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Education and research related to organic waste management at agricultural engineering schools

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to describe the experience of the Agriculture Engineering School of Barcelona (ESAB), where undergraduate students were involved in field research experiments on organic waste use in agricultural systems. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper outlines how the formation of professionals oriented to work for OWM companies has been successfully promoted. Findings ‐ Agricultural systems can assimilate self-produced organic wastes (OW) and others from different sources. Their management for crop production can generate enormous economic and environmental benefits which can contribute to sustainable development. The implementation of an integrated strategy for OW treatment (OWT) and management (OWM) must be adapted to the characteristics of the specific geographical region and must consider the interrelations among diverse subjects such as: soil science, fertilizer management, plant production, animal husbandry, farm machinery, climate and culture. Practical implications ‐ The education of future specialists in OWM requires a multidisciplinary education which can be effectively achieved if those topics are incorporated into the educational programs of agriculture engineering schools. Originality/value ‐ The paper shows how agricultural systems can assimilate self-produced organic wastes from different sources.

Keywords: Agriculture; Education; Spain; Sustainable development; Waste; Waste management

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-04-17

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