Organic Agriculture

Academic Year 2015/2016 - 3° Year - Curriculum PRODUZIONI VEGETALI SOSTENIBILI
Teaching Staff: Paolo Guarnaccia
Credit Value: 6
Taught classes: 32 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

The course, after having examined the issues related to the sustainable use of natural resources and the maintenance of environmental balance, aims to provide a basic training on the principles and agronomic techniques used in organic farming on the most important crops spread in Mediterranean environment. Particular attention will be paid to issues relating to the maintenance of soil fertility, protection and enhancement of agricultural biodiversity and the reduction of chemical and energy inputs. The training program will provide students the skills necessary for the management of organic farms according to the relevant regulatory framework and to the control and certification system.

Detailed Course Content

Concept of environmental, economical and social sustainability; climate change, pollution and access to natural resources; consumption of water and soil; protection of the landscape; erosion and risks of soil desertification; energy balances, analysis of the life cycle carbon footprint and CO2 labeling; genetic erosion, GMOs, food security and sovereignty; definition, standards and organic agriculture values; history of Organic Agriculture and various forms of sustainable agriculture; soil fertility, organic matter and humic balance; maintenance of biodiversity and the role of the seed savers; quality of organic products; organic farming in the world, Europe, Italy and Sicily; regulatory framework on organic farming in Europe; converting a farm to organic agriculture methods; system of control and certification and labeling of products; Organic Farming agronomical techniques of the main Mediterranean crops; notes on organic livestock production and animal welfare; notes on the processing of organic products; traceability and products linked to the territory; multifunctionality of the organic farm and its services to the territory; short chain and alternative distribution models; fair remuneration for farmers; new frontiers of certification; research needs on Organic Agriculture.

Textbook Information

1. Giardini L., A come Agronomia. Pàtron Ed.

2. Altieri M.A., Nicholls C.I. and Ponti L., Agroecologia. Edagricole

3. Caccioni A. e Colombo L., Il Manuale del Biologico. Il Sole 24 Ore Edagricole

4. Del Fabro A., Coltivazione biologica, guida completa ai metodi naturali e alle tecniche ecocompatibili. De Vecchi Ed.

5. Teaching materials provided by the teacher (ppt presentations, handouts)