Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Food Sustainability

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Rural Sciences and Food Systems

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will introduce students to topics related to food sustainability along the food chain with a special emphasis on agricultural production. The main elements of food production are Good Agricultural Practices with the aim of producing sufficient food for a population but at the same time maintaining the standards of food quality.

In part, the lectures will be based on typical products derived from crop and animal husbandry, such as olive oil, grapes and wine, honey, milk and cheese-lets, amongst others. The fundamentals of Good Agricultural Practices and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point systems will be discussed in relation to the agricultural produce.

Study-unit Aims:

To provide a framework within which students of this study-unit could manage a realistic insight in the processes involved in the food chain in order to assist the decision making process in a farm. This will further instigate students:
- To develop a comprehensive understanding of the principles of Good Agricultural Practices;
- To appreciate problems that may be encountered along the food chain and problems faced by the farmers and growers;
- To learn how to deal with the different stakeholders within the system.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Be competent in the analysis of complex food chain systems, integrating scientific, economic and social aspects;
- Understand the inevitable but rational use of agrochemicals particularly pesticides and fertilisers in crop husbandry, and antiobiotics and other medicines in animal husbandry;
- Apply this knowledge and gain awareness on residues that might be an unintentional but integral part of the food sustainability (addressing local and international food since Malta is mainly dependent on imported food);
- Understand the mechanisms of policies in terms of scientific, economic and social perspectives.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Formulate questions and investigate current knowledge gaps within the area and integrate scientific and practical knowledge;
- Work within an interdisciplinary team by understanding the needs of each stakeholder;
- Reflect critically on their own views with possible options for different paradigms and perspectives.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:
- Lichtfouse, E., Navarrete, M., Debaeke, P., Véronique, S., Alberola, C. (Eds.) Sustainable Agriculture. Springer 2009.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Fieldwork

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (10 Minutes) SEM1 No 50%
Assignment SEM1 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Everaldo Attard (Co-ord.)
Ivor Robinich

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.