The Diploma of Tropical Agriculture
- 5 CXE's including 3 of the following
- Computer Science
- Integrated Science or any Science subject
- 1 Year's qualifying work on a farm, preferably in Grenada
- Qualify for Entry
- Successfully complete the 1 year Diploma Course at Balthazar University
The 1 year Diploma Course at Balthazar University is
- a 120 credit course with 8 compulsory sections each worth 15 credits
- and is restricted to 20 students
The 8 sections of the course are as follows
- First Semester
- Communication & Computing
- Systems of Farm Management Part I
- Plant Science
- Fluids, Soils & their Management
- Second Semester
- Systems of Livestock Production
- Plant & Animal Health
- Engineering on the Farm
- Systems of Farm Management Part II
Details of the Sections
Communication & Computing
This course is designed to provide foundation skills in learning, communication and computing. Skills gained will support concurrent and later skills for learning.
After this course, students will understand the structure and usage of modern computer systems and be able to solve basic real-world problems with the use of spreadsheet and word processing software. Designing and presenting an oral presentation to a specified audience using an appropriate style and supporting media will be covered. Students will know how to explain how to effectively communicate using selected written, oral and graphic communication techniques, and distinguish between constructive and inappropriate techniques for communicating interpersonally in pairs and in groups.
- Introduction to Computing
- Word Processing
- Databases and data lists
- Internet and World Wide Web
- Learning Styles and Information
- Time Management and Information Storage
- Note-taking and Research Strategies
- Communications Overview
- Written Communication
- Oral Communication
Systems of Farm Management - Part I
The Grenada horticulture and nutmeg industries have an increasing demand for graduates who understand the interdependence of science/technology and commerce.
The aims of this course are to:
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of horticulture and nutmeg industry organisations and issues from both a business, regional and national perspective
- Demonstrate observational and analytical abilities in economic, technical and social areas of management through case studies of selected animal, cocoa and nutmeg businesses
- Critically appraise management problems, using the 'systems' approach - understanding the effects of technology on management and management on technology
- Complete a 'whole property' analysis of a selected animal or cropping business to identify the determinants of profitability or business success or failure and to develop strategies for improvement.
A feature of this course is a case study/business plan for a horticultural or nutmeg business. All students collate information about the business environment, structure and performance. From this information, each student writes an individual report analysing that business and identifying opportunities for improvement and development. Students are also encouraged to study topics of their own interest within the flexible assessment framework.
Plant Science area covers the rudiments of plant propagation, crop production including plant identification.
- Structure and function of agriculturally important plants
- The role of crops in agricultural systems in Grenada
- Factors affecting yield, quality and management crops and animal feed.
- Tropical farming systems
- Plant form and function
- Principles of crop production
- Nutmeg, Bananas, Pimento, Coconut cropping management
- Weed biology
- Inter-cropping management
- Plant Diseases
- Tropical crop agronomy
- Seed production and technology.
Fluids, Soils & Their Management
Fluids such as water, nutrient solutions, fuel, treatment solutions are vital to agriculture in a variety of ways.
Nutrient solutions are used to stimulate growth, as hydroponic and aeroponic feeding media.
Soils are the media in which plants grow to feed and clothe the world. Soil management involves maintaining or improving the ability of soils to grow useful plants without contaminating the environment and water supplies with nutrients or other chemicals.
Soils and Soil Management is an applied course that develops an understanding of the physical and chemical aspects of soils together with plant requirements. Our aim is to give an introduction to the nature and properties of soils and how soils affect plant growth. An understanding of the efficient management of soils and horticulture media including fertiliser use, irrigation, cultivation and drainage for agriculture or horticulture is the key objective of this course.
Soils and Soil Management is ideal for students who will be working on or managing farm or horticultural units. It is particularly appropriate for those wishing to make a career in farming or horticulture.
- Soil components: soil description; soil classifications; land evaluation
- Soil physical properties and their management
- Soil water, drainage and irrigation
- Soil and plant nutrition; soil acidity
- Fertiliser and water requirements for, arable and horticultural crops.
- Nutrient requirements for hydroponic and aeroponic plant propagation and growth
- Safe handling and use of fuels and plant treatment chemicals
Systems of Livestock Production
This course aims to develop an understanding of the importance of livestock production systems to farm management.
- Evaluation of the physical and environmental factors influencing animal production systems
- An understanding of variation in performance within and between populations of farmed livestock
- An understanding of seasonal operations and management of animals.
- Introduction - Animal Breeding and Livestock Systems
- Variation within Animal Breeds
- Types of Feed
- The Structure & Function of Digestive Systems
- Animal Feed Requirements
- Feed & Feeding and Feed Intake
- Reproductive Structures, Structure & Function Reproduction
- Factors influencing reproductive rate
- Fibre Growth
Plant & Animal Health
The course covers recognition and control of important insect pests and plant diseases of pastures and crops, and important diseases of livestock.
- An introduction to the biology and management of pest and pathogenic organisms of horticultural and agricultural crops and pastures.
- An introduction to agrichemicals, their safe and efficient use.
- Common diseases of farmed livestock, principles of disease prevention, treatments and control.
- The importance of insect pests, plant diseases and weeds
- The safe use of agrichemicals for the control of insect pests, plant diseases and weeds
- Non-chemical methods for the control of insect pests, plant diseases and weeds
- Insect pests, life cycles and control strategies
- Plant diseases, life cycles and control strategies
- Plant and Animal Treatment by the safe application and efficient use of agrichemicals
- Animal health, diseases of farmed livestock, principles of disease prevention, treatment and control.
Engineering on the Farm
This is an introduction to engineering applications. It looks at structures, materials and building technology, water technology, land information systems and surveying, machines and electricity, engineering impacts and hazards.
- Measurement, Units & Land Information Systems (Units, length, area, volume and density. Aerial photos and maps, areas, contours, grades and slope).
- Construction Technology Machinery (Forces, building terminology and construction. Properties of basic building materials. Building controls, loads, failures and durability).
- Water Technology (Water pressure, flow-rate, pipe flow. Farm water supply and irrigation systems including pumps.
- Farm wastes and pollution, drainage).
- Machinery (Agricultural and horticultural mechanisation & Vehicles)
- Machinery management and safety.
- Welding, Concrete-work and Timber-based Construction.
Systems of Farm Management Part II
This course is the nuts and bolts of being a financially successful farmer
- Financial management in agriculture
- investment analysis
- land purchase and debt servicing
- An introduction to specific farm operating systems in Grenadian agriculture
- A series of field case studies.