Pôle Tropiques et Méditerranée

Institute for Higher education in tropical and sub-tropical agri-food sciences (IRC)

Sustainable agricultural and agri-food development in the South

Update : 02/29/2024

Education, research and outreach activities in and for the South.

The institute focuses on the development of sustainable agriculture and agri-food systems, mainly in Mediterranean and tropical countries. Through its higher education programmes and consulting services, the institute seeks to improve food security, increase rural populations’ incomes, facilitate the sustainable management of natural resources, and contribute to the development of the agri-food sector.

IRC’s educational staff members belong to Montpellier SupAgro’s training and research departments. They engage in scientific activities carried out at Agropolis, an internationally renowned agricultural research campus with over 1,000 researchers and 22 joint research units. They work closely with several local and international partners located mainly in countries of the South.


On-the field training session in Madagascar, Sustainable Agricultural and Food Systems for the South (SAADS) engineering programme - Resources and Agricultural Systems Development option
On-the field training session in Madagascar, Sustainable Agricultural and Food Systems for the South (SAADS) engineering programme - Resources and Agricultural Systems Development option

Engineering and International Master’s programmes

development and food systems in the South. It offers an engineering degree, Sustainable agricultural and food systems for the South (SAADS), and an international master’s degree, Agronomy and agrifood Science (known as Master 3A).

These programmes propose several options and specializations:

Advanced Master ®

IRC also offers post-master’s training courses developed jointly with Montpellier SupAgro and CIRAD:

Co-accredited Master

Student Life

IRC cultivates a nurturing environment on an agro-ecological campus.

Permaculture vegetable garden, IRC
Permaculture vegetable garden, IRC

The institute enjoys an exceptional setting, adjacent to renowned agricultural research organizations. Students have access to CIRAD's dining hall located near the campus.

Outside class hours, students manage a permaculture vegetable garden.


Ensuring a continuum between training, research and innovation to fulfil the Institute's missions.

The Development Expertise Training Engineering for the South department, known as DEFIS, develops engineering activities for training, expertise and international cooperation. DEFIS pursues three core missions, working with:

  • Universities and training centres in the South to reinforce their educational programmes (ex: Ecole Supérieure d'Agronomie - INPHB / Ivory Coast, Université du Sine Saloum El Hadj Ibrahima NIASS / Senegal, agricultural training scheme - AFOP programme / Cameroon...).
  • Professionals (small and medium-sized enterprises, NGOs, donors) to jointly tailor solutions to their needs, providing support, advice and capacity building.
  •  IRC students to complement their training with hands on experience, facilitate their professional integration (internship sites, job offers, participation in studies), and support their entrepreneurial dynamics.


IRC has built numerous partnerships with training and research institutions in the North and South to broaden the scope of its teaching, facilitate the professional integration of its graduates, and improve the quality of its various activities.

IRC hosts close partners on its premises:

Key figures

  • Administrative and teaching team: 70 agents, including 19 researcher-professors and 19 pedagogical engineers and trainers
  • Annual number of students: 250 engineering students, 60 master degree students
  • International profile: 30% of the student body are international students, with over 20 countries represented
  • DEFIS activities: 30 projects conducted on average every year


Pôle Tropiques et Méditerranée

L'Institut Agro
Campus de Lavalette
1101, avenue Agropolis


L'Institut Agro Montpellier
2 place Pierre Viala
34060 Montpellier - France
Tél. : +33 (0)4 99 61 22 00 Tél. : +33 (0)4 99 61 22 00
Fax : +33 (0)4 99 61 29 00

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