Tag Archives: sustainable agriculture

xxx A. Zeidmane and T. Rubina
Mathematics education for sustainable agriculture specialists
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Mathematics education for sustainable agriculture specialists

A. Zeidmane¹ and T. Rubina²

¹Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Faculty of Information and Technologies, Department of Mathematics, Liela street 2, LV-3001 Jelgava, Latvia
²Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Faculty of information and Technologies, Department of Computer Systems, Liela street 2, LV-3001 Jelgava, Latvia
*Correspondence: Anda.Zeidmane@llu.lv; Tatjana.Rubina@llu.lv

Abstract:

One of the Sustainable Development objectives is to promote life-long learning opportunities for all, but one of the Lifelong Learning competences is mathematical competence, which can be obtained studying mathematics at schools and universities. The question is how much and whether the course of mathematics should be included in the curriculum of the agronomy specialties at universities. The aim of the article is to highlight the insufficient amount of higher mathematics in the education of agriculture specialist in the context of sustainable development.
The objectives of the study: to identify the importance of mathematics for agronomy specialists by analysing the role of the mathematics education for agronomy specialists and to analyse the proportion of mathematics courses in the curriculum of the agronomy programmes in the Baltics States and the Baltic Sea region’s higher education institutions. The mathematics education is important for agronomy specialists in many fields. Agronomy specialists need knowledge and skills in basic mathematics, in statistical analysis and interpretation, mathematical modelling, in scientific methods, in economic analysis. The knowledge and skills in a direct and indirect means is provided by mathematical studies at universities. In order to analyse the proportion of mathematics courses in study programmes of Agriculture, Agronomy and Horticulture, three universities of the Baltic States were compared: the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Aleksandras Stulginskis University (Lithuania) and Estonian University of Life Sciences. For a more comprehensive analysis and comparison several universities from the Baltic Sea region were chosen that provide studies in agricultural sciences. Unfortunately, not all agronomy programmes in the Baltic Sea region contain the higher mathematics course that would help to understand the role of derivatives, integrals, and differential equations in the modelling process, as well as further developing general problem-solving skills.

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728-736 H. Risku-Norja and M. Mikkola
Systemic sustainability characteristics of organic farming: a review
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Systemic sustainability characteristics of organic farming: a review

H. Risku-Norja¹ and M. Mikkola²

¹MTT Agrifood Research Finland, FIN-31600 Jokioinen, Finland;e-mail: helmi.risku-norja@mtt.fi
²University of Helsinki, Ruralia Institute, Lönnrotinkatu 7, FIN-50100 Mikkeli, Finland

Abstract:

Agriculture for food production has come to crossroads: while conventional agriculture needs to improve environmental and social performance, organic agriculture needs to increase the production volumes and to re-establish the connectedness between producers and consumers. Through re-localising the food production there is an increasing convergence of the farming practices towards sustainable agriculture acknowledging the prospects, advantages and limitations of the different production systems. The aim is to find a combination of production methods that is optimal in given circumstances and to adapt the production system accordingly. Assessment of the environmental impacts should be integrated into the assessment of the overall sustainability. Formulation of the management strategies requires evaluation and integration of research results from many different disciplines, and the focus of the interdisciplinary research should be on food systems and bioregions rather than on the level of farms or farming systems.The present article is a review on today‘s discussion and research dealing withconventional, organic and local farming for food production. The future prospects of organic production to respond to the challenges of advancing global food security and to contribute to overall sustainable development are discussed. It seems that as a developing production mode organic agriculture has a role to play in the green global network of local food systems.

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