Career Scopes in Agriculture in India

We live in an age of revolution, globalization as well as trends. Change is a metaphor that defines our existence today, change in lifestyles, in education and business opportunities. Today, we shall discuss the various job opportunities in the core sector of our economy i.e. Agriculture or Farming as we know it and you will be amazed to know that this sector provides one of the highest-paid jobs as compared to any other sector. Furthermore, competition in this domain is really less due to the trend of running after other common and well-known vocations in other sectors.

The concept of agriculture, career classification, eligibility, educational expenses, various courses, top institutions and career scope have been referred to in this article.

Let us first discuss the meaning and concept of agriculture.

What is Agriculture?

Agriculture is a broader concept than farming. We may interchangeably use these terms in many cases, however, the meaning somewhere differs.

Farming is the activity or business of growing crops and raising livestock. However, agriculture is the science or practice of farming including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool and other products. A man having knowledge of cultivation can be a farmer whereas an agriculturist is the one who is aware and educated about the science behind it and the one who promotes sustainable production.

The traditional aspects of farming have been altered in the present day scenario of food production. There are basically four branches of agriculture at present, namely, livestock production, crop production, agricultural economics and agricultural engineering. These include farming, aquafarming, beekeeping, fishery, forestry, ranching, agricultural chemistry, agricultural communication and so on and so forth.

There are quite a many methods of farming based on which the food processed is demanded in the market. The various methods of farming are organic farming, vertical farming, multi-crop farming, playhouse farming and greenhouse farming. At present, the most prevalent one out of those is the organic farming as unadulterated products are always in demand and hence the material required for such products needs to be processed similarly.

Career Options in Agriculture

There are several assorted job opportunities in the field of agriculture other than the typical belief which is of becoming a farmer. This is a massive industry and the job prospects in this field are vast. There are thousands of jobs in this area locally as well as internationally. Most of India’s population depends upon the farming and food procession can never be disregarded hence, a career in this domain will always prevail. Some of the most prevalent profession in agribusiness are enumerated and discussed below.

1. Director-General of Agricultural Institute:

This is one of the best and highest-paying jobs in the agriculture sector with even better job status and profile. The Director-general of the agricultural institute is usually hired by the ICAR institutes and he/she has the authority and say over the various matter in decision-making committees of the institution. The directors are likewise fundamental in directing the goals and objectives of the organization by keeping in mind the interests of its subordinates. The path to this post is not a bed of roses and one needs to work hard and direct their hard work in the proper direction from the very beginning.

A director-general earns a sum of Rs. 2 lakh per month on average.

2. Agriculture Scientist: 

An agriculture scientist conducts research and experimentation programs to increase the efficiencies in the productivity and yield of plants or livestock. Their job is similar to that of a scientist however, this domain requires specialization in dealings of plants or animals. They need to study commercial plants, animals, and cultivation techniques to bring about sustainable development in the plants and animals used for the food procession in various agricultural industries. Their job is to ensure the safety, quality, and nutritional value of food in an environment-friendly manner so as to promote good health. The research skills are either possessed initially or one may develop them at the time of education. The progression in this job starts from Agriculture Scientist to a Senior Agriculture Scientist and finally the Principal Agriculture Scientist.

An agriculture scientist earns somewhere near Rs.84,000 per month.

3. Indian Forest Services:

The Indian Forest Service (IFS)is one of the three most prominent and dominating civil services in India where the other two are IAS and IPS which stand for Indian Administrative Services and Indian Police Services respectively. There are various job opportunities in the IFS and they are mentioned here as per their hierarchy order.

  • Forest Guard
  • Forester
  • Deputy Ranger
  • Forest Ranger
  • Assistant Conservator of Forest
  • Divisional Forest Officer
  • Conservator of Forest
  • Chief Conservator of Forest
  • Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest
  • Principal Chief Conservator of Forests

By pursuing higher education in agriculture one becomes eligible to apply for the Indian Forest Services and become a member of the gazette officers.

On average, the pay scale for IFS officers can be from Rs.10-15 lakh and it may increase with the time and job title.

4. Professor of Agriculture University:

As the name suggests, an agriculture university professor is an individual who is involved in imparting knowledge and training to future students. They are specialized in a particular subject and possess the quality of communicating and explaining concepts in the most straightforward and precise manner.

An agriculture university professor earns a sum of Rs.80,000-Rs.1,00,000 per month and it rises with expertise and time.

5. Animal Geneticist:

An animal geneticist is an individual who studies and analyzes the animals in order to discover the genes which cause them to behave in a certain way. In many cases, they also study animal health to determine the immunity and environment suitability of the animals when confronted with various diseases.

