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Academic year 2023/2024
Bachelor's Degree (BSc) on MEDITERRANEAN AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS


Coordinator Prof. Salvatore La Bella
Class of Bachelor's Degree (BSc) on Agriculture and Forestry (L-25)
3 years
TRAPANI
Free access
Department of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Science
Course Code
2292

Course info
The degree course deals with the areas of primary production (vegetable production and animal production) from a supply chain perspective within the Sicilian territory and the areas of the Mediterranean basin, characterized by strong environmental fragility. Operators in agriculture will have to deal increasingly with the demands and rules dictated by large-scale retail trade, by current regulations on food safety and by changes in lifestyles and consumption styles. All this requires the training of professionals fully aware of the use of non-renewable resources and of the greater efficiency of the technical means that the agronomic sciences provide and, therefore, to use them as a guarantee for the agricultural entrepreneur and the final consumer, in line with the main international standards for the quality certification of production processes and in compliance with the principles of sustainable development set out in the 2030 agenda with particular reference to goals no. 2 (zero hunger) and no. 12 (responsible production and consumption) and to the European green deal. The training project is characterized by the presence of basic teachings (mathematics, physics, chemistry, botany, genetics and genetic improvement), class-specific and related teachings (soil fertility, hydraulic design in a Mediterranean environment, general agronomy and techniques of dry farming, phytoremediation and reuse of waste water in agriculture, management of the olive growing chain, tropical and sub-tropical fruit trees chain in the Mediterranean environment, elements of nursery and horticultural production, herbaceous cropping systems for hot arid environments, principles of mechanics and mechanization in agriculture, principles of agriculture economics and rural appraisal, certifications applicable to the primary production sector, animal husbandry and agricultural crop protection. All the teachings envisaged in the L-SAM training course include at least 30% of activity dedicated to laboratory and field practice and/or technical visits. The specific educational objectives of each course are listed below. Elements of mathematics and physics: The fundamental objective of the course is to provide students with the main tools for analysing problems from a mathematical and physical point of view. Therefore, the learning objectives will be: 1. Promoting intuitive and logical ability; 2. Acquiring abstraction and formalization skills; 3. Developing the attitude to critically review and logically systematize the acquired knowledge; 4. Getting used to the application of analysis and synthesis skills to concrete problems. 5. Getting used to the search for alternative constructive solutions. 6. Getting used to generalize the solution of a specific problem in algorithms. 7. Strengthening the ability to use mathematical methods, tools and models in different situations. 8. Promoting the understanding of the transversal concepts of the discipline and getting used to grasping structural analogies between different fields. Applied botany and elements of plant physiology - The teaching aims to provide knowledge on the biodiversity of plants and fungi and on the morphological and functional organization of plant and fungal organisms in Mediterranean agricultural systems, to create sustainable and efficient production solutions. It also aims to provide cognitive elements relating to the main processes related to the metabolism and physiology of plants. Elements of general and organic chemistry - The aim of the course is to provide the basic knowledge of modern general chemistry and organic chemistry to address subsequent studies both of directly related disciplines in which chemistry concepts are applied or in which chemical parameters are discussed and used (soil fertility, agronomy, phytoremediation, production quality, etc.). A further objective is the correct and appropriate use of chemical language and the ability to solve and evaluate the results of simple chemical problems. Agricultural genetics and elements of genetic improvement - The course is structured to provide the foundations and principles of molecular, Mendelian, quantitative and population genetics. The notions of the course will enable to understand the mechanisms of character inheritance, gene interactions and the regulation of gene expression. The course provides the basic tools to subsequently deepen aspects concerning the most recent advancements in agricultural genetics and crop genetic improvement. The course will include practical exercises on qualitative and quantitative characters, population genetics, and laboratory practice. Economics of the agricultural system - The course provides students with the basic elements of knowledge of the economic system, indispensable for orienting professional and entrepreneurial activity in relation to the contextual conditions of a social, economic and political nature in the Mediterranean area. Soil fertility - the teaching aims at providing students with the knowledge bases necessary for an adequate understanding of the physical, chemical and biological factors determining and regulating soil fertility and plant nutrition even under conditions of stress following climate change. Particular attention will be paid to acid, saline and sodium soils, and to the dynamics of organic matter in soils of the semi-arid Mediterranean environment. Phytodepuration and use of wastewater in agriculture - The teaching aims to provide students with knowledge and skills relating to the use and rational management