LPLK10367U Tropical Crop Production

Volume 2023/2024

MSc Programme in Agriculture
MSc Programme in Environment and Development
MSc Programme on Global Environment and Development


The course focuses on developing capacities for sustainable production of tropical crops. The students will be exposed to major crop science elements that are instrumental for a sustainable crop production. Focus is on optimizing the use of agrobiodiversity and management practices considering the socio-economic characteristics and climate change challenges.

Main disciplines are:

i. Agronomy with reference to tropical conditions.

Tropical crop physiology; crop genetic resources, agrobiodiversity and breeding; crop management; crop protection; soil fertility. Cultivation of crops under challenging conditions of climate change (e.g drought, salinity).

ii. Tropical Crops
An overview of major tropical crops groups in relation to their uses (roots and tubers; legumes; minor cereals; spices; stimulants; underutilized species), their intrinsic properties and their cultivation with special emphasis on small-holder conditions and resilience for climate change.

iii. Cropping systems

Crop production optimization strategies for sustainable production (intercropping, use of legumes for mitigation/adaptation). Innovations to optimize sustainable production systems (crop: phenotyping, breeding, protection). The use of agrobiodiversity for diversification, sustainable intensification and value chain enhancement.

Learning Outcome

Provide students, having a BSc-level background in agricultural, social sciences or sciences involved with development of the tropical region, with a comprehensive understanding of the properties of selected tropical environments, crop species and their management facing climate change. Focus is on climate related production constraints; that is abiotic and biotic stresses, and human endeavor to optimize crop production in small-scale farming, within the context of poverty alleviation and sustainable crop production.

When students have completed the course, they should have attained:



  • Manage key elements to characterize production systems in the tropics
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of tropical crop production
  • Understand the characteristics of major tropical crops
  • Demonstrate overview of tropical cropping systems in relation to agro-ecological and socio-economic conditions
  • Demonstrate knowledge on different strategies to optimize production systems in the tropics
  • Manage basic tools for participatory work and research



  • Characterize production systems of tropical areas of the globe
  • Design cropping calendars for selected major crops species
  • Analyze and synthesize diverse types of information and data on tropical crop production
  • Apply a relevant analytical software for statistics
  • Apply relevant participatory rural appraisal methods
  • Develop tropical crop production plans in relation to given agro-ecological and socioeconomic conditions
  • Design and analyze the implementation of projects in a tropical crop production environment



  • Data management, analysis, and critical approach
  • Assess and formulate agronomic components of development support programmes
  • Advice extension and research institutions in tropical countries
  • Perform and interpret quantitative and qualitative statistical information to analyze scenarios of crop production and innovation
  • Propose innovative optimization strategies

Papers and videos uploaded on Absalon

Tropical Crop Production I - Selected papers

Tropical Crop Production II – Manual for practical and theoretical exercises

Basic courses in biology, statistics, social sciences and sciences related to sustainable development

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
The course applies blended learning with lectures supported by videos, digital tools, theoretical and practical exercises.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 30
  • Preparation
  • 68
  • Theory exercises
  • 55
  • Practical exercises
  • 24
  • Excursions
  • 7
  • Project work
  • 8
  • Guidance
  • 10
  • Exam
  • 4
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 min
Type of assessment details
During the course the student participate in group work in which they write a group report (approximate 10 pages). The students are individually examined in the content of the group report and are further examined in the rest of course curriculum. Examination in the report weight 35 % and examination in curriculum weight 65 %. No preparation time before the oral examination.
Exam registration requirements

Submitted and approval of the reports for theoretical and practical exercises

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.

As the ordinary exam.

If the student did not participate in a approved group report, an assignment is given three weeks before the exam. The student has to hand in an individual report based on the assignment (approximate 5 pages). At the oral examination the students will then be examined in the report and in the rest of the curriculum. Examination in the rapport weight 35 % and examination in curriculum weight 65 %.

Criteria for exam assesment

see learning outcome