Agriculture is as old as human civilization. The Indian economy is heavily dependent on Agriculture as it contributes to 16.5% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employs the largest (43%) of the Indian workforce. Over the years, India has undergone a quantum shift from basic farming to more efficient, sustainable, and productive farming.
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More importantly, with the growing population and rise in urban and rural income there is a huge demand for food, making it critical to have a modern system of agricultural education that can produce highly skilled and competent manpower to address the challenging tasks of catering to the industry requirements.
Some interesting facts about Indian agricultural Industry:
- India has 20 agri-climatic regions and presence of all 15 major climates, encouraging cultivation of variety of different crops across the world
- India possesses 46 of the 60 soil types in the world.
- India has the 10th largest arable land resource in the world
- India is one of the largest producers of vegetables, fruits and flowers in the world
- India is the largest producer of milk, second-largest of sugar & leading producer of coconut and spices. The spice market in India is valued at INR 40,000 crore (USD 5.87 billion) annually
- Organic food is the next big thing and India ranks first in number of organic farmers and ninth in terms of area under organic farming
- In 2019, India was the 9th largest exporter of agricultural products and the total value of exported agricultural products stood at $ 37.4 billion.
- India’s agriculture technology can grow to $24.1 billion in 5 years
- The current market size of agri-tech, including AI-based agri innovation start-ups in India, is nearly worth $ 204mn.
- 2018 saw an inflow of over $1 bn in startups in India in agriculture
What a career in Agriculture can offer
Backed by Government initiatives like “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” & “Make in India” along with growing private sector investment, the overall scenario of agriculture as an industry has undergone a huge change in the past decade. As a result, agricultural education in India has also transformed & become responsive to the growing and changing needs of the society in general and aspirations of the farming community in particular. Let us discuss the exciting emerging career opportunities for aspirants in this field.
Here are the TOP TEN Career opportunities in the field of agriculture Sciences:
Agricultural engineering: There is a growing demand for agriculture engineers in India in both Govt. & private sector. Agricultural engineering is the branch of engineering that applies engineering science disciplines and technology practices to the efficient production and processing of food, feed, fiber and fuels. Agriculture Students can become agriculture engineer, agriculture inspector, agriculture specialist, farm manager, agronomist etc.
Top Employers: ICAR, FCI, ITC, Nestle, NABARD, Amul, CSIR, and Mother Dairy etc.
Food Processing: The Indian food retail market is expected to reach INR 61 lakh crore (US$ 894.98 billion) by 2020. The Indian food processing industry accounts for 32 per cent of the country’s total food market, one of the largest industries in India and is ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption, export and expected growth. There are various opportunities like Food Technologist, Research Scientist, Engineers and Bio-chemists etc. which can be explored.
Top Employers: Parle Agro, ITC Foods, Britannia, LT Foods, KRBL, Venky’s India, MTR Foods etc.
Horticulture: The field of horticulture holds ample scope both nationally and internationally. Horticulturists can find jobs in institutes of horticulture, in plantations, vegetable farms as well as fruit groves. Advancement in horticultural technology, increasing product demands and a growing export industry makes this a lucrative career option. Horticulture jobs include positions like project manager, landscape designer, horticulturist, pomologist, agriculture inspector, floriculturist, irrigation manager etc.
Top Employers: Adama India, Mcleod Russel India Ltd, Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd, Goodricke Group Ltd etc.
Forestry: As we all know that forest is a very important part of an ecosystem. Therefore, management of forest is required and is done by the foresters (forest professionals).The career opportunities are available in both public as well as in private sector. The public sector jobs includes work in zoological parks, wildlife ranges, Forest Dept., National Parks & sanctuaries etc.
Top Employers: Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) and its affiliated institutes, AECOM India, IIFM etc.
Dairy Farming: India is the largest milk producer and the second largest milk products producer in the world leading to a plethora of career opportunities in dairy farming in the country.
Employment opportunities exist in both government and private sectors. The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) is a key PSU in the field, however, with almost every state aping Amul’s ‘cooperative’ success, employment opportunities have increased manifold for technologists and managers, both in production and marketing. Entry of multinational giants like Nestle, Cadburys, Britannia, Kellogg’s, Heritage Foods, KFC, HUL, etc. has given a further boost to job opportunities.
Top Employers: Amul, Mother Dairy, Heritage Foods, Cadburys, KSE, Parag Foods etc.
Aquaculture: With its long coastline with rich biodiversity, India is the fourth largest producer of fish in the world offering great scope for Fisheries and aquaculture. Many career options exist in this field in both public and private sectors like Manager – aquaculture, Manager-fisheries, Culturist, consultant, technical staff etc.
Top Employers: BMR Group, Goldmarine Exports, Abad Fisheries, Avni Foods etc.
Poultry Farming: Growing demand for a low priced source of protein-rich nutrients, provided by eggs and chickens has led to a 20% annual growth to the Indian Poultry farming industry. Jobs from the sector can be taken up in various hatcheries, veterinary hospitals, pharmaceutical concerns, feed millers, and feed production companies.
Top Employers: Godrej Agrovet, Suguna Foods, Venkateshwara Hacheries etc.
Sericulture: The word ‘sericulture’ is derived from the Greek word ‘sericos’ which means ‘silk’ and the English word ‘culture’ meaning ‘rearing’. Sericulture refers to the conscious mass-scale rearing of silk producing organisms to obtain silk. India has the unique distinction of being the only country producing all the five kinds of Silk- Mulberry, Eri, Muga, Tropical Tasar and temperate (oak) Tasar. The job prospects comprise of sericulturist, serìculture Research, sericulture assistant, sericulture Inspector and supervisor etc.
Top Employers: State/District Khadi Boards, NABARD, Krishi Vigyan Kendra etc.
Research Science & Communication: You can pursue a career in research and communication as an agricultural researcher or a journalist. You can drive innovation for improving agricultural yields and sustainable production.
Top Employers: Indian Agriculture Research Institute, ICAR, Farmioc etc.
Agri-Entrepreneurs: According to a study by FICCI, agricultural start-ups are growing at 25 per cent Y-O-Y basis offering technological solutions for helping the Indian farm sector in keeping the food and farm supply. A large number of entrepreneurs in the country have turned entrepreneurs and have become quite successful.
Top Agri-Entrepreneurs: Agro Star, EM3 agri Services, Ninjacart, Crofarm, Farm Taaza, Cropln, Ugaao etc.