The pay is as interesting as the job profile and one can earn up to Rs.60,000-Rs.70,000 per month.

6. Agriculture Extension Officer:

The researchers do their job in discovering the boons and banes of various agricultural activities due to the changing environmental factors. But who provides this information to the rural farmers? Well yes, the agriculture extension officers are responsible for acting as intermediaries and bridging the gap between research and farmers. They administer facilities and communication which assists the farmers in making decisions and obtaining best results.

An agriculture extension officer can earn up to Rs.66,000 per month based on the association they work for. 

7. Agriculture Engineer:

The engineering students are in demand practically everywhere and agriculture engineers are usually hired to design farm machines so as to procure soil management, land development, mechanization and automation in the livestock farming. The main task involves a productive and profitable way of designing equipment and formulating effective storage facilities for food processing.

An agricultural engineer earns somewhere near Rs.2-5 lakh per year and it definitely increases with time and experience.

8. District Horticulture Officer:

A district horticulture officer is appointed at every district and he/she is responsible for the planning, coordinating and executing all the horticulture extension work. They also need to manage and organize various workshops, seminars, training camps, exhibitions and extension of the latest technology in horticultureto the farmers and fruit growers.

A district horticulture officer earns a sum of Rs.40,000-Rs.50,000 per month at the initial stage of employment.

9. District Cane Officer:

A district cane officer is responsible for the various activities related to the production of sugarcane in a district. The regulation and management of seminars, workshops, exhibitions, training camps and so on and so forth are done under the guidance of the cane officer.

A district cane officer can earn up to Rs. 45,000-Rs.50,000 per month. However, it depends on the productivity of cane in a particular district.

10. Soil Engineer:

A soil engineer is also known as a geotechnical engineer. The job description includes specialization in the examination of the surface to evaluate the soil fertility, it’s characteristics, composition and drainage system.

A soil engineer earns an average amount of Rs.1-8 lakhs per year based on one’s abilities and skills.

11. Food Microbiologist:

Food microbiologist uses advanced computers and sophisticated laboratory equipment to perform experiments. The fundamental responsibility of a food microbiologist is to assess the growth of microorganisms found in the sample products and prepare a report on it. They are the front line specialists who approve the procession of food products.

A food microbiologist can receiveRs.2-3 lakh per year.

12. Plant Geneticist:

A plant geneticist is an individual who studies and analyzes the plants in order to discover the genes which cause them to grow in a certain way. In many cases, they also study plant health to determine the immunity and environment suitability of the plants when confronted with various diseases and seasonal changes.

A plant geneticist can earn up to Rs.6 lakhs per year at the initial stage.

13. Sales Representative:

A sales representative is responsible for the maintenance of records and activities related to sales in any food processing unit or farm or any establishment.

A sales representative can earn up to Ts.40,000-Rs.50,000 per month.

14. Agricultural Manager:

Agricultural manager is responsible for all the managerial activities of the establishment. The summed up task involves keeping a track of accounts, sales, marketing and management activities so as to bring about effectiveness and efficiency in the tasks concerned.

An agricultural manager earns an average amount of Rs.40,000-Rs.1,00,000 based on the company that he/she is associated with.

Other than the above-mentioned prominent job profiles one can look forward to any other employment opportunity in the technological or scientific or management in the domain of agriculture.

Eligibility and Educational Qualification

The prerequisites for getting admission in the well-establisheduniversities foragriculture courses are usually identical to those of other courses. A strong base in science is vital as most of the concepts encompass plenty ofscientific approaches. The requirements for enrolling in several undergraduate agriculture coursesare enlisted below.

  • 10+2 from a recognized board
  • Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Mathematics
  • Minimum 45%-50% marks
  • Minimum age limit is 18
  • No maximum age

To pursue masters degree courses after graduation one need to have a minimum of 45%-50% aggregate marks in the relevant agriculture course opted at graduation level. Other than this one can even go for  various certificate coursesoffered for which the percentage condition remains same.

One must qualify the entrance exams conducted at the national, state or university level to be able to seek enrolment in agricultural courses in reputed institutions. If not national level entrance exam which is AIEEA [All India Entrance Exam for Agriculture] conducted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research [ICAR] one can appear the entrance exams conducted at State or University level. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology Admission
  • Indira Gandhi Agricultural University Common Entrance Test.
  • Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University Entrance Exam
  • Karnataka Common Entrance Test
  • Uttar Pradesh State Entrance Exam and so on and so forth.

