Published on September 3, 2019 | Uncategorized
Agriculture As A Career Option
Offbeat courses – Agriculture as a career?
The topic “Agriculture as a career” can make most students think that this article is about how to make farming as your career? But, this is far away from the truth about a sector that is critical for India’ s economy and Gross Domestic Product.
So, what does a career in Agriculture comprise?
Agriculture, technically, is a multidisciplinary field that comprises of farming, cultivation, and management of plants, animals and medicinal plants along with processes aimed at improving or aiding human life. It encompasses allied industries such as agro-food industry, horticulture, farm management, supply chain management, manufacture of agricultural machinery, and banking activities aimed at facilitating or improving the agricultural processes and production.
Agriculture and its allied activities account for almost 16% of India’s GDP. There is a huge demand for skilled professionals in this industry. It is an excellent industry for students and grads looking to hatch a strong, fruitful career. From Biotech engineers to supply chain managers, from skilled tradesmen to banking professionals, there’s a rewarding career path for everyone.
Different Career Clusters in Agriculture
The various career opportunities in agriculture can be combined and segregated together in different clusters. Here is the standard classification that is referred within the industry:
- Agribusiness: This involves all activities that result in production, processing, marketing, distribution, financing and development of agricultural commodities, plant and animal products.
- Food Products & Processing: It comprises of activities for bulk food production, analysis of food content, and preservation, food packaging, according to consumer needs & compliance guidelines.
- Natural Resources: Involved in the development and maintenance of natural resources.
- Environmental Science: This comprises pollution control, waste management, quality control, and recycling.
- Cultivation System: This is related to growing food, feed, and fiber crops.
- Animal Husbandry: It involves raising of animals and developing more efficient ways of producing and processing meat, poultry, egg, and dairy products
- Power & Technical System: This revolves around the design and development of agricultural structures and machinery.
Now, since we have got a fair overview of the different career clusters in the field of agriculture, let us take a look at the different colleges in India and abroad which can be explored to study and pursue a career in this space.
Top 7 Agricultural Universities / Colleges in India
- Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi, is India’s premier national institute for Agriculture research and education. It offers various courses in different fields like Agricultural Economics, Bioinformatics, Agronomy, Microbiology, Nematology, Agriculture and Bio-chemistry.
- Institute of Rural Management Anand – IRMA was established in 1979 and is today at the forefront of professionalizing the development of India’s rural sector through management education, training, research and consultancy support to co-operatives and rural development organizations in India focussed on agriculture or allied industries.
- Indian Agriculture Statistics Research Institute – IASRI is an institute affiliated with the Indian Agriculture Research Institute which was established in the year 1978. IARI offers various courses with UG, PG and Ph.D. degrees including the course in Master of Science (Agricultural Statistics).
- School of Agriculture (SOA), New Delhi – SOA was established in January 2005, affiliated with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) University and approved by Indian Council for Agriculture Research. The SOA offers many courses at Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels.
- College of Agriculture Engineering & Technology, Ludhiana – College of Agriculture Engineering & Technology was established in the year 1964 as one of the constituent colleges of Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) Ludhiana. The UG courses provided here include Agricultural Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Some of the PG courses offered are Soil & Water Engineering, Processing & Food Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, Thermal Environmental Engineering, etc.
- Agriculture University, Jodhpur – The Agriculture University, Jodhpur was established in 2013 by the Government of Rajasthan. It has 2 agricultural research stations and 3 agricultural substations. The university offers courses in Agriculture and Horticulture.
- Amritsar College of Engineering and Technology (ACET) – is affiliated to Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar and offers undergraduate courses in the field of agriculture such as B.Sc. Agriculture.
Top 5 Global Agricultural Universities/Colleges
- University of California, United States – University of California was established in 1908. It is well-known for its exceptional programs in engineering and management but the university also tops the list for agricultural courses. Some of its major agricultural courses are Animal Science and Management, Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry, Genetics and Genomics, Agricultural and Environmental Education.
- Wageningen University, Netherlands – Wageningen University is one of the top international universities with programs in the field of healthy food and living environment. It tops the QS World Universities Ranking in Agriculture & Forestry sector. The University offers a broad range of study options in the fields of energy, water, climate, environment, health, nutrition, landscape, and animals. Some popular courses provided here are Animal Sciences, Food Technology, Environmental Sciences, Aquaculture, and Marine Resource Management, Organic Agriculture, Plant Sciences, etc.
- Cornell University, United States – Cornell University was established in 1865 with the motto to establish an institution where any person can find knowledge in any field of study. And, it has lived up to the motto. Some of the top agricultural courses offered are Animal Science, Applied Economics & Management, Biological and Environmental Engineering, and Food Science & Technology.
- Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden – SLU is a university known for the exemplary knowledge base of the sustainable use of biological natural resources, as well as of the environmental and life sciences. Some of the agricultural-related courses are Agricultural Economics and Management, Animal Science, Forest Ecology and Sustainable Management, Plant Biology for Sustainable Production, and Horticulture Science.
- University of California Berkeley (UCB), United States – UCB is a public research university that offers various agricultural and its allied courses. Some of them are Agricultural and Resource Economics, Applied Science and Technology and, Earth and Planetary Science.
Like any other industry, agriculture and its allied industry are constantly evolving with the times. The agricultural landscape is now highly-developed or in the phase of rapid development to keep up with the global economy. This, in turn, has also created massive opportunities for young minds of India to tap into space and take it to the next level with a well-rounded end-to-end agricultural business chain.
The agriculture industry is facing increasing production costs, labor shortages, land management inefficiencies, food waste, and disconnected consumers demanding transparency to the origin of their food. We need to develop innovative solutions to tackle these challenges and Agtech startups have slowly started working on the same.
Some of the Agtech startups that graduate students can look out for:
- EarthSense: EarthSense uses machine vision and machine learning to seamlessly convert field data to specific, actionable information about plant-traits.
- Verdical: Verdical is an automated indoor gardening system allowing anyone to grow greens and herbs with the touch of a button.
- Kakaxi: It is a solar-powered farm monitoring device, and the ultimate tool to know where your food comes from.
- Trapview: Trapview is an automated pest monitoring and forecasting platform that enables reliable collection of pest monitoring data.
- AgriWebb: AgriWebb is a farm management software that simplifies record keeping, assists with audit and accreditation needs, and increases the productivity of farms.