Organic agriculture

Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: Paolo GUARNACCIA

Expected Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course the student should know the topics covered in the program and should be able to apply this knowledge in the agricultural field.

Furthermore, the student will have to improve critical and judgment skills through participation in activities that contribute to the development of these skills, e.g. laboratory tests, writing reports, etc.).

Finally, the student will have to develop the ability to communicate what has been learned and will have to possess those tools that will allow him, at the end of the course, to continue his studies independently.

Required Prerequisites

Plant Biology basic knowledge

Attendance of Lessons

attendance of lessons is not compulsory

Detailed Course Content

Concept of environmental, economic and social sustainability; climate change, pollution and access to natural resources; consumption of water, soil and landscape protection; erosive phenomena and risks of soil desertification; energy balances, life cycle analysis, carbon footprint and CO2 labelling; genetic erosion, GMOs, food security and sovereignty; definition, principles and values of Agriculture organic; history of organic agriculture and various forms of sustainable agriculture; soil fertility, organic substance and humic balance; maintenance of biodiversity and role of custodian farmers (seed savers); quality of organic products; Organic agriculture in the world, in Italy and Sicily; regulations on organic agriculture in Europe; conversion of a farm to the method of Biological agriculture; product control and certification and labeling system; techniques agronomic aspects in organic farming of the main Mediterranean crops; notes on the productions organic zootechnics and animal welfare and on the transformation of organic products; typically, traceability and production linked to the territory; multifunctionality of the organic farm and services to territory; short supply chain and alternative distribution models; fair remuneration of the agricultural producer; new frontiers of certification; research activities in organic agriculture.

Textbook Information

1. Giardini L., A for Agronomy. Pàtron Ed.

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

3. Caccioni A. and Colombo L., The Organic Manual. Il Sole 24 Ore Edagricole

4. Del Fabro A., Organic cultivation, complete guide to natural methods and eco-friendly techniques. De Vecchi Ed.

5. Teaching aids provided by the teacher (PPT presentations of the lessons, handouts on the topics covered)

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Written reports of field visits

Written report and Power Point presentation on one of the program topics

Final oral exam

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

Sustainable agriculture concept

Soil fertility and techniques to regenerate it

Agricultural biodiversity and strategies to protect and enhance it

Sustainable cropping systems