Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
1) Welsh Institute of Rural Studies, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DD; 2) Department of Ecological Agriculture, Wageningen Agricultural University, 6709 RZ Wageningen; 3) Dipartimento di Produzione vegetale, UniversitÓ della Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo; 4) Department of Ecological Agriculture, Faculty of Agronomy,, University Gh Kassel, D-37213 Witzenhausen; 5) ISARA, DÚpartement Sciences et Techniques de la Production Agricole, 69288 Lyon Cedex 02; 6) Department of Agricultural Sciences, Agroecology, KVL, DK-2630 Taastrup; 7Welsh Institute of Rural Studies, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DD; 8) Department of Crop Production Science, SLU, S-750 07 Uppsala
With a growing number of farmers converting to production by Ecological/Organic methods and increasing public awareness of environmental issues, the current education of students in the Agricultural Sciences is failing to meet the new demands of both the farming community and the agriculture industry. It is no longer sufficient for all graduates to be narrowly focused upon one aspect of production, an understanding of systems as a whole and their interactions with external factors is vital to provide farmers with the support they require. The study of Ecological Agriculture provides the ideal basis for learning about the complexity of natural and farming systems. At present the facilities available for students wishing to study Ecological Agriculture in Europe are limited. To address this problem a group was formed with the purpose of developing a common curriculum in Ecological Agriculture, firstly, a years specialisation at BSc level, covering a broad range of topics from eco-technology to soil science, and secondly, M.SC courses in Agroecology. It is intended that the B.SC level courses will have been implemented by the participating
institutions by the academic year 1998/99. Implementation of the common curriculum will have numerous benefits; it will allow a wider range of courses to be offered at each institution by utilising staff and information exchange. Increased communication between institutions will also foster and enhance research links. The existence of the common courses at B.SC level will ease student exchange. It is intended that during the second semester of the specialisation the students will study at a second institution, providing them with experience of a greater range of farming systems, methods of study and broadening their education as a whole. The poster outlines the work of the group, illustrating the achievements already attained and highlighting the areas to be considered in the future.