“Before I got to know what agriculture really was, I never imagined I could be a part of it”...
I have always been connected to the world of nature. Since I was a small kid, I loved exploring flowers, trees and even the smallest insects in the soil. I was excited about every single butterfly or an earthworm. My hands were constantly “brown” from the soil. My favourite lessons at school were biology and geography. And even though I was a small and shy girl, I knew that one day I would go to see the world.
After graduating from high school, I started a degree in Indian studies. I was passionate about the culture and geography of Southeast Asia, especially in Sri Lanka, which has later become my second home. But my expectations were not fulfilled. I felt that this was not the way to connect my passion for tropical Asian countries and a university degree. After some extensive research of all the universities in the Czech Republic, I finally found a programme that might suit me the most. So I became a student of the study programme on International Cooperation in Agriculture and Rural Development (ICARD) at the Czech University of Life Sciences (CZU) in Prague. This bachelor degree offers courses targeted to Tropical Agriculture, International Development, World Food Security and overall Economical overview of (especially) third world countries. Plus, it offers a wide range of options and chances to travel abroad, through Erasmus, Bilateral agreements or several development projects. So in fact, everything I could ever wish for. There, I finally understood what agriculture really is, all that belongs under it and how important it is to make the youth interested in it. If there is no agriculture, there is no planet Earth.
As I mentioned before, my interest in Tropical Agriculture comes from my regular visits to Sri Lanka. Even though its landscape is mostly known as the “land of the tea”, the island is widely varied in climates, which makes it perfectly suitable for almost any kind of agricultural production. In the coastal area, you can find large coconut and banana plantations. The northern part of the island is a home for paddy fields. This hill country does not only offer breathtaking views of the mountains but here you can also find large tea plantations, together with small-scale vegetable farms. So whether you want to devote your career or research to potato cultivation or coconut palms, Sri Lanka is worth considering. And for me, it will always be the number one country. The country where I love to come back and where I will hopefully spend my future life!
Currently, I am doing a literature review research on Tea Plantations and Fair Trade in Sri Lanka. Due to COVID restrictions, I was not able to collect my data there. But I am ready to continue my research later for my master's studies.
I cannot tell you right now, where my future will lead. But what I already know for sure is that studies of agriculture completely changed my life and my point of view to the world.
Picture credit: Kristýna Havlová