Bangkok calling: First Agri Science Slam at the German Embassy

Antje Eckel on crucial innovations for the future

Around 60 people attended exciting talks about agriculture at the first Agri Science Slam in Thailand, organised by the German Embassy in Bangkok and hosted by H.E. Ambassador Georg Schmidt and Agricultural Policy and Nutrition Officer Claudia Ebach. Both were visibly enthusiastic about the fascinating insights into current research projects provided by the three agricultural scientists who competed against each other at the ambassador’s residence that evening.

Dr Tobias Wojciechowski, scientific assistant at Forschungszentrum Jülich, is currently working on a Thai–German project to increase the yield of the cassava, also known as manioc. His slam brought a whole new perspective to botanical research.

Antje Eckel, Dr. agr. (Doctorate in Agricultural Sciences), CEO of Dr. Eckel Animal Nutrition, took the audience on a journey from the time when cattle was first domesticated all the way to the challenges of modern food production. It has become clear that animal welfare is no trend: indeed it is wisdom as old as human culture. Healthy animals produce good yields and good products, which translates into healthy food and healthy people. Antje Eckel described Dr. Eckel’s innovation of the past 25 years in the service of modern animal nutrition: from conceiving of reducing antibiotics in feeding—a revolutionary proposition at the time—to the latest resource-efficient, sustainable animal nutrition products, the first additives ever to be developed specifically to improve animal welfare. This is Dr. Eckel’s contribution to feeding the world’s steadily growing population in a manner that is sustainable, profitable and healthy for all—today and tomorrow.

The third competitor of the evening was Nathan Preteseille, co-founder of the Asian Food and Feed Insect Association (AFFIA). The young biochemist is currently working with an international team, researching into the use of insects for animal and human nutrition. His talk called ‘What’s the bug? Addressing insects as feed and food’ received the audience’s longest applause of the evening and earned him his victory in this First Agri Science Slam.

Ambassador Georg Schmidt awarded each of the three competitors an ngob, a traditional Thai farmer’s hat, as a trophy for their performance. All agreed that this was indeed a successful evening with numerous exciting insights into innovative research and a highly entertaining performance.