Agricultural engineers are a key profession for the future of a more digitalized agri-food chain, but one that is deficient and “lack of students”, as warned by universities.
This is highlighted by EFE Agro, through an interview with the deputy director of Academic Planning of the Higher Technical School of Agricultural Engineering of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), Rosario Haro, and the assistant to the Directorate for Coordination of Masters and Communication, Paloma Esteve.
In recent years, it has been noticed that students tend more towards biomedical or telecommunications engineering. According to data from the UPM, during the decade of the 90s there was an increase in students, in all engineering. In the case of agricultural engineering (with around 5,000 students per year at that time), this increase was also driven by the opening of new Universities and Schools with these degrees.
But from 2005, the data reflects a decrease in those enrolled in master’s degrees and careers in the agricultural sector, which stand at 2,299 students in the 2021-2022 academic year.
Satellites, «big data», «machine learning», precision agriculture, programming and genetic modification are some of the knowledge taught in agricultural engineering and that will allow students to operate in all the links of the agri-food chain.
The study plans seek to respond to the needs of the countryside with respect to climate change and policies such as the community “From farm to table”.