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International topics again in the focus of professional work

The pandemic has been occupying us for more than one and a half years now and, as we know, has made international cooperation much more difficult. The DLG is active worldwide with a large number of conferences, trade fairs and the accompanying competence programme and has already been able to achieve great successes in recent years. From a strategic point of view, this is absolutely necessary in order to be able to assess and follow global trends and challenges. "Understanding Global Farming" is one of the guiding principles of our network, in order to be able to perceive possibilities and opportunities beyond our own horizon.

Our International Study on Agriculture within the framework of Agrifuture Insights plays a particularly important role here. Erik Guttulsröd, Head of Farm Management and Sustainability at the Competence Centre, examines the trends and developments and incorporates the results into the daily work of the DLG.

Now, at the end of the pandemic situation, we need to pick up where we left off. Due to the increasing progress of the vaccination campaign here and in other countries, international activities are once again becoming the focus of our DLG network. Thus, the DLG Committee for International Partnerships met on 22.09.2021 in a digital committee meeting on the DLG platform (DLG.conference) and thus represented an exemplary "starting shot" for international exchange again.

Dr Alex Lissitsa, as Vice-Chairman of the Eastern Europe Country Working Group, presented the current activities to the committee and reported on key topics with regard to digitalization in plant production, independent variety trials and the topic of milk and meat substitute products. It is clear here that the DLG committee work is generating a high level of attention and is becoming visible, as the new requests to participate in the Country Working Group are always in good demand and are continuing to develop.

DLG International is currently involved in a project in Thailand that focuses on the further development of cluster farms. This was presented to the participants by Frederik Tipp and Katharina Staske from the DLG office, who are working on and developing the challenge of farmers in Thailand with the help of European expertise. In this context, there is also a growing interest in the exchange of the young generation. An exchange between the Young Smart Farmers from Thailand and the Young DLG has now been initiated and will be continued at the Regional Summit of Agritechnica Asia in November in the form of a discussion forum.

For the further technical work in the committee, however, the focus is also on dealing with the Supply Chain Act in relation to agriculture. Thomas König from GIZ gave a short presentation on the impacts and effects of the law. After a lively discussion in the committee, a more in-depth consideration was taken up for further technical work and a forum at the DLG Winter Conference 2022 (DLG-Wintertagung) was considered. This example shows very well that we can only discuss and work on certain issues in an international context.

Knowledge transfer is a major advantage of our network and will gain in importance internationally in the future. This is the only way we can identify developments in the agricultural sector in good time and thus respond to current challenges. We hope that the last travel restrictions and barriers to contact will soon be lifted so that we can work together on international solutions for the future.