— Malini Saba
India is an agriculture-based country and is considered as an important sector of Indian Economy as it accounts for 18 per cent of the nation’s GDP. Being the first employer and a primary source of livelihood of 58 per cent of the population, the gross value of a combination of agriculture, fishing and forestry is of about US$ 271 billion for the financial year 2018.
With a share of 32 per cent of the country’s total food market, the Indian food processing industry ranks fifth in production, consumption, export and expected growth, as per an India Brand Equity Foundation report. Also, its contribution of 8.80 and 8.39 per cent of gross value added in manufacturing and agriculture respectively made it one of the promising sectors for employment.
As the sector is big business, there are different upcoming and promising career options for young aspirants. Here is a look at some of the lucrative, upcoming careers in agriculture:
Agri-business management: The field covers the management study of all the agriculture business aspects. Handling manufacturing and distribution of farm equipment and supplies, processing, storage and promotion of food and fibre related to agricultural products, et al.
Agricultural biotechnology: It is a study of understanding and application of scientific techniques such as genetic engineering, molecular diagnostics, vaccines and tissue culture to modify plants, micro-organisms and animals. Breeders contribute to improvements in crops and livestock after identifying certain genes.
Agricultural economics: The application of economics principles (tools of micro and macroeconomics) to resolve problems in agriculture is all about agricultural economics. Professionals monitor trade (import and export) patterns, predict market trends, consumer preferences and analysing production methods for agricultural products.
Agricultural engineering: It concentrates on designing, developing and improvements of farming equipment, machines and the processes to increase the farming efficiency. The focus is on farm equipment, soil conservation, rural structures, rural electricity and drainage and irrigation.
Agronomy: It is a branch of agricultural science that deals with the study of crops and soil where they grow. Agronomists help in developing methods and improve the usage of soil. Agronomists conduct research in several areas such as preparation of seedbeds, soil fertility and time for sowing, conservation methods and management of soil moisture.
Horticulture: This field of science deals in growing and cultivating vegetables, fruits, herbs, decorative flowers and ornamental trees. The individuals work on improving the quality, nutritional value, growth and yield of the farm produce. They help in maintaining nurseries, orchards, greenhouses, plantations, etc. This sector is pacing up because of high demand for organic food.
Dairy technology: The field is mainly confined to the production and processing of milk. The experts of this stream work on managing the milk production along with collection, storage and supervise the process to ensure milk is fit for consumption. Also, packaging, storage and distribution of milk as well as its by-products are other core areas of the sector.
Poultry farming: Raising and fostering domestic birds such as ducks and chickens to procure their meat and eggs is poultry farming. Professionals in this sector manage diverse activities such as feed supply, shed management, nutritional standards of production, transportation etc.
Fisheries science: The fisheries science is about understanding cultivation principles and harvesting fish on a commercial basis in freshwater, saline water or in any marine environment. It also concentrates to study the life, breeding of several fish species and habits along with rearing of fish via non-nocturnal means.
Food sciences: Growing and cultivation of crops and livestock are entirely different from turning the resources into food which is placed ready on the table in homes. Food Sciences professionals work on safety, research and product development before the food hit the kitchen shelves.
If you are an aspirant and want to pursue a career in agriculture then consider the above options as they are some upcoming and flourishing fields with a bright scope in future.
— The author is founder, Saba Industries & Saba Family Foundations