2023-2024 / ECON0942-1

Rural economics and farm business management


25h Th, 15h Pr, 8h FT

Number of credits

 Master in agroecology (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in agricultural bioengineering (120 ECTS)5 crédits 


Philippe Burny, Thomas Dogot


Thomas Dogot

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course of Rural Economics and Agricultural Business Management is part of the major module entitled "Rural Economics and European and international policies." This major module aims to give students with a foundation of skills to adopt the approach and tools of economic analysis to the specific problems of agriculture and agribusiness.
The course ECON0942 focuses on the analysis of the agricultural sector and its production factors and on management principles applied to agricultural enterprises. This is a course integrating activities in English, namely reading articles.
The course is divided in three parts. The general plan below gives an overview of the content.

First section: Factors of production in agriculture
1.1 Land capital 1.2 Labor 1.3 Equipment 1.4 Nature and extent of agricultural capital 1.5 Investment and Debt 1.6 Socio-economic features of an agriculture
Second section: Management accounting applied to the agricultural sector
2.1 Introduction: from general accounting to management accounting 2.2 Principles and methods of cost accounting 2.3 Relevant indicators for management accounting 2.4 Management tools: methods of analysis and diagnosis of technical and economic performances of a farm 2.5 Data collection and agricultural management consultancy
Third section: Farm production planning
3.1 Preparation of a production plan 3.2 Introduction to optimization methods 3.3 Integration of environmental constraints and risk

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The course enables students to acquire the following knowledge: - cost accounting principles - technical and economic indicators applied to the management of agricultural enterprises - analysis of agricultural sector and its production factors
At the end of the course, students should be able to: - implement the principles of cost accounting - establish a full cost price - make objective the decision support for the management of a farm - characterize the socio-economic features of an agriculture
The course helps develop students' skills in the following stages of development:

  • Identify the components of the environmental, socio-economic and legislative context of an agronomic production system
  • Apply an optimization strategy to a component of a known
  • Optimize an existing system based on multiple objectives, defined in terms of sustainability, resilience and integration
  • Assess qualitatively and quantitatively the internal components of an agronomic system
  • Analyze the overall functioning of the system by taking into account its internal components and their interactions

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Prerequisites of general accounting are taught in the course GEST3028.
Basic knowledge in mathematics and those relating to the marginalist economic theory are required to ensure an optimal approach of the course. The course of Political and Social Economy (ECON2244) allows to acquire these prerequisites.
For students who wish to deepen the subjects covered in this course, recommended optional programme components are: - AGRO 1.36 dedicated to special issues in development economics; - AGRO 1.43 for deepening the economic decision support for individual firms or for subsets of the sector; - AGRO 1.33 centered on the common agricultural policy (CAP) and the construction of public policies and legislative perspectives of rural development.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Lectures (25 h)
Exercises and case studies (15 h + 8h)
Personal work (12 h)
Details on activities in English will be available on e-campus.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Face-to-face course as detailed in the previous section.

Recommended or required readings

- G. Bublot. L'exploitation agricole. Economie-Gestion-Analyse. Nauwelaerts, Louvain. - J. Chombart de Lauwe, J. Poitevin, J.C. Tirez. Nouvelle gestion des exploitations agricoles. Dunod, Paris. - J.P. Gillet, V. Ginsburgh, P. Michel et Khrouz. Comptabilité, De Boeck.  - Levallois Raymond. Gestion de l'entreprise agricole : de la théorie à la pratique. PUL, Québec. 2010.  - Melyon, Hemeci et Fernandez. Comptabilité analytique : principes, techniques et évolutions. Editions ESKA. - Société Française d'Economie Rurale. Economie rurale. Publication bimestrielle. - SPW-DGARNE. Evolution de l'économie agricole et horticole wallonne. Available for downloading online : http://agriculture.wallonie.be/apps/spip_wolwin/rubrique.php3?id_rubrique=31

Exam(s) in session

January exam session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

August-September exam session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

Written work / report

Additional information:

Written exam (70 %).  Personal work (30%). Personal work lead to a single score for the two examination sessions.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course



Dogot Thomas (Coordinateur ECON0942)
+32 81 622364

Burny Philippe

Economie et Développement rural

Bât 18 GE Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech
passage des Déportés 2
5030 Gembloux

Association of one or more MOOCs