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Sustainable Agriculture


Notice: In light of the latest development of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, HKU has announced the suspension of classes until March 28, 2020. We are rescheduling the below course timetable. A revised version will be uploaded in due course.


 CEF Reimbursable Course (CEF Course Code: 44Z114591)

Course Title:
Sustainable Agriculture
Course Code:
Mode of Study:
Part Time
Contact Hours and Study Period:
1-2 sessions per week, a total of 36 contact hours in three months’ time
Teaching Medium:
English, supplemented with Cantonese
Commencement Date:
February 6, 2020 (Thursday)

Tuition Fee:
HKD7,980 (expense for site visits is excluded)

Application Deadline:
January 24, 2020 (Friday)

Application Method:
Download and fill in Course Application Form (proof of academic qualification is required) and return to Academy for Sustainable Communities by application deadline

Monday-Friday 9:00am-6:00pm Tel: 3917-4767 Email: ruralsd@hku.hk

Class Venue:
The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
(Weekday evenings)
Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Tai Po, New Territories (Weekends)

Mr YIP Tsz Lam

Course Description:
This course focuses on introducing the basic concept and understanding of sustainable agriculture which includes a range of knowledge and practices for pursuing economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible agriculture. Applications of these practices will be illustrated through local case studies and farm visits. Students will further build up their basic skills through a farming practicum.

Assessment and Recognition:
Students, who have attained an attendance rate of not less than 70% and have the course assessment passed, will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement by the Policy for Sustainability Lab. This course is one of the four modules of the "Certificate in Sustainable Communities" programme (QF Level: 3; QR Registration No.: 18/000784/L3; QR Registration Validity Period: From 11 Sep 2018 - on-going). Students who have obtained a Certificate of Achievement in all four modules are eligible for the "Certificate in Sustainable Communities" awarded by the HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education.

Entry Requirements:
(a) have gained in the HKDSE Examination Level 2 in five subjects including Chinese Language and English Language; or
(b) have passed five subjects in HKCEE, including Chinese Language and English Language; or
(c) hold equivalent academic qualifications, taking into consideration individual merit

Course Contents and Timetable:

Date Contents
February 6, 2020 (Thursday) 7:00pm-10:00pm Lecture: Basic knowledge of sustainable agriculture
- Background and principles
- Food crisis and food system
- Agricultural conditions in Southern China
- Overview of international and local agriculture development  
February 13, 2020 (Thursday) 7:00pm-10:00pm Lecture: Management of sustainable agriculture
- Farm design
- Arrangement and management of farming
- Pest and fertilisation control
February 16, 2020 (Sunday) 9:30am-4:30pm Lecture: Mode of agriculture practice and marketing
- Typology of crops
- Nature and typology of local farms
- Marketing and sale of agricultural produce
Field study: Demonstration of a variety of agricultural practices
February 23, 2020 (Sunday) 9:30am-4:30pm Lecture: Agriculture and the environment
- Soil and water management and conservation
- Resource recycling and utilisation
- Habitat interaction
Inspection: Understanding soil, cultivated soil, agricultural supplies and composting
Field practice: Seedling, cutting
February 29, 2020 (Saturday) 9:30am-4:30pm Full day farm visit (Zen Organic Farm, Au Law Organic Farm, Tsiu Keng) 
March 8, 2020 (Sunday) 9:30am-5:00pm Lecture: Development of agriculture in Hong Kong
- Farmers, rural villagers, agriculture
- Hong Kong agricultural history
- Urban agriculture
Site visit: Central Farm Market, City Farm
March 15, 2020 (Sunday) 9:30am-4:30pm

Lecture: Agricultural development and policy
- Challenges and opportunities
- Local agricultural policy: background, impact and limitations
Field exercise and group examination

March 22, 2020 (Sunday) 9:30am-4:30pm Contingency
March 31, 2020 (Tuesday) 7:00pm-8:00pm Examination

Please note:

This course has been included in the list of reimbursable courses under the Continuing Education Fund. The mother course (Certificate in Sustainable Communities) of this module is recognised under the Qualifications Framework (QF Level 3).

Students' Feedbacks:

"The Best teacher! With great effort / experience / critical mind and skills. Good selection of fieldtrips and farm visits."

"For someone not from the field, the course was very informative and I was able to build a knowledge database from the very knowledgeable and enthusiastic teacher."

Sustainable Communities Fellowship Scheme: 

Graduates of the course will be invited to join the Academy’s Fellowship Scheme as Fellows. The Scheme aims to form a network of committed individuals which provide not only continuous support for the members but also a platform for experience sharing in pursuit of community-based sustainability across different disciplines and sectors. Fellows are also eligible to participate in the Sustainability Hackathons and the Rural in Action Start-up Scheme.

Supporting organisations: