Master's degree in agribusiness engineering
The Palestinian agricultural sector represents the basic productive sector of the Palestinian economy in addition to the industrial sector through its contribution to the GDP or through the percentage of the workforce in it. The agricultural sector contributes to achieving food security through the ability of the agricultural sector to absorb the workforce and its contribution to solving the problem of unemployment in the countryside in general. There is a reciprocal effect between the agricultural sector and the economic sector, as the revitalization of the agricultural trade movement will lead to the activation of all agricultural activities, which in turn will lead to the revitalization and growth of the movement of the economy, as the agricultural sector has been considered one of the pillars of the Palestinian economy since ancient times because it provides for the agricultural food needs of the citizens and job opportunities for them. In addition to the hard currency it provides from export returns, agriculture is an important national concern for the Palestinian citizen, because of its political importance that links him to his land and his livelihood.
With the tremendous development witnessed by the agricultural sector, there is an urgent need for competent specialists in this field who are able to advance the economic aspect of the Palestinian agricultural sector through the management and organization of agricultural operations and work on exporting or manufacturing and preserving the abundance of production. Therefore, it was necessary to develop a master’s program in profitable agricultural business at the national level, which will harness the agricultural expertise that already exists in Palestinian universities (Al-Quds University, Hebron University, An-Najah National University, and Palestine Technical University-Khadoori) to graduate cadres that are qualified to develop the agricultural sector and increase returns to the Palestinian treasury. Given the increasing demand for this specialization in the local, regional and global market, the introduction of this specialization jointly among universities will contribute significantly to supplying the market with its needs of qualified cadres, benefiting from the infrastructure in the four universities and the academic and research expertise in them.
The program consists of four tracks:
- Management and Marketing.
- Food Processing.
- Organic Agriculture.
- Agricultural greenhouse management.
The graduates will have the necessary skills in agribusiness as well as a sound knowledge of the structure and techniques of the profitable agribusiness sector. The graduates will be able to analyze the conditions of agro-industries, formulate strategies, implement plans and manage strategic change.
This specialization aims to prepare and qualify cadres to:
- Organize and develop agricultural operations (supply and demand) in line with the needs of the Palestinian market, as well as achieving a good return for the farms and the treasury.
- Contribute to solving the problems facing farmers and exporters through the management and development of agricultural work mechanisms to increase the national output of agricultural products.
- Open markets to Palestinian agricultural goods, and this requires the Palestinian farmer and factory to apply new production concepts that they have not previously experienced, and these concepts are not presented or derived, unfortunately, through the various study plans of agricultural colleges locally, which makes it imperative for us in Palestine to keep pace with this evolving need and to introduce an agricultural program – Economic-industrial at the master’s level, as the students’ research derived from agricultural, economic problems and developmental visions will work in the first place to provide specialists with practical solutions to these problems that are based on a scientific research basis.
- Collect human, research and laboratory resources through a joint program for four universities (Al-Quds University, Hebron University, An-Najah National University, and Palestine Technical University-Khadoori). The role of universities is focused on participating in the program by providing faculty members to teach the courses offered in the program and supervising scientific research, as well as providing research places and laboratories for the program.
The Agribusiness program is committed to the learning outcomes approved by the American Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), and therefore, upon completion of this program and in all tracks, the student possesses the following:
- The ability to apply the acquired knowledge in the fields of agriculture, management and production, as well as the ability to use decision-making tools such as records, budgeting, data analysis, and capital investment well through proper planning and control of the farm.
- The ability to design and conduct experiments and then analyze and translate results to meet specific needs.
- The ability to work in multidisciplinary teams.
- The ability to identify, formulate and solve agricultural problems, as well as design simulation methods for different crop growth conditions
- The ability to understand and assume ethical and professional responsibilities (quality) in addition to the student’s acquisition of the scientifically and practically accurate skill in the manufacture of products as well as the design and management of high-quality agricultural projects such as:
- Managing profitable agricultural businesses and making decisions on the farm or project.
- Analyze and develop the agricultural market to keep pace with global developments in manufacturing, marketing and fair trade of agricultural products.
- Acquire theoretical and analytical skills to know and develop basic financial management tools and systems for for-profit agricultural businesses.
