University of Ferrara

The Bachelor programme in Agricultural Technologies and Delta Aquaculture

The Bachelor programme in Agricultural Technologies and Delta Aquaculture sets out to train professionals with in-depth knowledge of primary agricultural and aquacoltural productions including their sustainability, management of crops in compliance with qualitative, economic and environmental constraints, diagnosis and definition of crop defense schemes against adversity, pathogenic agents and parasites, environmental and anthropic factors interacting on production systems in agriculture and aquaculture, the monitoring of agro-ecosystems with advanced technologies, the business contexts and the economic-management aspects of the agricultural sector.
Graduates in Agricultural Technologies and Delta Aquaculture, for agri-food supply chains will be able to:

  • apply the acquired knowledge to the choice of the best cultivation techniques;
  • plan and organize agronomic interventions and cultivation sequences;
  • design a fertilization plan based on the results of chemical analyzes;
  • choose cultivation systems and techniques capable of optimizing the production of horticultural species in relation to the peculiarity of the reclamation and delta environment;
  • knowing how to deal with the characteristics and problems of the horticultural sector, in order to optimize production according to the biology and physiology of the flower species in the reclamation and delta environment;
  • apply the acquired knowledge to the optimization of the different shellfish farming techniques;
  • select the most suitable technologies to be used in the agri-food supply chains;
  • evaluate the strategies best suited to guaranteeing the efficiency and environmental sustainability of the entire process

The master course in Agricultural Biotechnologies for Agri-food supply chains

The master course in Agricultural Biotechnologies for Agri-food supply chains prepare students to understand and apply biotechnology at the main and urgent societal challenges, such as food security, well-being, health and prosperity of rural areas, ecological transition of the food system and climate change mitigation.

The innovative and multidisciplinary approach of the course allows acquiring both theoretical and empirical knowledge in a plurality of fields of sciences, which encompass the management of agri-food systems, their impact on ecosystems and the advanced molecular and genetic biotechnologies.

The course is characterized by combination of lectures with practical activities, such as laboratory and field studies. THE COURSE is structured in twelve compulsory exams, two courses chosen by the student based on their vocational preferences, six additional credits for English language and internship, and twenty-four credits to prepare the final dissertation. 

Graduates in Agricultural Biotechnology for agri-food supply chains will be able to operate:

  • Developing solutions to enhancing the resilience of agri-food systems to main current and future challenges (i.e. climate change, natural capital depletion; population growth);
  • Sustainable management of processes in the agri-food chain;
  • Crop breeding and cultivar selection at companies in the sector;
  • Experimental assisted and advanced conventional genetic improvement;
  • Certification of food products and industrial transformation;
  • Education at training centres, schools and universities;
  • Research and development centres specialized in competitiveness and sustainability of agri-food supply chain



AquacultuER 4.0

“Implementing ICT in aquaculture” (European project SmartAgriHubs SAH_FIE24) 

Using ICT and IoT technologies to deliver precision fish farming which control water quality and execute operational routines in order to bolster sustainable aquaculture.An innovative automated system able to control water quality and operational routines helps this Flagship Innovation Experiment (FIE) to promote sustainable aquaculture. Precision Fish Farming (PFF) relies on ICT and IoT (Internet of Things) technologies to mitigate the environmental impact in coastal ecosystems while simultaneously reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The information gathered by the innovative devices such as sensors also increase animal welfare as it continuously monitors their living conditions. The service stores these data in a dedicated cloud, but more importantly, it informs aquaculture operators in real-time – through their smartphones, for instance – when critical situations occur. 

By applying control principles, this FIE enables end-users to certify environmental conditions in order to meet the demands of a market which is sensitive to the product provenance and the use of sustainable fish and shellfish farming practices. Lastly, the digitisation of aquaculture through innovative ICT and IoT technologies increases the competitiveness and quality of the product as well as the production process.

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The project ZEOLIVA shows  innovative and sustainable methods in olive growing for the control of the olive fruit fly and the reduction of fertilizers. Through the ZEOLIVA project, the application of fertilizers will be reduced, contrasting the nutrient pollution of soil, water and air and improving at the same time the production yield.

Within ZEOLIVA we also research effective, sustainable and safer strategies for the defense of the olive trees against the olive fruit fly, which are seriously damaging crops along the Mediterranean regions. All of this is possible by the application of a wonderful natural mineral: the ZEOLITE (a volcanic rock highly rich in minerals called zeolites). Zeolites are applied in agricultural soils because of their peculiar properties that allow lots of benefits such as the increase in soil nutrient retention and water holding capacity, contrasting the drought related problems. The ZEOLIVA project has directly involved organic and conventional farmers along the Emilia-Romagna region, where the zeolitite has been applied in two different ways. 

From one hand the zeolitite, pulverized and enriched in ammoniacal nitrogen, was sprayed directly on the olive tree leaves to form an active coating barrier against the olive fruit fly; on the other hand, the granular one was applied in the soil, directly in contact with the roots, to permit the decrease in the application of fertilizers and improve the soil quality, and plant health.

Thanks to ZEOLIVA, the sensibility of farmers and consumers about the olive growing issues is increasing, and more sustainable agricultural practices, respectful of the environment and the human health, are being promoted on the territory.

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