Agriculture in transition

To go beyond just an increase in outputs to feed 9 billion people in 2050, an integral redirection of current farming practices is required. Nowadays there is a compelling need for creative thinkers that lead the way to innovative and more sustainable agricultural production. This two week’s intensive course will give you new tools and perspectives to become one of them.

Organised by Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation
Date Mon 5 May 2014 until Fri 16 May 2014

Between tradition, innovation, and visioning: building new models for the future

Designing agriculture development interventions

Agriculture entails much more than just producing food – it also relates to feed, fibre and fuel, to climate change, waste management, landscape design, leisure, social stability, income and health. Agriculture has to find new balances between producing food, managing natural resources, and providing a livelihood base for the rural population.

This course offers a system perspective on agriculture as well as skills to design innovative and sustainable farming options. It looks at how to balance sustainable production practices and market demands within a changing policy environment. The course will use a mix of lectures, discussions, group work and field trips to offer background, theoretical foundations, as well as practical approaches for production and market development. Taking the participants’ own rural situation with mixed crop-livestock farming as a starting point, we will analyse the current situation, explore options that are already available for further development and design new systems to produce farm products in a responsible manner.

Course objectives

Upon completion of the course you will:

  • have a deeper understanding of how global development, trends and patterns affect farming practices and policies at local and national levels;
  • be able to use various tools and techniques to analyse your own agricultural systems and identify critical issues for change;
  • have the ability to develop scenarios in search of alternative options and trade-offs in resource-scare situations, using state-of-the-art approaches;
  • design own transition paths for the introduction of innovative farming interventions that are socially, economically and ecologically balanced.

Target audience

It is expected that the group will consist of a mix of technically, academically, and policy oriented participants from different countries. The basic prerequisite for participation in the course is an active interest in professional experience in the topics addressed. Participants should be proficient in English, and have at least a BSc degree or an equivalent academic qualification.