- The ability to analyze and evaluate the financial position of agro-industrial facilities and the ability to build a set of integrated financial statements for an agricultural project
- The ability to analyze the financial position and general performance using financial standards and foundations and analyze financial information to take appropriate administrative decisions.
- The ability to understand the interrelationship between businessmen and financial risks and explain how to use risk management tools.
- Knowledge of contemporary and urgent issues that arise in the field of agricultural business, so that the student keeps pace with many of the new methods and potential and useful technology in the field of specialization, and increase the ability to know the effective means of technology transfer, with the aim of increasing the capacity of the agricultural sector to provide high-quality and fresh products in value chains agricultural.
- The ability to use the necessary modern techniques, skills and tools and to develop research skills to practice agricultural business professions, where the skill of interest in developing and transferring advanced agricultural and food technology, and process and support technology will be available to improve production efficiency and product tracking and marketing, as the program will provide full support for the rehabilitation of agricultural business Small businesses and organize them so that they are a tributary to agricultural institutions capable of marketing Palestinian agricultural production globally, as well as the ability to apply economic principles to make decisions in agricultural projects and implement strategic plans for marketing agricultural industries as well as stimulate critical and creative thinking of the student to solve problems related to agricultural business.
- The ability to describe the legal requirements of business and familiarity with the principles and rules of financial management and control in for-profit agricultural businesses
- Understand the basic principles of total quality management and choose appropriate statistical methods to improve production processes.
- The ability to write reports for project management, as well as describe operations and write the necessary recommendations.
- Define and identify architectural requirements and documents, including strategic plans, business models, and business rules necessary for a profitable agricultural business project and the ability to prepare the necessary components to conduct a feasibility study.
- Describe and develop the main components of a for-profit agribusiness case.
- The ability to evaluate and achieve various business objectives, as well as identify and evaluate a risk-sensing plan and prepare the necessary solutions to ward off risks, as well as strategic thinking about obstacles and opportunities offered by work developments.
Upon completion of the Management and Marketing track, the student possesses the following:
- The ability to identify the problem of profitable agricultural business and the possibility of solving it and following it up through the project and evaluating the economic motives that affect agriculture.
- The ability to understand the mechanisms of price discovery in light of different market structures and to assess and analyze the requirements and opportunities for marketing profitable agricultural businesses in the world
- The ability to discuss the principles of monitoring and evaluation of projects and to identify the common points between them, as well as to write and follow up reports and build on their results.
- The ability to evaluate the final product based on quality standards, in addition to building a quality program commensurate with the capabilities of the operating institution.
- The ability to identify and control key performance indicators in the context of the general control process by assessing food quality and safety requirements in the context of quality legislation, to manage processes that ensure the production of high-quality products.
Upon completion of the Food Processing track, the student possesses the following:
- The ability to understand food ingredients and manufacturing processes with product management and development.
- The ability to identify raw materials and packaging materials in addition to food additives suitable for manufactured products. Using international and local legislation.
- The ability to determine the microbiological quality of the product and to identify market needs in accordance with quality regulations.
- To provide students with the necessary expertise to understand plant extracts and be able to incorporate them into medicinal foodstuffs, and to verify food safety for the consumer.
Upon completion of the Organic Agriculture track, the student possesses the following:
- Analyzing how the farm functions as an agricultural ecosystem, and assessing the sustainability of agricultural operations.
- The ability to deal with and develop soil nutrients to produce sustainable organic crops and reduce environmental degradation.
- Familiarity with techniques for maintaining soil fertility and providing advice for fertilizing it using by-products from farm waste and understanding how to manage soil organic matter
- Knowing how to protect plants in organic production and choosing the best means to combat pathogens.
- Knowledge of control systems in organic trade and the necessary skills to work and familiarity with European standards in organic agriculture.
- The ability to deal with marketing operations and proper dealing with devices that would facilitate the marketing of organic products on international markets.
- The ability to plan organic farms, including the surrounding areas, in accordance with the basic principles of organic farming.
- The ability to use technical alternatives in fruit farms with regard to organic production.
- Familiarity with the basic principles of organic grape cultivation and its importance in the world as well as harvesting techniques and manufacturing processes.
- Learn the basic principles of biodiversity management, crop rotation and plant health.
