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Improving Food Production with Agricultural Technology and Plant Biotechnology

Build your knowledge of food production challenges and technology with this online course for 16-19 year olds studying biology.

8,254 enrolled on this course

Improving Food Production with Agricultural Technology and Plant Biotechnology
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Learn how to address challenges in growing, harvesting, and processing food

Are you inspired to join the next generation of scientists and tackle challenges in food security? On this course, you will get access to innovative research solutions that address some of the biggest issues in food, agriculture, and plant biotechnology.

You will become more familiar with the journey plants take, from crops in the field to food on your plate. You will explore the importance of scientific research in food security and discover the new technologies that are transforming agriculture.

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What topics will you cover?

Week One: Plant biotechnology

  • Solutions to food production challenges (pathology, pests, environmental stress, climate change) e.g. genetics
  • Alternatives to plant biotechnology e.g. biological control

Week Two: Agricultural technology

  • Challenges in the field e.g. soil structure, climate, yield, disease
  • A history of agricultural technology and today’s new technologies e.g. cutting-edge precision agriculture

Week Three: Food science

  • Solutions for altering plant-based foods to create supermarket food products
  • Examples of post-harvest food processing, e.g. creating pectins and sweeteners out of fruit by-products

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the challenges involved in growing, harvesting and processing plant-based food
  • Explore the role of scientific research in addressing challenges in food security
  • Debate the opportunities and limitations of new technologies
  • Reflect on consumer trust in the science and technology involved in bringing food from the field to the supermarket

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for 16-19 year olds studying biology related STEM subjects at A level or undergraduate level. It will also appeal to adults interested in the technology behind food production.

Who will you learn with?

I am Group Leader at the John Innes Centre (UK). My lab uses genetics and genomics to improve yield and quality components in wheat. https://www.jic.ac.uk/people/cristobal-uauy/

I am Manager Technology Innovation Strategy at the John Deere European Technology Innovation Center in Germany. My research focus is on precision agriculture and sustainable food production

I am Associate Professor in Food Science and Technology at UAM (Spain). I develop my research activity at CIAL Institute in Biocatalysis, Green Processes, Bioactive Lipids, Food Chemistry, etc.

Who developed the course?

EIT Food

EIT Food is Europe’s leading food initiative, working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted.

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge contributes to society through the pursuit of excellent education, learning, and research.

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

This activity has received funding from EIT Food, the innovation community on Food of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the EU, under the Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

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Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

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  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
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Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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