Agriculturist Career Information
What an Agriculturist does
‘Jai Jawaan! Jai Kisaan!’ goes the slogan coined by the founding fathers of India. Half a century later, agriculture still remains our mainstay. New advances in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering have thrown up many opportunities in this field. And with government support came tax benefits and even more money.
The field of agriculture includes farm management, businesses and industries that manufacture agricultural machinery, industries that buy and process the farm products, banking activities for financing and developing farms, research for improving quantity and quality of farm products, so on and so forth.
As an Agricultural Scientist you will work in the following areas:
• Research in fertilisers and seeds to increase the yield and quality of crops
• Research plant genetics and breeding
• Research agricultural economics
• Study and implement findings in plant pathology
• Soil science and erosion
• Soil conservation
• Water management
• Agricultural meteorology
As an agriculturist, you can specialise in a variety of areas, including the study of such relationships as organisms and their environments, soil and water, structures and the environment, genetics and plant breeding, seeds and quality of crops, or plant diseases and micro-organism. To succeed in this field you need innovation and precision.
An agricultural scientist finds opportunities in:
• Central and State government departments and agencies
• Agro process based industries like crop processing plants
• Seed producing companies
• Dairy and food processing industries
• Agricultural finance corporation and banks
• Voluntary organisations (NGOs) working in the agricultural sector
• Agricultural research organisations
• Departments of Central and State agricultural universities
As an Agricultural Scientist you could work in industries that are into vegetable and crop production, processing farms, food freezing and storage plants, poultry farms, grain mills, semi processed, fully processed food plants, etc. Opportunities also exist in the farming, processing, research & development, and marketing functions.
Government agencies like Food Corporation of India and various Central and State government ministries and directorates employ agricultural scientists. Recruitment is generally made by Union Public Service Commission and State Public Service Commission.
Some of the job positions could be Agricultural Extension Officer, Seed Production Officers, Agricultural Assistants, Plant Protection Officer, Soil Conservation Officer, Farm Superintendents or Technical Assistants.
Opportunities in Banks: Nationalised banks employ Agricultural Extension Officer, Rural Development Officer, Field Officer, Agricultural Credit Officers and others with qualifications in Agricultural Science.
As an agriculturist, you will be inducted as an Probationary Officer. Apart from the nationalised banks agricultural graduates are also employed by Gramin Banks under NABARD, Co-operative banks, Small Industries Development Banks, etc.
Opportunities in the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and co-operatives working in the rural and agricultural sector. Various non-profit organisations and co-operatives like Agha Khan Rural Support Programme involved in the rural and agricultural sector employ agriculture. graduates.
This is a technologically sophisticated and ever expanding field, which needs more and more people each day. Moreover people will always need food, so being an agriculturist is an excellent career option. Currently, in India the research done in agriculture is of international standard. So, agricultural engineers have very good career prospects.
The green revolution has in its wake brought numerous job opportunities in all the above fields. Government ministries and departments, research institutions, agricultural universities and various agricultural service organisations hold immense job opportunities for agricultural scientists.
With the entry of several corporate houses in the area of food processing, researchers are in great demand in new areas such as Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering. And with Indian-made wines and champagnes finding favour in the west, agriculture is fast becoming an export industry; opening up doors for would be entrepreneurs.
Abilities & Traits Required
• An inquisitive and explorative mind
• Interest in biological science
• Keen interest in agriculture
• Good memory
• Excellent ability to understand, assimilate, analyse and apply scientific facts and theories
• You have to be at least a BSc in Agricultural Science to get a job. To be eligible for BSc in agriculture after a 10+2 in Science, you are required to clear an entrance exam, which includes Biology, Chemistry and Physics
• After MSc in Agriculture you could get into Agricultural research. A PhD will ensure a very good career as an agricultural scientist
• In the farming and processing industry: Rs 18000- 35000 a month or more
• Research & Development position after MSc: Rs 18000-35000 a month
• Agricultural research after PhD: Rs 25000-45000 per month
• Lecturer: Rs 25000-45000 per month (starting salary)
• In a marketing function of an Agri company: Rs 25000-35000 or more per month, plus various allowances and incentives