Agribusiness Education

MQF Level: 7

ECTS Value: 5 ECTS

Self Study Hours: 90

Contact Hours: 25

Assessment Hours: 10


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This study unit will provide the student with a holistic overview of agricultural systems and agribusinesses, their multifunctional role in society and the main drivers of change. The need for improved scientific and technological solutions, and vocational education and training to foster the development of new agribusiness solutions and to ensure the sustainability of these will be discussed in detail within this unit.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Define agri-food systems and assess their unique contributions to society, cultural development and the economy;

b. Define non-food systems (e.g. ornamentals, fuel/agri-energy and fibre) and their unique contributions to society, cultural development and the economy;

c. Analyse the important role of innovative scientific and technological solutions for the development of sustainable agribusinesses;

d. Compare vocational and traditional educational approaches with particular reference to agribusiness education;

e. Evaluate agribusiness curricula in terms of their ability to promote personal development, literacy and science education;

f. Evaluate agribusiness curricula in terms of their ability to foster contextual learning;

g. Analyse the role of an agribusiness education programme in supporting young people to develop entrepreneurial skills in the agribusiness sector.


a. Identify different types of food production systems from Malta and the Mediterranean region;

b. Analyse the multifunctional role of agriculture and agribusiness in modern societies;

c. Identify the key socio-economic and environmental driving factors influencing agriculture today;

d. Assess the important role of scientific and technological innovation in ensuring agricultural sustainability;

e. Identify the distinguishing characteristics of vocational education.


a. Categorise agricultural and food production systems from Malta and the Mediterranean region;

b. Analyse the important socio-economic contributions of agricultural and food productions systems;

c. Analyse the impacts of agribusiness on the environment;

d. Design an agribusiness teaching programme/scheme of work that promotes literacy, science knowledge and personal development, and contextual learning.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Portfolio; Assignment.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
  1. IAASTD, 2009. Agriculture at a crossroads: Global Report, Washington: Island Press.
  2. infoDev, n.d. Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 10 02 2018].
  3. National Research Council of the National Academies, 2009. Transforming Agricultural Education for a Changing World. Washington: The National Academies Press.
  4. Thompson, J. et al., 2007. ) Agri-food System Dynamics: pathways to sustainability in an era of uncertainty. STEPS Working Paper 4, Brighton: STEPS Centre.
  5. Kunkel, H. & Skaggs, C., 2001. Revolutionizing Higher Education in Agriculture: Framework, Principles and Agenda for Action. Iowa: Iowa State University Press.
  6. Barnard, F., Akridge, J., Dooley, F., & Folitz, J. 2012. Agribusiness Management. 4th London and New York: Routledge.
  7. Kalaitzandonakes, N., Carayannis, E.G., Grigoroudis, E. and Rozakis, S., 2018. From Agriscience to Agribusiness. Springer.
  8. McCullough, E.B., Pingali, P.L., Stamoulis, K.G. 2008. The Transformation of Agri-food Systems: Globalization, Supply Chains and Smallholder Farmers. Earthscan.
  9. Kay, R.D., Edwards, W.M., Duffy, P.A. (2015). Farm Management. 8th McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Supplementary Reading List
  1. Rauner, F. & Maclean, R., 2008. Handbook of Technical and Vocational Education and Training Research. s.l.:Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
  2. Ricketts, C., Ricketts, K.G. 2009. Agribusiness Fundamentals and Applications, 2nd Cengage Learning.
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