MASTER PROGRAMME

Comparability of the qualification in the international context

The basis for the proposed MSA programme relies on the increasing concern over environmental, biodiversity and food safety issues. Sustainable Agriculture promotes the principles of a viable agro-ecosystem with natural living systems that operate compatibly through responsible management of abiotic and biotic resources and it is particularly sensitive to environmental pollution and waste. It contributes to reduce chemical application and increase other non-chemical methods including natural control, physical and mechanical method, cultural control, and biological control, especially plant quarantine method.

The impact of human activities, the climate change and the effects of consistent air and soil pollution provide evidence of the challenge of ensuring global food security during the next 50 years. Crop yields need to rise significantly, but in a manner that requires much lower dependency on chemical intervention and fertilisers. Thus there has never been a more urgent need to train scientists in the area of food security, equipped with skills in agronomy, plant pathology, plant disease and plant genetics, integrated pest management, and knowledge of modern agricultural systems and agricultural policy.

The proposed MSA builds on a solid foundation of agricultural science and provides students opportunities to cross traditional disciplinary boundaries and to pursue a true interdisciplinary curriculum that includes the biological, social, and economic elements of sustainability.

Internal academic referent

    • Relationship with other existent degrees:

The University of Battambang (UBB) has been collaborating with the University of Bengkulu (UNIB), where master of sustainable agriculture is also offered. Professors of UNIB are invited to give lectures for the MSA programs.
The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) is also another partner of UBB, both PSU and UBB have been implementing a three-year (2016 - 2018) project on “Women in Agriculture Network (WAgN) Cambodia: Gender and Ecologically Sensitive Agriculture”, funded by USAID. Through this project MSA’s students can get opportunities to get involved in the project for internship and conducting experiments under supervision of project’s PIs. In addition, professors of PSU will be also invited to give lectures to the MSA’s students.
A five-year (2016 - 2020) project on “Development and Dissemination of Sustainable Production System based on Invasive Pest Management of Cassava in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand” (http://jica-casps.com/), funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), also provide opportunities to MSA’s students for their research work, and project’s PIs will be invited to give lectures to MSA students.
Another five-year (2016 – 2021) project on “Sustainable Intensification and Diversification in the Lowland Rice System in Northwest Cambodia”, funded by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), AusAID; which have been implanting by UBB and MCU with collaboration with University of Sydney (Australia), University of Queensland (Australia), Cambodian Agricultural Research & Development Institute (CARDI), and Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA, Switzerland), Asian Institute of Technology (AIT, Thailand), and Gansu Agricultural University (GAU, China). And other stakeholders such as Tokyo University of Agriculture (Japan), Kyushu University (Japan), Nagoya University (Japan), University of Bengkulu (Indonesia), Ubun Rajathani University (Thailand), GRET – Cambodia (Professional for Fair Development; France), Life and Soil Organization (Cambodia), Ockenden Cambodia, University of Sydney (Australia), and (France), are contributing to give lecturers, provide opportunities for student internship, and join research work (i.c. theses supervision, etc.).

    • Existent offer in Cambodia of similar programmes:

UBB:

  • B.Sc. in Horticulture
  • B.Sc. in Animal Science
  • B.Sc. in Rural Development
  • M.Sc. in Conservation Agriculture,

MCU:

  • B.Sc. in Agronomy
  • B.Sc. in Agro-industry
  • B.Sc. in Agi-machinery
  • B.Sc. in Veterinary
  • M.Sc. in Agricultural Education
  •  

SRU:

  • B.Sc. in Agronomy
  • B.Sc. in Rural Development
  • B.Sc. in Animal Science and Veterinary

CSUK:

  • B.Sc. in Agronomy
  • B.Sc. in Natural Resource Management
  • B.Sc. in Rural Development
  • B.Sc. in Animal Production and Health
  • M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics and Rural Development
    • Research lines that supports the programme:

