Agricultural research and education


Agricultural training is a key component in public agricultural policy. It is typified by a very high proportion of young trainees who find employment. That success is particularly due to close, constant dialogue with the socioeconomic world and the world of agricultural research as represented by several internationally renowned institutes. That link is notably the key to the development of agroecology in France.

Technical education is dispensed in agricultural high schools. More than 200,000 students and apprentices qualify every year at levels ranging from secondary school examinations to the higher agricultural technician diploma. 

More than 190 farms support this training system, which prepares future professionals to be actors in the agroecological transition. Two thirds of these farms cultivate areas under organic farming. 

Technical education in agriculture also provides training in agrifood, spatial planning, environmental protection and services for rural areas. 

Higher agricultural education has 17,000 students in 18 public- and private-sector establishments, training engineers, veterinarians, landscape gardeners, researchers and teachers at master’s degree or doctoral (PhD) levels; over 90% of those qualifying find employment.

Agricultural training is also highly active in international cooperation. Over 20,000 young people study in other countries every year.

In 2020, France’s National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and the National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (IRSTEA) merged to form INRAE, a research institute with global reach in the fields of agriculture, food, the environment and the bioeconomy.

France is deeply involved in research for development, working through numerous research bodies such as the Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and the Institute of Research for Development (IRD).