- Understand the basics of animal husbandry and the integration of crops and animals on an organic farm.
Upon completion of the Agricultural Greenhouse Management track, the student possesses the following:
- Familiarity with the global warming phenomenon and its impact on protected agriculture, as well as comparing and evaluating the various protection methods used to produce crops and familiarity with the components of the agricultural greenhouse, production systems and their management.
- The ability to assess problems in the production of vegetables inside the greenhouse and work to improve educational materials for training farmers.
- The ability to solve problems in the growing season, and to plan, control and manage production in the greenhouse according to international standards.
- To develop knowledge about the protection of vegetables and to understand the work of these various facilities in the production of protected crops and the introduction of new crops of value as well as good management of production in the environment of protected plants and the successful handling of new technology for the protection and development of plants in greenhouses.
- Familiarity with the techniques of safe and effective use of agrochemicals in crop protection to produce crops free from the residues of these chemicals.
- Estimating losses in terms of quantity and quality of farms and agricultural crops in Palestine and determining the total impact of these losses and ways to avoid them.
- Familiarity with the appropriate systems and conditions for healthy storage of products in the medium and long term for the main crops in Palestine and to reduce waste.
- Apply advanced statistical analysis in vegetable production and understand techniques in vegetable production as well as assess the process of vegetable production from a morphological and molecular point of view.
- Understand the different techniques of soilless farming, their usefulness and general knowledge about irrigation and fertilization systems.
- The ability to collect and analyze samples and determine their chemical composition, as well as choose the optimal nutrient solution for the selected plant species.
- Familiarity with the achievements made in advanced technology in horticulture and its impact on the environment.
- The ability to understand how plants respond to different environmental conditions as well as to calculate and analyze energy losses in the greenhouse and to describe solutions to reduce energy losses.
The conditions announced by the Admission Department before each new academic year.
Graduates of the Master of Agribusiness for Profit Business can work in the following areas:
- Various governmental departments, ministries (national economy, trade, industry, health, education and agriculture), the Palestinian Standards Institution, international bodies working in the field of agriculture and food, various agricultural lending institutions, cooperative societies, fair trade institutions and private projects, where the graduate can occupy a number of jobs. Such as quality supervisor, laboratory analyst, project auditor, data analyst, field supervisor, product promoter, or any other title attributed to him within his field of study.
- Commercial plants in Palestine such as farms and markets based on agricultural products, vegetable and fruit products, juices, soft drinks, biscuits, chocolate, vegetable oils, pasta, salads, and others where one can occupy a number of jobs such as farm manager, labor supervisor, production manager or supervisor, assistant production supervisor, observer Quality, Laboratory Analyst, Laboratory Technician, Raw Material Receipt Supervisor, Research and Development Manager or any other titles within the graduate’s field of competence
- Public health laboratories and the Ministry of Agriculture or any other departments or institutions in the field of chemical and microbial food analysis, where a laboratory analyst or laboratory technician, laboratory manager, quality supervisor, results analyst, technical director, or within the staff of assistants for these jobs or under any others relevant ones in such institutions.
- Central Bureau of Statistics and statistical services related to agricultural business.
- Pursue postgraduate studies to obtain a doctorate degree and engaging in the academic field.
- Provide technical and information services to agriculture in its plant and animal sectors, where the graduate will be able to analyze the financial situation of the market and agricultural industries, and can provide the necessary assistance and consultations to finance agricultural business, such as matching suppliers and crops with farms, and the graduate can work in quality control units that focus on improving production, production quality and facility. The graduate can set up and manage own business (company manager, field supervisor, data auditor, data analyst, agricultural project consultant, research and development manager).
- Agricultural Planning Institutions: The graduate of the Master’s degree in Agribusiness will be an active element in these institutions that are concerned with developing and analyzing policies that affect profitable agricultural businesses as well as conducting research on arable lands. Where he can work under job titles such as: data analyst, project supervisor, manager or development supervisor, quality supervisor or quality manager, field supervisor or any job title that falls within the field of competence.
- Manage farms and agricultural facilities, which includes managing the daily operations of the agricultural facility, including field crops, livestock and others, where he can work as a project manager, project supervisor, project executive manager, labor supervisor, development manager or assistant, operations manager and other emerging jobs that fall within the field of expertise.