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Master’s Degree in Sustainable Tropical Agriculture (MATS) and the interdisciplinary approach to Sustainable Agriculture Research

The variety of research opportunities which is offered to MATS students is broad and intersects with all four of the departments of our undergraduate program which are Agroindustry, Agribusiness, Science & Agricultural Production, Environment and Development, among others (info below picture)

Zamorano´s strategic research lines span all four axes of the four areas of specialization in this academic institution. This provides a wide flexibility to MATS students choosing a topic for their graduate thesis work, and a resultant broad array of thesis projects. One of the features of the MATS curriculum is to be an academic program which promotes interdisciplinary integration.

Dr. Adela Acosta, Agroindustry Department Director, maintains that “the value that the Master´s Program has goes well beyond what we read in the study plan because while there are very specific classes, research can focus on any research area where  Zamorano is working”.

From Zamorano’s academic departments: Science and Agricultural Production, Agroindustry, Agribusiness, Environment and Development, integration of the MATS work is done with a multidisciplinary vision which enriches the achievements and the  results of student and faculty research.

Ing. Rogel Castillo, Agricultural Science and Production Department Director, explains that this department is divided in two big agricultural disciplines: Plant breeding and Animal breeding. Areas such as natural sciences, biology, and microbiology are not outside the scope  of agriculture.   They are related disciplines and everything that has to do with biological science fits perfectly with what the Agricultural Science and Production Department has been engaged with Interdisciplinary Studies in Zamorano.

The MATS students’ research projects are supported by all four departments at Zamorano and all research has a focused attention on agricultural sustainability.  For example students majoring in Agricultural Science and Production can strengthen the lines of adaptation of technologies such as precision and conservation agriculture.

Ing. Castillo explains that MATS offers the possibility of broadening the range of research and development of technologies, as working a graduation undergraduate project implies a profound level which can increase with the master´s research which guide new knowledge and technologies.

Students in the Agribusiness area can strengthen their knowledge in data handing, managerial practices, marketing access, value chains and international training and sustainable approach.

“Sustainability cannot be measured only in correct practices, in the use of not use at all of certain practices or ingredients; it goes beyond, and has to be sustainable for whom does it”, says Dr. Raul Soto, Agribusiness Department Director.

On the other hand he components of Agroindustry help the students identify a design of an optimum product process, treatment for a better use of raw material and agro industrial processes, responsible production from the point of view of the optimization of resources, and commercial value of products.

In the Environment and Development area components, it emphasizes in generation of greater knowledge to students in skills to design, execute and evaluate actions for the conservation and productive handling of the natural resources and environment for the social and economic development of society.

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