HFFA Research is an independent scientific consultancy on key issues in global agriculture, environment and development. Our aim is to deliver top quality research, consulting and evaluation services to our clients. Our team of interdisciplinary researchers has ample international experience and uses state-of-the-art methods to provide our clients with the tailor-made solutions they are looking for.

Alica Nagel
Researcher & Project Manager

Alica Nagel is a business economist with a strong focus on international agriculture and development cooperation. She holds a Bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in Business Administration from Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin, as well as a Master’s degree (M.Sc.) in Global Change Management from the University of Sustainable Development Eberswalde. Alica wrote her master’s thesis in collaboration with the Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), where she focused on participatory impact assessments regarding more sustainable banana production in Uganda.


Alica’s primary expertise lies in international agriculture, specifically on topics related to food security, deforestation, sustainable supply chains as well as standards and certification. Her portfolio includes the assessment of corporate sustainability performance, benchmarking as well as multi-stakeholder approaches for sustainable development. Her current focus lies on climate change adaptation measures as well as the impact assessment of agroecological practices.


Alica has practical work experience as an advisor for WWF Germany in the Department of Agriculture and Land Use Change and has collaborated with partners from GIZ and Welthungerhilfe. She has international experience in Zambia and Malaysia and is well-trained in managing international projects. Through an internship at the International Climate Initiative (IKI) she gained a good understanding of climate diplomacy and negotiations. Before joining HFFA Research, Alica conducted training as a data analyst to effectively manage the increasing amount of data available.


Alica speaks German and English

+49 (0)30 21 96 17 12

Annika Napier-Smith

Annika Napier-Smith obtained a Master of Law in International Human Rights Law from the Europa Viadrina University in 2021, where she focused on human rights violations on tea plantations in northeast India. She holds a bachelor’s in Art with a focus on journalism and social justice from the University of Pittsburgh.


Annika specializes in social development and has international experience in human rights law, indecent work, and food security. Her interests include smallholder upgrading in agriculture, global value chain sustainability, good governance, and legal accountability. In these areas, she has experience conducting legal analyses, feasibility studies, research reports, and stakeholder acquisition measures. She is currently exploring opportunities for rural development and inclusion in global seed system, as well as climate change adaptability measures in organic farming, focusing on plant protection.


Annika moved to Germany in 2018 as a fellow with the Bundestag and US State Department where she trained in diplomacy. During this time, she worked with the International Center for Development and Decency Work as a Project Associate, where she consulted on projects for FAO, ILO, and Oxfam. In this role, her research focused on value chain upgrading and collective bargaining in agricultural sectors in the global south. For the entire duration of her Masters’, she worked at the Berlin Social Sciences Center as a Student Assistant.


Annika is a native English speaker and speaks German.

Juliane Kaufmann
Managing Director


Juliane has an interdisciplinary background in natural resource economics (M.Sc.) and social sciences (B.A.) from Humboldt-University zu Berlin and Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf; and an additional qualification in international development cooperation from the Centre for Rural Development (SLE) in Berlin.


Her work focuses on sustainable agricultural development in the interplay of socio-economic and environmental aspects. Her strength lies in bringing together various disciplines and looking at development from different perspectives. At HFFA Research GmbH, her specific focus is on climate change adaptation in agriculture, agroecology and food security. She advises on the creation of economic evidence for sustainable agricultural practices and has expertise in conducting different economic analysis such as cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness and multicriteria analysis.


Juliane has extensive and long-term international work experiences, especially in Africa and South-East Asia. In Cambodia she supported the GIZ in developing and implementing a digital social security system and the Welthungerhilfe in projects on land titling and livelihood development in rural areas. Juliane also brings knowledge on the conceptualization and implementation of OECD/DAC evaluations.


Juliane speaks German, English and French.
+49 (0)30 21 96 16 61

Katarina von Witzke
Researcher & Project Manager

Katarina von Witzke is an agricultural economist with a focus on modeling agricultural markets and policies as well as agricultural risk management and climate change adaptation. She has a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics from Humboldt University of Berlin.


Katarina has substantial experience in quantitative as well as qualitative data analysis in different areas of agricultural economics. In particular, she focusses on modelling policy implications on international agricultural markets. Additionally, she has spent many years working in the realm of agricultural risk management and climate adaptation strategies, especially in the context of index insurance. She specifically has experience in the development of econometric strategies for the (spatio-temporal) prediction of climate extremes in the context of agricultural insurance.


Furthermore, Katarina has completed internships at the Public and Government Affairs division of Bayer Crop Science in Brussels. She currently also manages her farm in Lower Saxony. Before joining HFFA Research, she worked for the chair of the farm management group at the Humboldt University of Berlin, where she was carried out projects regarding climate adaptation as well as the agricultural land market and worked as a freelance consultant.


