With the expansion of markets for organic products as a result of increased environmental concern and consumer interest, organic agriculture has emerged globally as a recognizable sector. In order to meet the challenge of producing healthy, socially responsible and ecologically sound food, the MSc programme Organic Agriculture explores food production, food consumption and multi-functional land use using multiple disciplines (i.e. plant -, animal-, social - and environmental sciences), multiple perspectives (i.e. sustainability, health and ethics) and different geographical scales (local, regional and global). Therefore, a systems approach characterizes both research and education in organic agriculture. The programme highly values the integration of theory and practice by focusing on action learning and action research. The MSc-programme Organic Agriculture prepares students for a wide range of positions related to multiple land use, organic agriculture and the food production chain.
After succesful completion of this MSc programme graduates are expected to be able to:
- apply systems approaches in studying, designing and evaluating (agricultural) systems and food production chains. S/he is an organic designer, able to apply multidisciplinary approaches to find creative alternatives for conventional solutions that can not be implemented or are not desired in organic agriculture;
- explain the difference between the nature and requirements of adequately managed organic and conventional agricultural systems, as well as the theoretical underpinning of the differences in management and the relevance of underlying agro-ecological processes;
- understand and reflect on agricultural practices, based on knowledge and understanding of the scientific disciplines plant and animal production, soil science, integrated approaches to ensure plant/ animal health, chain management, legislation, consumer behaviour, communication and education;
- integrate knowledge from social and natural sciences in order to address questions in the field of interest within the programme (beta-gamma integration);
- identify strengths and weaknesses of organic agriculture;
- think critically;
- actively acquire and link knowledge in innovation and transition processes;
- communicate effectively, with sensitivity to the needs of others, to have an open mind towards new ideas and the ability to play a pivotal role in innovations and innovation networks.
- Agro Ecology;
- Consumer and Market.
Dr G.J. Kuipers
Phone: 0317-(4)84767/ 82839
Drs C.A. Langeveld
Phone: 0317-(4)83571/ 82140
Chair: Prof. dr ir A.E.J. Wals
Secretary: Dr G.J. Kuipers
StEL, Students Organic Agriculture