You can spread the cost of our course with Interest Free Credit on selected courses**.
This is exclusively available for a limited time by calling us on 0800 083 9191 or 01409 220 777.
Horticultural Correspondence College Limited is registered in England no. 03819370. Lyne Akres, Brandis Corner, Devon, EX22 7YH. Horticultural Correspondence College is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, register number 774548 and acts as a credit broker and offers finance through the Deko platform, which is provided by Omni Capital Retail Finance Ltd. Omni Capital Retail Finance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Reference number 720279. Credit is provided to UK residents with a UK bank account, subject to age and status.
A course that provides the knowledge to really ‘make a difference’
Agriculture has a key role for development throughout the world, but especially so in the tropics where many of the population are self-employed subsistence farmers, dependent on it as their only means of survival. Most temperate zone farming techniques are inappropriate for tropical areas, due to differences in climate, soils and not being geared to small-scale farming. This course focuses on achieving efficient and environmentally sustainable crop and livestock production in tropical areas – which could ultimately help reduce hunger, malnutrition and poverty and improve the livelihoods of the people who live here. You will explore topics including the main farming systems in the tropics, soil management, water conservation, food crops and cash crops, managing livestock and rural development. Some learners may choose to study so they can offer useful knowledge and practical support to their favoured developing world charities. This course would also be useful if you wish to pursue an agricultural career in the tropics or a career in Third-World development.
- Gain an understanding of the most appropriate crop and livestock farming practices for tropical climates and soils
- Flexible home-study learning so you can fit your learning around your work and life
- Quality course material and excellent tutor support – to help you achieve your goals
- On successful completion you will receive an HCC Certificate
- Suitable for both amateurs and professionals
- No previous experience needed
How the course works
Your first set of course materials will be sent to you when you enrol. You can start as soon as you want and progress through the course at your own pace, studying when and where you choose.
This flexibility makes it easy to fit learning around work and family commitments.
The extensive course materials have been developed by tropical farming experts and are clear and straightforward, so your studying is easy and enjoyable. As you complete each lesson, your tutor will promptly return your marked assignment with constructive feedback and guidance. (You can also contact your tutor or the support team for help at any point during your studies.)
The course includes all the required study materials.
There is no formal examination. On successful completion you will be awarded an HCC Certificate. You have 2 years to complete the course.
We are proud of our friendly, caring ethos and aim to do all we can to help you succeed.
Our tutors are all experienced, highly qualified and passionate about sharing their love of their subject. You can phone or email your tutor throughout the course – to ask questions, for advice, encouragement or to draw on their wealth of knowledge.
You can also contact the support team who are here to help you Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
What you will learn
Lesson 1 – Introductions – regions and climate
- Classification of farming systems
- Some common characteristics of tropical agriculture. Implications for tropical farming
- Tapping the potential
- Main farming systems found in the tropics
- Shifting cultivation
- Fallow systems
- Ley and dairy systems
- Permanent upland cultivation
- Arable irrigation farming
- Perennial crops
- Grazing systems
Lesson 2 – Characteristics of soil
- The organic cycle
- Properties of sand, silt and clay
- Soil texture classification
- Particular features of tropical soils
- Paddy rice soil profile
- Soil water
- Water in the soil
- Water conservation
- The water cycle
- Soil temperature and organisms
- Plant nutrients
- Soil pH
- Soil management
- Manuring and compost making
- Storage and composition of compost
- Mixed cropping
- Fertilisers and amounts to use
- Methods of fertiliser application
- Soil erosion
- Soil and water conservation
Lesson 3 – Introduction – plant structure
- Plant reproduction
- Plant groups
- Plant growth
- Mixed and relay cropping
- Diseases of crops
- Crop improvement
Lesson 4 – Introduction – principles of livestock production
- The reproductive system
- The digestive system
- Animal nutrition
- Classification of feeds
- Constituents of feed
- Principles of livestock rationing
- Types of feedstuffs for farm animals
- Animal health
- Animal improvement
- Management of cattle
- Dairy cattle management
- Beef cattle
Lesson 5 – Vegetables
- Planning the vegetable garden
- Preparation and layout of site
- Cropping patterns
- Cultural practices
- Egg plant
- Okra, pepper; amaranth; tomato; watermelon; sweet potato
- Fruit trees – propagation techniques
- Establishing the orchard
- Citrus fruits
- Bananas; cashew; coconut; mango; papaya; pineapple; oil palm
Lesson 6 – Classification of crops
- Food crops – rice; maize; sorghum; millet; cowpeas; yam; cassava
- Cash crops – groundnuts; sugar cane; cotton; sesame; tea
- Crop recording
- Sheep – Management systems; diseases
- Goats – breeds of goats; management of goats
- Pigs – types of management; housing; feeding; breeding
- Parasites and diseases
- Poultry – types and breeds of chicken
- Types of management
- Breeding and reproduction
- Management of layers
- Management of broilers
- Health and diseases
Lesson 8 – Rural development
- What is development?
- Development in rural areas
- Participatory development
- Planning development projects
- Evaluation and monitoring of development programmes
- Case studies
Lesson 9 – Appropriate technology
- Intermediate technology
- Choice of technology
- Agricultural mechanization
- Implements for agriculture.
Lesson 10 – Agroforestry
- Principles of agroforestry
- Agroforestry tree management
- Agroforestry practices
- Some suitable species
- The future potential
If needed you have 2 years to complete the course. Many students are able to complete this course in approximately 6-12 months*.
*Timescales are approximate and depend upon application and motivation.
There are no exams. On successful completion of this course you will receive an HCC Certificate*, graded to show the standard you have reached. The HCC’s reputation means this can be highly regarded on a CV and, combined with your portfolio of coursework, is evidence of your achievements (whether you are applying for a job or a more advanced study course).
* The HCC Certificate will be issued once you have successfully completed your course and finished your course payments.
You do not need previous farming knowledge or experience to enrol on this course.
There are 2 ways you can enrol
- Pay the total course fee of £295 in one sum and also receive a special gift from our selection – free
- Pay a deposit of just £95, followed by 4 instalments of £50