Ren Cao, M.A. Food Studies

Bioversity International, Rome, Italy
The internship I completed with Bioversity International has given me the opportunity to explore many different areas of study, including environmental policy, food, and livelihood. As a member of the External Engagement Department at Bioversity International, my primary duty was to undertake a desk review that profiles and helps identify candidate city-rural regions (up to 100km from the city) in the southern and northern Mediterranean suitable for a proposal to develop cross border alliances that promote business and small and medium enterprise (SME) development through strengthening of networks and value chains and food system diversification, nutrition, and environmental health. My day-to-day work has involved everything in the office from drafting a policy paper based necessary candidate regional data to developing a comprehensive proposal focused on Bioversity International’s role and strength in using the agro-biodiversity index to improve local livelihood resilience in the identified candidate regions in response to changing rural-urban migration pattern. These data have been reported to the internship supervisor regularly and preserved for drafting Bioversity’s submission of proposal for the ENI-CBC “Cross Border Cooperation” policy program for strengthening cooperation between the Northern and Southern sides of the Mediterranean Sea. During this internship experience, I have learned quite a lot about the international research institute and the practical research experience that will help me succeed in future academic and professional experiences.