She is a native speaker of English and German and has a basic knowledge of French and Russian.
+49 (0)30 21 96 17 12

Lina Staubach

Researcher & Project Manager

Lina Staubach is a political scientist specialized at the interface of governance, law, and sustainable agricultural development. She holds a master’s degree in political science from the Free University of Berlin as well as a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in public international law from the University of Leiden.


Lina’s scientific consultancy focuses on the analysis and impact assessment of agricultural, environmental, and rural policies and laws. Also, she has been working on agroecological and other nature-based solutions as well as on participatory research approaches in the context of climate change adaptation. Furthermore, Lina has experience in implementing OECD/DAC evaluations, and is particularly interested in social innovations during agricultural and related societal transformation processes.


Before, Lina worked as an advisor for the GIZ on projects dealing with civil society participation, anti-corruption, and decentralization in Zambia and Mauretania. Through her additional work for the Berlin-Office of the ILO as well as the German Permanent Mission to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva, she gained practical work experience in international cooperation on global labor standards.


During her interdisciplinary academic education, Lina contributed to scientific projects of the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum on International Humanitarian Law, the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, as well as the Collaborative Research Centre 597 Transformations of the State. As such, she has profound analytical skills and knowledge regarding qualitative research methods and design.


Lina is a German native speaker, is also fluent in English, and has a good working level of French.

Matti Cartsburg
Researcher & Project Manager

Matti Cartsburg has long-term experience in managing international projects and consulting assignments. He holds a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Humboldt University of Berlin.


As an Agricultural Economist with over 10 years of experience in quantitative data analysis and studying the international agricultural sector, Matti developed a particular expertise in modelling climate change and policy impacts on agricultural markets, cost-benefit analyses of climate adaptation measures and environmental assessments. A special focus of his work lies on the agricultural sector and its interdependencies with the water sector, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, and degeneration of soils. Additionally, Matti has ample routine in conducting impact assessments as well as implementing OECD/DAC evaluations of projects in international development cooperation.


Recently, Matti’s work has focused on cost-benefit-analyses of climate adaptation measures in several African and Latin American countries as well as methodological guidance on the valuation of agroecological practices. In the past, he has, amongst others, worked on several projects for the World Bank, GIZ, PIK, WWF, GFA, and different industry stakeholders.


Before joining HFFA Research GmbH, Matti co-founded the sblocs bikes GmbH, which develops and produces cargobikes, worked as a Project Manager at GFA Consulting Group GmbH and was a Partner of agripol – network for policy advice GbR.


Matti fluently speaks German and English as well as Spanish at a moderate level.
+49 (0)30 21 96 16 61

Sophia Lüttringhaus
Researcher & Project Manager

Dr. Sophia Lüttringhaus holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences from the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Her dissertation explored the economic value of plant genetic resources and plant breeding. She studied Agricultural Economics and International Relations at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Dresden University of Technology and Hunan Normal University in China.


Sophia Lüttringhaus is an interdisciplinary expert with international work experience in agricultural research for development and scientific consulting. Her work focuses on climate change adaptation, agro-biodiversity, plant genetic resources, crop production and food security. Within the realm of these topics, she conceptualizes impact assessments, monitoring and evaluations as well as cost-benefit analyses. Currently, Sophia manages several projects and consultancies. She is exploring the economic feasibility of climate change adaptation options in agricultural systems in sub-Saharan Africa and conducts an impact assessment of salt tolerant potato and sweetpotato varieties in Bangladesh.


During her dissertation project, Sophia Lüttringhaus was a Genebank Impacts Fellow for the Crop Trust and the International Potato Center (CGIAR center). Before joining HFFA Research GmbH, she worked at the think tank Climate Analytics, the International Climate Initiative (IKI)/GIZ and the BMZ.


Sophia Lüttringhaus is internationally experienced and fluently speaks German, Spanish, English, and French as well as Chinese and Portuguese at a basic level.

Steffen Noleppa
Managing Director

Steffen Noleppa is an agricultural economist and the managing director of HFFA Research GmbH. He holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics and a master’s degree in animal husbandry, both from Humboldt University of Berlin.


For more than 30 years, Steffen Noleppa has been involved in the analysis of global agricultural markets and rural politics as well as environmental transition processes. He has long-standing experiences in ex-post and ex-ante impact assessments and evaluations, in modelling of agricultural markets and policies, sector analysis and policy simulations. Since many years, he has also been working intensively in the field of climate change economics. He advises private companies, governments and ministries as well as NGOs on agricultural and environmental change processes across the globe.


Prior to HFFA Research GmbH, Steffen Noleppa worked as an assistant professor and researcher at the Chair for Agricultural Policy at Humboldt University of Berlin and as a guest researcher at the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC and the Iowa State University of Science and Development in Ames, IA.


Steffen Noleppa was co-founder and managing partner of agripol – network for policy advice GbR and is member of the German Association of Agricultural Economists, the European Association of Agricultural Economists, and the International Association of Agricultural Economists.


He fluently speaks German and English as well as Russian at a moderate level.
+49 (0)17 12 67 91 14 

+49 (0)30 21 96 16 61