UBB’s priority areas of research

  • Major in Horticulture
  • Crop production and protection
  • Horticultural crops (i.e. cut flowers, potted ornamental plants, and bedding plants)
  • Rice-based and up-land farming systems
  • Vegetable, fruit tree and industrial crops
  • Soil classification, fertility and conservation
  • Water and soil management (i.e. sustainable agricultural production)
  • Plant biotechnology and genetic resources conservation
  • Major in Food Processing
  • Food safety, quality and health
  • Post-harvest physiology and technology
  • Food technology and preservation (i.e. food biotechnology, indigenous food technologies)
  • Food processing and packaging technology
  • Food engineering (i.e. development of small-scale food processing equipment)
  • Food product development (i.e. value addition to agricultural produce, high value local foods, quality management for market)
  •  Nutrition (i.e. functional foods, diet diversification)
  • Major in Animal Science:
  • Animal production systems and management
  • Growth biology and meat science
  • Animal reproduction and breeding
  • Animal health and biosecurity
  • Animal nutrition (i.e. ruminant and non-ruminant)
  • Animal disease (i.e. microbiology, parasitology, …) and toxicology
  • Animal care and surgery, and pet science
  • Major in Aquaculture
  • Fish seed and aquaculture development
  • Fish biology, habitat and resources management
  • Sustainable aquaculture production
  • Ecosystem assessment and conservation (i.e. fish diversity and migration, aquatic food web)
  • Environmental effects of aquaculture and fishery
  • Aquatic invasive species
  • Fishery socioeconomic development study

MCU’s priority area of research                                   

  • Major in agronomy
  • Plant protection (biological control and cultural control)
  • Plant breeding
  • Nutrient
  • Major in Veterinary
  • Cattle disease
  • Cattle production
  • Animal food
  • Major in Agro-industry
  • Food packaging
  • Applied microbiology
  • Beverage technology
  • Agricultural machinery
  • Agricultural Machinery repairing
  • Machinery maintenance

SRU’s priority area of research

  • Major in agronomy
  • Renewable energy
  • Food crop production
  • Vegetable production
  • Mushroom production
  • Integrated farming system
  • Ecology and environment
  • Major in rural development
  • Community organization
  • Infrastructure development
  • Agricultural production and agricultural development
  • Value chain
  • Agricultural marketing
  • Climate change

CSUK’s priority areas of research

  • Major in Agronomy:
  • Crop production and protection
  • Renewable Energy
  • Rice-based  farming systems
  • Vegetable, fruit tree and industrial crops
  • Soil classification, fertility and conservation
  • Water and soil management (i.e. sustainable agricultural production)
  • Plant biotechnology
  • Major in rural development:
  • Community organization
  • Infrastructure development
  • Agricultural production and agricultural development
  • Value chain
  • Agricultural marketing
  • Climate change
  • Major in Animal Production  and Health:
  • Animal production systems and management
  • Animal reproduction and breeding
  • Animal health and biosecurity
  • Animal nutrition (i.e. ruminant and non-ruminant)
  • Animal disease (i.e. microbiology, parasitology, …) and toxicology
  • Animal care and surgery, and pet science

The research groups of the UNICAM Universities supporting this initiative are:

Research group code

Research group name

Number of members

Number of projects*

Number of agreements*

UBB Natural Science

Agriculture, Environment and Food Science

45

15

23

Science, Technology and Engineering

NA

NA

NA

UBB Social Science

Business Administration, Tourism, Sociology, Art, Economic and Law

10

3

5

MCU Natural science

Agriculture and food science

12

5

5

MCU Social science

Community development, tourism, and business administration

20

NA

NA

SRU Natural science

Agricultural Science and Animal Science

8

4

4

SRU Social science

Rural Development, Business Administration and Public Administration

5

3

3

*Approximately number (from last 3-5 years)

  • Society needs (demand)

The country like Cambodia is in the phase of development in all sectors which contributes to national economy. The three important sectors which play crucial role in economic development are services (tourism 41.1%), industry (garment 30.5%) and agriculture (28.4%). Agriculture sector does not only contribute national GDP but also attract labour force more than 60% for the whole country. In the context of social need for Cambodia, there is an increasingly exodus from countryside to towns and movement of unskilled labour from Cambodia to other countries.
The exodus from countryside to cities are pushed by non-profit agricultural activities; most of the people who move from rural area to cities are small scale farmers. There are many aspects which cause small scale farmers not gaining benefit from their farms; the most important factor is low technology, the second is high cost of agricultural inputs, and the third one is unstable market fluctuation. It is needed to build the capacity of farmers’ environment and then extend high and new agricultural technology to small scale farmer.
Cambodian Universities need to develop its curriculum with a specific and practical knowledge to ensure graduate student has enough skills to compete with other countries in ASEAN community.

  • Potential source of students

Fresh graduated students and employees of government and non-governmental organization need to upgrade knowledge to obtain higher degree in the field of agriculture, whose base is located mainly in rural areas of Cambodia.