The course on Concept of Sustainable Agriculture was designed for students to understand the origins, major concepts, and current issues of sustainability in agriculture. The course is an introduction to how Global Agriculture and Sustainability issues are at the intersection of natural resource management and business. The course will cover the fundamental principles of agribusiness and how sustainability issues are key factors in business decision making today and in the future.
Soil is a major component of the Earth's ecosystem. The world's ecosystems are impacted in far-reaching ways by the processes carried out in the soil, from ozone depletion and global warming, to rainforest destruction and water pollution. Therefore, understanding on soil resources, plant nutrients and soil fertility management are necessary in sustainable agriculture. This course will be covered on introduction to soil fertility and productivity: factors affecting. Essential plant nutrient elements: functions, deficiency systems, transformations and availability. Acid, calcareous and salt affected soils: characteristics and management. Role of soil fauna and microorganisms in organic matter-decomposition: humus formation; Importance of C: N ratio and pH in plant nutrition; integrated plant nutrient management; Soil fertility evaluation methods, critical limits of plant nutrient elements and hunger signs; NPK fertilizers: composition and application methodology, luxury consumption, nutrient interactions, deficiency symptoms, visual diagnosis.
Agro-ecosystem analysis is a thorough analysis of an agricultural environment which considers aspects from ecology, sociology, economics, and politics with equal weight. It is necessary in agricultural development for sustainable agriculture. This course was designed to cover on components involved in that unit as well as their interactions. Individual exercises to be resolved by the students will be completed for nearly all of the subjects, which will be a complement of the issues discussed in each class. In addition, there will be small working groups that will analyse energy flows in a gradient of agro-ecosystems with varying degrees of intensification. A visit to field sites within the period of the course will integrate the knowledge gained through the analysis and solution of concrete situations in Cambodia.