Once the aspirant clears the entrance exams, he/she becomes eligible to pursue higher education by opting any agriculture specialization course.

Educational Expenses

The educational expenses usually depend on the courses and the institutions which the individuals want to pursue. The fee charged for the undergraduate courses is moderately higher than the postgraduate programs due to the time factor. For undergraduate courses, one may need to pay Rs.2,08,000-Rs.4,00,000 for the entire course duration of four years whereas for postgraduate programs the cost may be around Rs.50,000-Rs.1,04,000 for courses of one to two years. In case of hostel students, the charges may vary for various institutions.

Various Courses

The courses define the future vocation of one’s mastery. When a course is talked about, the first thing that comes to mind is the theoretical aspect of it, classes, notes and so on. However, in farming, the course consists of a full training session provided with the theoretical as well as practical concepts.  The various courses differ based on the institution one opts for. Nonetheless, some of the most prevalent undergraduates, postgraduate, certificate and diploma courses are mentioned below.

Undergraduate Courses:

[ 4 years ]

  • Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Technology in Agricultural Engineering
  • Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Technology in Agricultural Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Technology in Dairy Technology
  • Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Technology in Agriculture and Dairy Technology
  • Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Technology in Agricultural and Food Engineering
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Agriculture Management

[ 3 years ]

  • Bachelor of Science in Agriculture
  • Bachelor of Science in Dairy Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Plant Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Biotechnology
  • Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Food Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Horticulture
  • Bachelor of Science in Fisheries Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Plant Pathology
  • Bachelor of Science in Forestry

Postgraduate Courses:

[ 2 years ]

  • Masterof Engineering or Master of Technology in Agricultural Engineering
  • Master of Engineering or Master of Technology in Agricultural Information Technology
  • Master of Engineering or Master of Technology in Dairy Technology
  • Master of Engineering or Master of Technology in Agriculture and Dairy Technology
  • Master of Engineering or Master of Technology in Agricultural and Food Engineering
  • Master of Science in Agriculture
  • Master of Science in Dairy Sciences
  • Master of Science in Plant Sciences
  • Master of Science in Agricultural Biotechnology
  • Master of Science in Agriculture and Food Sciences
  • Master of Science in Horticulture
  • Master of Science in Fisheries Sciences
  • Master of Science in Plant Pathology
  • Master of Science in Forestry
  • Master of Business Administration in Agriculture Management

Postgraduate Certificate Course:

[ 1-2 years ]

  • Certificate in Horticulture
  • Certificate in Floriculture
  • Certificate in Aquaculture
  • Certificate in Bee Keeping
  • Certificate in Fish Farming
  • Certificate in Fruit Production
  • Certificate in Farm Management
  • Certificate in Fertilizer Technology

Top Institutions

The national system of agricultureeducation as envisaged by the ICAR i.e. Indian Council for Agriculture Research is based on a national curricular framework, which comprises of a common core along with other flexible and region-specific components. The institutions play a leading role in regulating and monitoring the performances of the students as well as enriching them with proficiencyin the area of each candidate’s concern. Every institution has its own features which may be beneficial or it may have some factors lacking which may affect the future prospect of the candidate. Nonetheless, some of the promising institutions which have equipped us with the best personnel in the farming associations are enlisted below.

  • University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad
  • National Dairy Research Institute, Kamal
  • Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi
  • Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana
  • Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Jabalpur
  • Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Raipur
  • Navsari Agricultural University, Navsari
  • Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour
  • Agriculture University, Kota
  • Central Agricultural University, Imphal
  • Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore
  • Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat
  • Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur
  • University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore
  • Junagadh Agricultural University, Junagadh
  • Odhisa University of Agriculture & Technology, Bhubaneshwar
  • Anand Agricultural University, Anand
  • Banda University of Agriculture & Technology, Banda
  • Punjab Rao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, Akola
  • Kamdhenu University, Gandhinagar
  • Swami KeswanandRajasthan Agriculture University, Bikaner

Career Scope

Theagribusiness covers around fifty-five per cent of India’s total population. The revenue generation in this domain has increased by seven folds due to the fact that not many people strive to become agriculturists and shift from farm to non-farm employment. A structural change in the composition of agriculture, showing diversification into horticulture, livestock, and fisheries have been prevalent. Globally, India is the second-largest producer of mango, banana, coconut, cashew, papaya, and pomegranate, and the largest producer and exporter of spices. The invent of sophisticated agricultural equipment, development of agricultural engineering and agribusiness have brought aboutsubstantial attention to the young and career striving individualsand with mastery and commitment, one can do wonders in the coming future.

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