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Career guidance: No dearth of jobs after agriculture courses in India

Posted on Monday, June 10, 2019

Banking, insurance, grain markets are some of the areas where agriculture students find a job in India, reports Jagriti Kumari

Until a decade ago, agriculture was not a career option for urban students. Aspirants and their parents’ associated agriculture jobs with working in the fields in a remote, rural area. However, that perception has changed over the last few years with the state and central government’s focus on this sector. Experts speculate that there will be more jobs in agriculture and allied industries, than ever before. “India being a land of agriculture, the future of agriculture education must grow in an extravagant way,” says Rajendra Prasad, vice-chancellor, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore.

Citing economists, Prasad says that agriculture is four times more effective than other sectors in reducing poverty. The demand for trained professionals in the field of agriculture is high. Besides, agricultural process has become more diverse than ever before, offering a wide variety of jobs. Banking, insurance, regulated market (mandies), central and state agricultural departments, irrigation industries, NGOs are some of the prominent areas where agriculture students find a job in India. Research and education is also an option one can opt for. 

“Today, a career in agriculture is as rewarding as any other, if not more. The key activities here include enhancing quality and quantity of farming, improving crop yield and minimising labour,” adds Prasad.

The emerging sectors include agribusiness, food processing, financial sector, retailing, rural marketing, international trade, rural credit and insurance, warehousing and commodities, NGOs and KPOs.

“In government sector, scales are fixed. However, the fresh graduates absorbed in private sectors are getting remuneration from Rs 4-6 lakh per annum. The certificate and diploma holders receive remuneration in the range of Rs 8000-15000/month,” says MK Salooja, director, School of Agriculture, IGNOU.

“IGNOU’s focus has been to improve the outreach of agriculture education for rural masses for enhancement of productivity and human resource development through academic, continuing and extension courses in the form of awareness, certificate, diploma and postgraduate (PG) certificate courses,” adds Salooja.

The University of Agricultural Sciences has 22 programmes at the PG level and 15 programmes at the UG level. Admissions to these courses are offered through Karnataka Common Entrance Test (CET), while outside students need to go through a national level entrance test called All India Entrance Examinations (AIEE) conducted by the ICAR. The university has also decided to offer MSc in Bioinformatics from this academic session. 

The popular programmes at IGNOU are PG Diploma in Food Safety and Quality Management, PG Certificate in Agriculture Policy, Diploma in Dairy Technology, Certificate in Organic Farming, Certificate in Water Harvesting and Management, Certificate in Sericulture and Certificate in Poultry Farming. 

Prasad highlights that AI and robotics will change the way agriculture sector is operating. He says that there is a huge demand for integration of disciplines of agriculture and engineering for better career prospects.


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