CABI is on the lookout for students to join a crop management degree programme aimed at tackling food insecurity around the world and helping to feed the growing global population. Scholarship opportunities are available to qualified individuals who work with the Plantwise programme activities in their countries.
With the population estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050, the pressure mounts to find answers for sustainable, responsible food production. In response to this urgent mission, CABI, the University of Neuchâtel and the Canton Jura opened a degree programme in 2015 in the field of Integrated Crop Management (ICM). The Masters of Advanced Studies in Integrated Crop Management (MAS), now accepting applications for courses starting February 2016, is a unique higher education programme delivering science-based knowledge in the field of sustainable agriculture. The goal: to better equip tomorrow’s leaders to help solve these critical environmental and agricultural challenges where it is needed most. “I want to contribute to the farmer’s way of life,” says one class of 2015 student on his motivation for joining the MAS in ICM programme.
The programme benefits scientists, post-graduates, policy makers and extensionists who wish to deepen their understanding of sustainable agriculture. Students will be accepted with a focus on individuals from developing countries, offering scholarships under certain conditions, for students to live and learn in Switzerland. The class of 2015 brought students from 11 countries together. One current student notes that “the information gained will be used in training materials, policy discussions and for giving appropriate advice to many stakeholders- the government, farmers, researchers and other NGOs and agencies.”
With help of funding support from Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, successful students will graduate from the programme with either a Masters (MAS) or a Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) without the thesis component. They will go on to public and private sector jobs addressing sustainable agriculture within governmental offices, research institutions, universities, advisory services, NGOs and agricultural industries.
Over the course of nine months, MAS in ICM students learn about efficient agricultural production practices that have a minimal impact on the environment. “My aim is to reduce the negative health effects from indiscriminate use of pesticides by using better, more efficient ICM techniques,” says another student. The curriculum provides insight on how to take into account all of the factors that drive resource protection and profit on the farm, including integrated pest management, sustainable soil management, smart seed selection, rural economics, and responsible water management- for a total of 13 modules, all taught in English.
CABI Switzerland, based in the Jura region for over 50 years and home to the MAS in ICM course, is a not-for-profit organisation that improves people’s lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. It is particularly concerned with poverty reduction, environmental sustainability and creating lasting partnerships. “This programme will surely benefit my career,” says one student. “It will give me the capabilities and confidence I need in my day-to-day duties working towards better food security back home.”
Visit www2.unine.ch/mas-icm and apply by 1 September 2015