The Faculty of Agroecosystems has long been engaged in the concept of agroecology. What is agroecology actually about? First and foremost, agroecology is concerned with agriculture and landscape care, with a particular emphasis on areas and processes with ecologically limited farming practices. In addition, sustainable systems of landscape management form an integral part of this discipline as these systems allow agroecologists to combine agricultural and other activities to ensure the efficiency in business while respecting ecological requirements of the environment.
As students of the Department, you will mainly learn about farming systems. The study is interconnected with other study programmes and Departments and, as a result, provides comprehensive education primarily in the fundamentals of crop production in agriculture. At the general level, students will be educated in soil geology, plant nutrition and agrotechnics, as a foundation for more particular applications in harmony with nature.
Students may also examine the evaluation of environmental aspects of agricultural activities or aspects of “social agriculture”.
The Faculty of Agriculture and Technology, University of South Bohemia, was the first to offer its students comprehensive education in the field of agroecology, from the Bachelor’s to Master’s and to doctoral studies.
The Department guarantees the following Bachelor’s study programme:
Two study programmes in the follow-up Master’s study:
The doctoral study consists in the programme of Agroecology, where a more specific profiling depends on the breadth of the defined themes and the supervisor appointed. These themes are based on the context of crop production in organic farming, farming systems, soil fertility or processing practices in relation to ecologic farming.
In the Bachelor’s study programmes, students will obtain a more general foundation of agriculture, with an overlap into sustainable farming. Master’s study offers a more particular specification purely in organic agriculture. In doctoral study, students address specific and detailed issues which might be applied, for example, even in their own farms.
The pivotal study area at our Department relies on the system of subjects dedicated to ecological agriculture - from how to design a farm with an emphasis on the complexity of the link between crop and animal production, how to produce a specific plant, to the creation and sale of an ecological product. Moreover, students will learn how the above principles should be applied in relation to the surrounding environment, how to perceive the landscape as a whole and people themselves as parts of that whole.
Areas and questions that a prospective student should ask and answer with a “yes”:
Practical training during the study is mandatory. Practical training is usually completed by students on the experimental plots managed by our University, or in cooperating ecological companies. There is also an opportunity for students to conduct internships abroad with help of scholarship, and the result of professional and language knowledge and life experience.
The ideal graduate of our department is an organic farmer who has his/her own family farm. Alternatively, an employee who works in the downstream sector of public administration in the area of agriculture, mainly in the field of control activities.
The Department’s research activities are centred around sustainable farming methods in submontane and mountain areas, with an accent on creating harmony between their productive and non-productive uses. Our primary focus rests on the innovation of technological procedures on arable land to obtain quality crop suitable for food, feed, energy and other non-food uses. In addition, our objective is to reduce the impact of agricultural management and to design sustainable farms.
Based on our work and research, we are involved in a number of projects:
The Department’s staff are founding members of the international society ECOLOGICA and the Czech Technology Platform for Organic Agriculture (CTPEZ). Both organizations primarily carry out research and transfer of knowledge into practice, including consultancy in organic agriculture. From a long-term perspective, we have cooperated with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Institute of Agricultural Economics and Information in the training of accreditation of advisors, we are involved in projects of the Association of Advisors in Organic Agriculture (EPOS) as well as activities of the Food-industry cluster “Tastes Good. South Bohemian”, and, last but not least, we also cooperate with other domestic and foreign partners (Bioinstitut, ZERA, AK, KIS, Bioforschung Austria, BAAL Gumpenstein, etc.).
Agroecology joins people with a similar mindset. Accordingly, our international cooperation focuses especially on the participation in projects and professional organizations. As a pivotal form of our international cooperation, we are members of ENOAT (European Network Organic Agriculture Teachers), where we collaborate with 12 university institutes in the EU. Under the programmes Aktion, Kontakt, ERASMUS+, CEEPUS, etc., we try to exchange teachers and students with partner universities or research institutions to the greatest extent possible.
Every year, we participate in the organization of International Summer Schools, we encourage attendance at conferences and provide instruction in selected subjects in the English language.
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Pavilon ZO, office no. 311