The inauguration ceremony of SAFS project
Since 2002, the Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences, University of Kassel (UNI KASSEL) and the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences of Agricultural University of Georgia (AUG) have cooperated to enhance the scientific research and practical applications to sustain the diversity of regional food culture, organic agriculture and nature conservation. Within the framework of this bilateral research partnership and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), there are successful research projects, study programs and educational exchange activities. From 2017, both universities initiated to establish a long-term structured graduate program, called “Sustainable Agricultural and Food Systems (SAFS) Structured Doctoral Program” to deepen and integrate learning and research about real-world and complex issues in agricultural and food systems. Especially, this graduate program aims to enhance youth engagement in research activities in the South-Caucasian region based on international standards. Volkswagen Foundation in Germany and Rustaveli Foundation in Georgia finance this joint project (until end of January 2022). The inauguration ceremony of SAFS project was held on 1st of November 2018 at the Agricultural University of Georgia, Tbilisi, Georgia, with the presence of the honorable Deputy Minister of the Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia and other international as well as national distinguished delegations. Among the international delegation to the event, Prof. Dr. Harmut Vogtmann, the honorary president of IFOAM and the former president of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), Germany, and Dr. Olcay Ünver, UN Water-Vice President and Director of Land and Water Division of FAO attended on behalf of the SAFS advisory committee to the inauguration ceremony.