of wastewater of various origins in the agronomic field also through the use of artificial phytodepuration systems. General agronomy and dry farming techniques - The teaching provides students with knowledge and skills pertaining to the planning and management of the main cultural processes that characterize the company's agricultural activity, also considering the typical environmental conditions of arid and semi-arid areas. and with reference to the effects of climate change. The specific objective of the course is to transfer to students knowledge of general agronomic and dry farming techniques and their impact on production processes in the business field. Hydraulic design in a Mediterranean environment - The integrated course includes 2 modules which are reported below with the related objectives: Design of irrigation systems - Providing the necessary tools for the hydraulic sizing of simple corporate irrigation systems. Knowing and managing the most suitable irrigation systems in relation to the availability of water resources and the hot-arid Mediterranean context in which one operates. Knowledge of the technical characteristics of the farm irrigation machines. Soil defence and conservation - Providing the essential elements for the assessment of hydraulic risk, for the interpretation and mathematical simulation of erosion processes, and for the design and implementation of effective soil defence and conservation interventions, also for the purposes of soil control silting processes of artificial reservoirs. Organization and management of olive chains - The integrated course includes 3 modules which are reported below with the relative objectives: Elements of general tree farming - The general objective of the course is to transfer to students the fundamental knowledge to design, implement and manage sustainable fruit tree systems thanks also to the optimization of environmental, cultural and social factors. Specific objectives of the course are: to provide knowledge of organography, phenology, biology of fruiting and eco-physiology of tree systems in order to pursue high quantity/quality productions with a sustainable approach - to favour the learning of technical choices (type of plant, planting system) and cultivation practices (form of farming, pruning criteria, fertigation, soil management, regulation of the production load, harvesting methods) useful for growth control vegetative and reproductive growth of woody fruit species. -to transfer skills on seed and vegetative propagation, on the related to the nursery production of certified plants both from a genetic and health point of view. Particular attention will be paid to the transfer of skills for the design of nursery structures and the organization of the various sections of the nursery in order to rapidly obtain high quality plants which can be marketed on a global scale. Principles of Olive Growing - The course aims to transfer to students the fundamental knowledge and skills for planning, organizing and managing olive-growing supply chains in socio-economic fields that aim to favor production systems that operate in a circular economy regime and in environmental-oriented contexts towards the ecological transition, to achieve full sustainability of the production chains. To achieve these purposes, during the discussion of the various topics of the course, conducted with a holistic approach, particular attention will be paid to encouraging students to learn updated agronomic strategies and cultivation techniques that can be adopted to reduce the environmental impact. In the constitution and management of olive growing systems, students' attention will be driven towards the importance of setting the zeroing of CO2 emissions as an essential objective. Education in techniques favouring the reduction of water consumption will represent a constant both in the primary phase (field) and in the transformation phase (two-phase crushers), and in the storage phase (use of inert gases as an alternative to the cold chain ), and packaging (packaging with low water consumption and modest C02 emissions). The use of technical means deriving from synthesis processes (phytosanitary aids; chemical fertilizers) and the complex of cultural interventions practiced will also represent topics of careful discussion. Visits to companies in the regional territory, operating in the various segments of the supply chain (primary production, processing, packaging, marketing), to consortia for the protection of products with brands recognized in Europe will integrate the lectures, exercises and laboratory activities aimed at to transfer skills in order to achieve the production of exclusive foods, due to the high quality standard obtained from supply chains with reduced/zero environmental impact. Transformation of olive products - The general objective of this teaching is to provide students with the basic knowledge of oil technology and table olives, the knowledge and application of analytical and sensory techniques to evaluate the qualitative characteristics of extra virgin olive oils and table olives. Principles of agricultural economics and appraisal - The course intends to provide students with the theoretical and operational elements necessary for drawing up a company balance sheet to guide the choices of an agricultural enterprise in the various production chains. Furthermore, the operational tools and theoretical principles of the general estimation to be applied to the cases that occur most frequently in the professional activity of the agronomist will be analysed, in terms of choosing the economic aspects and estimating procedures, researching technical and economic data, and compiling the valuation report. Supply chains of tropical and sub-tropical fruit trees in the Mediterranean environment - The main objective of this teaching is to provide students with the knowledge for the identification, management and enhancement of some of the most important tropical and sub-tropical fruit supply chains in the Mediterranean environment. In particular, some key points that characterize the path of the production chain from farm to fork will be analysed, with a view to circular economy and environmental sustainability. At the end of the course, students will be able to identify all the steps that make up the most important tropical and sub-tropical supply chains, critically interpreting the most appropriate choices and management models for obtaining high quality standards of fresh products and derivatives. Herbaceous cropping systems for hot-arid environments - The teaching intends to provide knowledge and skills concerning the sustainable management of herbaceous crops in a hot-arid Mediterranean environment. For the various crops, the ecological requirements, the main agrotechnics applied and the final use of the products and by-products will be discussed. Each aspect will be treated in relation to the recent results of research, also evaluating the relationships among crop management, production quality, environmental sustainability and climate change. Principles of mechanics and mechanization in agriculture - The aim of the discipline is to deepen the technical and functional characteristics of driving and operating machines for the mechanization of cultivation. The criteria for choosing and managing the machines for the entire production process of the main Mediterranean crops will be studied. Precision agriculture. The positioning systems of agricultural machinery: GPS and DGPS. Digitization techniques applied to agricultural maquis for the management of cultivation operations. Zootechnics - The integrated course includes 2 modules which are reported below with the related objectives: General animal husbandry and management of animal biodiversity - The aim of the teaching is to provide the knowledge and skills relating to the application of genetics in zootechnical sciences. The management and study of new applications useful to the realities of the field and necessary to understand and manage the problems of livestock companies, increasingly attentive to key concepts such as sustainability, animal welfare, health sphere and product quality, will be studied in depth. Further knowledge will be provided on issues related to the effects of climate change, and in particular the contribution of genomics for understanding the architecture of adaptability and resilience characteristics, also from the perspective of climate and environmental changes. Each topic will be treated by combining theoretical/technical notions with practical and applicative examples. Animal physiology and nutrition - The aim of the discipline is to provide notions of physiology of the main systems of domestic animals, preparatory to the study of other zootechnical subjects. Issues related to the digestive system, male and female reproductive system, urinary system, endocrine system and the physiological mechanisms related to milk production will therefore be explored. The topics related to the nutrition and feeding of animals in livestock production will also be explored, with particular reference to the aspects related to the use of agricultural-industrial by-products from the point of view of the circular economy and the effect that the various livestock feeds generate on methane and CO2 emissions for greater control on the altering gases that could be the cause of climate change. Finally, particular attention will be given to the nutritional evaluation of livestock feed. The discipline aims at providing students with the basis for learning the technical-managerial aspects of animal breeding in zootechnical production. This basic knowledge can then be subsequently used by the students themselves for further study of issues of zootechnical interest. Elements of nursery and horticultural production – This teaching provides students with the specific skills for the propagation of species of floricultural and horticultural interest and the cultivation systems applicable in the Mediterranean environment. A part of the course will deal with the issues related to the choice of protective structures - including analytical methods - for carrying out extra-seasonal crop cycles, including aspects concerning management. A special part will deal with planting and management methods of the most common vegetable and ornamental species, as well as Mediterranean species with low maintenance impact. Therefore, the teaching will provide students with a supply chain approach, enhancing the use and conservation of underutilized and neglected species, such as the Mediterranean ones. Case studies of horticultural and ornamental species of predominant interest for the countries of the Mediterranean area will be treated. Agricultural entomology – This teaching aims at training the agronomist in the field of defence of productions from entomological adversities. Climate change and rapid trade between distant geographical areas are also rapidly changing the specific composition of agricultural entomology with the accidental introduction of alien species that cause profound disturbances in the precarious balance of the agroecosystem. The course aims at recognizing arthropods and, within them, phytophagous insects, and their main natural enemies. The first part of the course is related to the morphology and physiology of insects, the recognition of the various stages of their ontogenetic development, while the second part concerns the ethological and ecological aspects, as well as the biology of the main phytophagous species present in Mediterranean agroecosystems and of the alien species whose introduction is feared. The aim of the course is to provide the necessary knowledge for a holistic view of the defence and to stimulate the development of the critical ability of the agronomist, enabling him/her to recognize the appropriate moment in time for a control intervention on the pest populations, adopting the most appropriate techniques favouring those with low environmental impact. Plant pathology – This teaching provides basic knowledge for the diagnosis of the main diseases of crops of agricultural interest in Mediterranean, sub-tropical and tropical environments. Development of defence strategies against the main plant parasites. Ability to correlate knowledge on the biology, physiology, and ecology of the pathogen under study with the diagnosis and epidemiology of diseases. Evaluation of the virulence and dispersion of a disease in relation to the data acquired according to the analysis of the state of the area and integrated defence interventions aimed at safeguarding the agroecosystem. Principles of forensic plant pathology. Certifications applicable to the primary production sector - providing the basic elements to train a junior agronomist capable of technically directing the agricultural processes of the main productions so that they respect the dictates of environmental, economic and social sustainability. It must also direct agricultural operators to activate virtuous processes of value creation through the specific qualitative characteristics of the territory. Certifications, in fact, constitute the indispensable requirement for the recognition of qualitative characteristics in terms of commercial evaluation. The adoption of certification systems implies the creation of local quality systems or specific governance, in which operators collaborate to achieve shared goals, as in the case of consortia for the protection of denominations of origin. The main certifications addressed will be the DOP, IGP, STG, organic farming, the EMAS protocol, but also the certifications of the ISO/UNI/EN system and those of large-scale retail trade, IFS/BRC and Globalgap. Among the elective courses: Characterization and valorisation of agricultural plant biodiversity - The course provides the basic knowledge on the characteristics, evaluation methods, possibilities of productive valorisation of agricultural plant biodiversity, in a perspective of corporate and territorial multifunctionality and sustainability of the Mediterranean productions. Quality management and conservation of fruit products - The course aims to provide the student with the knowledge and skills regarding the quality management of fruit products. The topics relating to the biochemical and physical modifications that occur during the ripening of fruit products will be dealt with, with insights into their evolution after harvesting and to the factors connected to qualitative and quantitative losses, including those due to biochemical, pathological, and physiological alterations. Furthermore, the course will address the most suitable harvesting, processing, storage, and marketing procedures for the needs of fruit products. CAD laboratory - The aim of the course is to provide the fundamentals of computer graphics as a drawing tool. The main topics covered during the course will be related to two-dimensional vector drawing. The educational path provides for an order of teachings such as to provide the student with a logical sequence of knowledge and skills to be acquired. The coordination of the two-modules teachings (integrated courses) is carried out with particular attention to the integrated courses consisting of disciplines belonging to different scientific-disciplinary sectors. These courses will be activated to complete the student's training in compliance with scientific, cultural and professional affinities and with full integration of the teaching methods adopted.
Profile: Junior Agronomist Functions: The first cycle graduates in “Mediterranean agricultural systems” possess skills associated with the function enabling them to: - manage technical and commercial sectors, research and development of agro-food companies producing vegetable agricultural products and livestock farms. - plan interventions for the valorisation of products from the primary sector and the agri-food industry. - carry out activities of management and planning of activities in structures operating in the sector of primary production and marketing for the valorisation of agri-food products. - carry out management activities in distribution sectors, including e-commerce. - organize events related to the resources produced by the primary and agri-food sector of the territory. Skills: Graduates in Mediterranean agricultural systems will have skills in the fields of: - the modelling of primary and agri-food production systems, including organization and interpretation of experimental and production data. - the evaluation of agricultural production factors and their effects on quantitative-qualitative plant and animal production. - the food production techniques and their use to improve the quality of food products. - the economic and financial management of the agricultural and zootechnical company, in the context of the climate changes in progress. Professional opportunities: Graduates in Mediterranean Agricultural Systems have an outgoing professional profile enabling them to find a job as an operator within the primary production sector (farms, producer associations, producer organisations) and, through public competition, in public or private territorial agencies operating in the primary production sector or related sectors. Furthermore, SAM graduates can work as freelancers (junior agronomist) being able to access section A of the Professional register of Doctors of Agronomy and Doctors of Forestry. The Degree Course in Mediterranean Agricultural Systems prepares for the profession codified by ISTAT with the following code: Agronomists and foresters - (2.3.1.3.0)
The final test has the objective of assessing the level of maturity and critical skills of the undergraduate, with respect to learning and to the acquired knowledge, on completion of the activities provided by the course syllabus.

course outline
Teachings first year
credits Term Val. Area Scientific sector
04677 - ENGLISH LANGUAGE Details 3.0 1 G E
18692 - ELEMENTS OF GENERAL AND INORGANIC CHEMISTRY Details MARZULLO (RD) 9.0 1 V A CHIM/03
22885 - ELEMENTS OF AGRICULTURAL GENETICS AND GENETIC IMPROVEMENT Details GIAMBALVO (PO) 8.0 1 V A AGR/07
22886 - ELEMENTS OF MAHEMATICS AND PHYSICS Details PACE (PC) 8.0 1 V A MAT/07
22887 - APPLIED BOTANY AND ELEMENTS OF PLANT PHYSIOLOGY Details BARONE (RD) 8.0 1 V A BIO/03
22858 - PHYTODEPURATION AND WASTE WATER USE IN AGRICULTURE Details LA BELLA (PO) 6.0 2 V C AGR/02
22864 - AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM ECONOMICS Details INGRASSIA (RD) 6.0 2 V B AGR/01
22943 - SOIL FERTILITY Details BADALUCCO (PO) 6.0 2 V B AGR/13
Free subjects (suggested) 6.0 D
Teachings second year
credits Term Val. Area Scientific sector
22854 - ORGANISATION AND MANAGEMENT OF OLIVE SUPPLY CHAIN - INTEGRATED COURSE Details LO BIANCO (PO) 12.0 1 V
PRINCIPLES OF OLIVE FARMING LO BIANCO (PO) 3.0 C AGR/03
PRINCIPLES OF GENERAL TREE FARMING LO BIANCO (PO) 3.0 C AGR/03
OLIVE PRODUCTS TRANSFORMATION CORONA (PA) 6.0 B AGR/15
22857 - HYDRAULIC DESIGN IN THE MEDITERRANEAN ENVIRONMENT - INTEGRATED COURSE Details ALAGNA (RD) 9.0 1 V
SOIL DEFENCE AND CONSERVATION SERIO (RD) 3.0 C AGR/08
IRRIGATION SYSTEMS DESIGN ALAGNA (RD) 6.0 B AGR/08
22862 - GENERAL AGRONOMY AND DRY FARMING TECHNIQUES Details LA BELLA (PO) 9.0 1 V B AGR/02
22847 - HERBACEOUS CROPS FOR HOT ARID ENVIRONMENTS Details DI MICELI (PA) 6.0 2 V B AGR/02
22848 - PRINCIPLES OF MECHANICS AND MECHANISATION IN AGRICULTURE Details 6.0 2 V B AGR/09
22859 - AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS AND VALUATION Details ASCIUTO (PA) 6.0 2 V B AGR/01
22860 - TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL FRUIT CHAINS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN ENVIRONMENT Details FARINA (PO) 6.0 2 V B AGR/03
Free subjects (suggested) II 6.0 D
Teachings third year
credits Term Val. Area Scientific sector
03011 - AGRICULTURAL ENTOMOLOGY Details 6.0 1 V B AGR/11
05589 - PLANT PATHOLOGY Details BELLA (PA) 6.0 1 V B AGR/12
05917 - FINAL EXAMINATION 6.0 1 V E
14184 - INTERNSHIP 15.0 1 G F
22845 - PRINCIPLES OF PLANT NURSERYY AND HORTI-FLOWER PRODUCTIO N Details VETRANO (PA) 9.0 1 V B AGR/04
22851 - ZOOTECHNICS - INTEGRATED COURSE Details PORTOLANO (PO) 12.0 1 V
ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY AND ALIMENTATION TODARO (PA) 6.0 C AGR/18
GENERAL ZOOTECHNICS AND ANIMAL BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT PORTOLANO (PO) 6.0 B AGR/17
22846 - CERTIFICATIONS APPLIABLE TO THE PRIMARY SECTOR Details 6.0 2 V C AGR/01
Elective activities
Free subjects (suggested) credits Term Val. Area Scientific sector
22852 - QUALITI MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION OF FRUIT CROPS Details 6.0 1 V D AGR/03
22853 - CHARACTERISATION AND UPGRADING OF AGRICUTURAL PLANT BIODIVERSITY Details 6.0 1 V D AGR/02
04160 - CAD LABORATORY Details 6.0 2 V D AGR/09
23153 - HISTORY OF MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS Details SCICHILONE (PO) 6.0 2 V D SPS/03
Free subjects (suggested) II credits Term Val. Area Scientific sector
22852 - QUALITI MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION OF FRUIT CROPS Details 6.0 1 V D AGR/03
22853 - CHARACTERISATION AND UPGRADING OF AGRICUTURAL PLANT BIODIVERSITY Details 6.0 1 V D AGR/02
04160 - CAD LABORATORY Details 6.0 2 V D AGR/09
23153 - HISTORY OF MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS Details SCICHILONE (PO) 6.0 2 V D SPS/03
Explaination
Term Term/Semester
Val. Valutation: V = mark in 30/30, G = note
(*) Teaching attended in english
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