San Carlos University

San Carlos University (USC in Spanish) is Paraguay’s largest private University focused exclusively on agribusiness education, training and research.  Located in Asunción, the USC was created in 2000, and received its current Congressionally-mandated university status in 2007.

The USC offers 6 undergraduate degree programs to over 5,000 students at its main campus in Asunción, and 12 regional campuses throughout the country.  Undergraduate degree programs include: 1) Agronomy; 2) Agriculture Administration and Agribusiness; 3) Animal Husbandry; 4) Forestry; 5) Environment; and 6) Food Technology.  The USC also offers a Masters’ Degree program to over 100 students in international development and agribusiness.

In recent years, San Carlos has strengthened it efforts in the areas of research, extension and development project implementation.  The USC is currently completing two important research projects, one on the effects of corn production utilizing an innovative “central mini pivot” irrigation system, the other regarding the incidence of human and animal-born brucelosis in one of the country’s major cattle producing departments.  Additionally, the USC is conducting a unique research project on municipal governments’ expenditures of royalty payments – financial transfers from the central government generated by the Itaipú hydroelectric dam, the world’s second largest, jointly administered by the Paraguayan and Brazilian governments.

On the projects side, the USC created one of the nation’s first agribusiness incubators, and one of the country’s first angel investor agribusiness networks to link agro-entrepreneurs with mentors and potential funders.  San Carlos has also executed Itaipú/World Bank-funded projects to assist farmers produce economically viable tree species and citrus, while also afforesting the habitat in one of the country’s last remaining natural forests, the Atlantic Forest.

During this time, the USC has partnered with a variety of local and international organizations including:

1. The Paraguayan government’s National Science and Technology Council;

2. The Paraguayan government’s Ministry of Labor;

3. The Inter American Development Bank;

4. The Itaipú dam/World Bank;

5. The United States Agency for International Development;

6. Monsanto Corporation;

7. Olds College of Alberta, Canada;

8. EARTH University of Costa Rica; 9. The European Union, the Erasmus + program