exchanged several emails with since the conference about potential future collaborations.
Overall, attendance at “AgroSym 2016” was a success. I presented my research to a wide agricultural audience which resulted in a useful discussion where I gained the contact details from several delegates interested in my work of which I am currently in contact with one, highlighting the usefulness of attendance at the conference. I also got to network with people from different countries whose work I found interesting and useful providing me with ideas and further knowledge to complete my PhD with. As an added bonus, the conference location and inclusion of an excursion to the historically important Sarajevo meant that I managed to visit a country which I would otherwise probably not have had the opportunity to explore. I would like to thank BSPP for the travel grant which allowed this to be possible and for giving me this fantastic opportunity to present my research at an important international conference.
Claire Wood Newcastle University and Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA)