According to UN figures, the world’s population will reach the 9,5 billion individuals in 2025. Farming and farming systems will therefore need to increase their production to meet the growing demand for food. The challenge is to increase production, thus maintaining high quality products yet reducing the resources available and preserving the environment.
In this context, it is essential to study productions and productions’ protection from biotic hardship, both in greenhouses and in the field. Agriculture is a production process governed by precise and well-informed knowledge: quality is achieved first and foremost in the field and is maintained throughout the agri-food chain. At the same time, urban green plays an increasingly central role in the mitigation of the ongoing climate change, and therefore there is a growing interest in ‘green systems’ to improve the air quality of many cities.
The University of Milan proposes a 3-year Degree to address these issues and to understand the factors governing agricultural production, field and greenhouse cultivation, as well as ornamental crops.
- Solid basic training including mathematics, informatics, physics and statistics, in addition to chemical and biological disciplines, in order to provide the methodological basis for a full understanding of characterising lessons;
- 360° training on farming systems on farms, from plant nutrition to greenhouses lighting with innovative techniques such as light fertilisation;
- Focus on production processes and protection of plants from biotic adverse events;
- Focus on growing interest in “green systems” in urban and peri-urban settings;
- Study of innovative systems, such as hydroponic systems, for cultivation where there is no fertile agricultural land or in indoor urban environments, such as vertical farms;
- Focus on protection against adverse events both biotic and in a context of climate change, for example due to increasing drought;
- Focus and specific training in ornamental plant production techniques;
- Study of the valorisation of abandoned or substandard urban structures that can be converted into production sites.
The Degree provides for a first year in which basic subjects are strengthened and deepened, while the following two years are dedicated to the subjects characterising the agronomic pathway, ranging from biology applications to studies on plant genetic improvement: from the adoption of innovative agritech practices to the exploitation of indoor farming systems.
The student can choose 18CFU among the subjects proposed, depending on his/her interests and predispositions. Over the three years, a training period is also scheduled. It can take place both within the faculty or in external companies by means of agreements concluded by UniMi.
Many farms in Italy are involved in agricultural production, nurseries and studies on ornamental plants and urban green plants. Graduates will also be able to enter public and private activities related to agriculture, or work in laboratories to carry out quality analyses.