Food for thought

Contrary to the popular belief, the agriculture sector in India is not just about farming and animal rearing.

Contrary to the popular belief, the agriculture sector in India is not just about farming and animal rearing. Over the years, a plethora of exciting and paying careers have been introduced in the field. Gauri Rane digs deep to find out more

The Indian agriculture sector can provide lucrative career options but there are few who wish to take it up. Experts observe that this is because students are ignorant about the various career opportunities in this field. “Much needs to be done to promote the sector and its allied professions as career options to aspirants of agriculture,” says Vivek Aurangabadkar, agronomist at Agrocel Industries.

Contrary to popular opinion, agriculture does not only mean cultivating. Today the field has gone beyond just farming and keeping of animals. Over the years, many exciting professions have been introduced in the field like:

  • Agronomy/ soils and food sciences
  • Agricultural marketing and communications
  • Agro-economics,
  • Agricultural education,
  • Agro-engineering,

    Abhijit Bose, agricultural professional, Atul Chemicals, demystifies agronomy as a career choice. “Agronomists deal with interactions among plants, soils, and the environment using sophisticated research tools and techniques to develop new crop hybrids and varieties that grow more efficiently, and are more beneficial to society,” he informs. “Agronomist could specialize in areas such as crop protection, irrigation and drainage, planet breeding, soil science, weed control,” Says Aurangabadkar.

    Finding employment in this sector is not a difficult. Government agriculture departments offer jobs as block officer, district agriculture officer and director agriculture. There are wide-ranging jobs in the private sector as well. “Agriculture has opened doors to anybody who wants make a career in sector. They may be employed as agriculture development officers at banks, as professionals at fertilizer, agrochemical and seed manufacturing companies and even as writers with agricultural journals,” says Bose.

    Agri-communications has sprung up as a new profession. “An unorganized sector stemming from primary occupation of growing food, we need to understand that agriculture has a multi-dimensional approach where communication plays a crucial role,” says Maya Rane, communication specialist, Agrocel Industries. Apart from good communication skills, an agri-communicator ought to have a fine understanding of the regulatory and policy affairs, grading, branding, marketing, and sales, inputs and output linkages, environment and labour issues, and women farmers and their rights.

    “Also for ensuring the right price for farm produce, farmers need to carry out process of grading, evaluating and transportation – creating a market for their produce. This too needs effecting networking and communications,” informs Rane adding that a career in communications for agricultural departments requires one to keep a tab on the grass root conditions, an eye on the policy affairs and also a deep understanding of the regulatory conditions.

    Experts are of the opinion that there is an obvious skill gap in the field. According to Aurangabadkar vocational courses should be introduced in class XI and XII. Bose says that more career oriented courses on food technology should be designed. “Agriculture is the only sector which generates real value. Growing food for the growing population is a challenge that more and more countries face and so it is a sunshine sector,” concludes Rane. 


    One year certificate course in Agriculture Sciences after class X:

  • Mahatma Jyoti Rao Phule University (Jaipur),
  • Nalanda Open University (Patna),
  • Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (Nasik)
  • Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University (Gujarat).

    Two year diploma course in Agriculture after class X:

    Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University (Hyderabad),

    Guru Kashi University (Bathinda),

    Sri Balakrishna Polytechnic College (Salem)

    Vanavarayar Institute of Agriculture (Coimbatore).

    BSc in Agriculture:

  • Anand Agricultural University (Gujarat),
  • Assam Agricultural University (Assam),
  • Bihar Agricultural University (Bihar),
  • College of Agriculture (Pune)
  • AgraUniversity (Agra)

    BSc (Hons) in Agriculture: (three-year degree programme after class XII (science))

  • Guru Nanak Dev University (Punjab),
  • MPUAT (Udaipur),
  • Punjab Agricultural University (Punjab),
  • Rajasthan Agricultural University (Rajasthan)
  • SKN College of Agriculture (Jaipur).

    BBA Agriculture: Four-year degree programme after class XII offered exclusively by the College of Agriculture Business Management, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra.

    MBA (International Agribusiness): Two-year post graduate degree programme offered by Anand Agricultural University.

    MTech (Dairy Technology):  is a two-year post-graduate degree programme

  • Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University (Tirupati)
  • Karnataka Veterinary Animal & Fisheries Sciences University (Bidar)
    MPhil (Horticulture): A two year pre-doctoratal programme offered by the Meerut University for students who have a master’s degree in horticulture.
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