Not Just Farming: 9 Upcoming (and Promising) Careers In Agriculture

Plowing fields, planting seeds, harvesting crops, and feeding livestock- Sums up Agriculture, right?

Despite such beliefs to the contrary, Agriculture as a field is not just about the traditional roles related to farming and crops. What we fail to realize is that Agriculture has grown tremendously in modern times, with cutting-edge research and constant innovations taking place, and so has its scope. The focus has now shifted from traditional roles to various other dimensions like Horticulture, Poultry Farming, Pisciculture, Dairy Farming, Agricultural Biotechnology, etc. Agriculture is also being commercialized as proper attention is being paid to the marketing, distribution, and packaging of its output.

Now, if you are curious to explore the careers that you could venture into in the field of Agriculture, let me introduce some of them to you.


1. Agricultural Engineering

Most of the farmers still work with outdated techniques and equipment on their farms. To cater to this problem, Agricultural Engineering helps in designing, building and bettering farming equipment, machinery & manufacturing processes to increase the efficiency of farming activities. The focus is on 5 main areas i.e. farm equipment, rural structures, soil conservation, drainage & irrigation and rural electricity. Agricultural Engineers also visit work sites to ensure that their equipment and processes are working properly.


Top Institutes for Agricultural Engineering

Some of the top institutes that provide B.Tech in Agricultural Engineering are:

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
  • Anand Agricultural University, Gujarat
  • Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, Chhattisgarh
  • Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Pune
  • Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad


Career Opportunities in Agricultural Engineering

As an Agricultural Engineer, you can provide consultancy services to various private and government organizations on machinery to be purchased, structuring of farms, and suggest alternatives to traditional method and techniques. In companies manufacturing agricultural machinery, you can work under various departments like Design, Research and Development, Maintenance, etc. As a Rural Practice Surveyor, you can also provide strategic and practical knowledge to farmers or other clients regarding rural land and property. Another exciting area where you could work is developing new techniques for bioenergy production like biofuel from agricultural waste or algae and soil conservation.


2. Horticulture

Are you someone who is fond of gardening and dream of making your own garden with all the exotic plants, flowers, vines and trees? If yes, Horticulture is a field that can help you achieve that dream. Horticulture is the science of growing and cultivating fruits, vegetables, herbs, ornamental trees, and decorative flowers. Horticulturists aim at improving the quality, growth, nutritional value and yield of their produce. They also work to maintain nurseries, greenhouses, orchards, and plantations, etc. Due to the rise in the demand for organic food, this sector is quickly picking up.


Top Institutes for Horticulture

Some of the top institutes providing B.Sc in Horticulture are:

  • Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore
  • Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad
  • Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana
  • Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar
  • Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Pune


Career Opportunities in Horticulture

With a degree in this field, you can explore careers like becoming a Floriculturist (cultivating flowers), Olericulturist (cultivating vegetables), Landscaping (designing & maintaining commercial or residential gardens and parks), Viticulturist (cultivating grapes), Pomologist (cultivating fruits), etc. You can also get into the research field as a Horticulture Scientist and contribute to the development of new and better methods of cultivation. You can also start your own horticulture business or nursery and grow flowers, fruits, vegetables, etc. for commercial purposes.


3. Dairy Technology

Dairy Technology is a field mainly concerned with the production and processing of milk. Professionals in this field manage the production of milk, including its collection and storage, and oversee its processing to make the milk fit for consumption. They also focus on activities like the packaging, storage and distribution of milk and its by-products, and ensure that nutritional and quality standards are met.


Top Institutes for Dairy Technology

Colleges providing B.Tech in Dairy Technology are:

  • Chhattisgarh Kamdhenu University, Raipur
  • Sanjay Gandhi Institute of Dairy Science and Technology, Patna
  • Sri Venkateshwara Veterinary University, Tirupati
  • Karnataka Veterinary Animal & Fisheries Science University, Bidar


Career Opportunities in Dairy Technology

After pursuing a B.Tech in Dairy Technology you can work with dairy companies like Amul, Verka, Paras, etc. as a Dairy Supervisor and be in charge of dairy production and supervising the daily operations. You could also work to make strategic alliances, partnerships with other businesses and joint ventures in order to expand business. Government research institutes like the IARI, also employ professionals as Dairy Scientists to conduct and advance research and development in this field.


4. Poultry Farming

It involves raising domestic birds like chickens and ducks for procuring their meat and eggs. Majority of the poultry farms are involved in raising chickens due to their wide consumption both for eggs (Layer chickens) and meat (Broiler chickens). Individuals in this field have to manage a range of diverse activities like shed management, feed supply, nutritional standards of the produce, transportation of the products, etc.


Top Institutes for Poultry Farming

Some of the top colleges offering B.V.Sc in Animal Husbandry are:

  • Karnataka Veterinary Animal and Fisheries Sciences University, Bidar
  • Rajasthan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Bikaner
  • Sri Venkateshwara Veterinary University, Tirupati
  • Junagadh Agricultural University, Junagadh
  • Birsa Agricultural University, Ranchi


Career Opportunities in Poultry Farming

After pursuing this field, you can find jobs in hatcheries, pharmaceutical companies, feed millers, veterinary hospitals, feed analysis laboratories as a Poultry Farm Manager, Breeder, Hatchery Assistant, Production Technologist, Feeding Technologist, Poultry House Designer, Processing Technologist, etc.


5. Fisheries Science

This area of study deals with understanding the principles of cultivation and harvesting of fish on a commercial basis in freshwater, brackish (saline) water or any marine environment. It also focuses on studying the life, habits and breeding of various species of fish. Study in this field helps students to learn all new methods of rearing fish through non-natural means and also how they can be conserved and transported safely.


Top Institutes for Fisheries Science

Some of the institutes that provide B.F.Sc in Fisheries Science are:

  • Karnataka Veterinary Animal & Fisheries Science University, Bidar
  • Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Kochi
  • Maharashtra Animal & Fisheries University, Nagpur
  • Tamil Nadu Fisheries University, Nagapattinam
  • West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences, Kolkata


Career Opportunities in Fisheries Science

Graduates in this field can find career opportunities with various employers including state and central government departments, academic institutions and fish farms. Government agencies and industry organizations recruit for positions like Aquaculture Farmer, Shellfish Culturist, Hatchery Technician, Biological Science Technician, Fish Research Assistant, etc.


6. Agronomy

It is the branch of agricultural science that deals with the study of crops and the soil in which they grow. Agronomists develop methods that help to improve the use of soil and increase the production of crops. They conduct research in various areas like restoration of soil fertility, preparation of good seedbeds, correct dates of sowing, proper methods of conservation, management of soil moisture and proper methods to control weeds and insects.


Top Institutes for Agronomy

Some of the top institutes providing B.Sc in Agronomy/Agriculture are:

  • Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Pune
  • Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore
  • Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad
  • Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana


Career Opportunities in Agronomy

You can become a Plant Scientist or Soil Scientist and work with the research department of Ministry of Agriculture or Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) to test the fertility of the soil and conditions suitable for plantation. In the production and consulting sector, you would have to provide advice on the purchase and sale of crops and the trading of agricultural goods, etc. The work roles also range from District Sales Manager for seed companies, Crop Consultants for agro-based companies, as well as fertilizer and chemical salespersons.


7. Agricultural Economics

It involves the application of the principles of Economics to the agricultural industry. Professionals in this field are engaged in predicting market trends, monitoring trade (import and export) patterns, consumer preferences and production methods for agricultural goods. They also analyze the demand and supply of various agro products and help in determining their price. You can choose your own area of expertise in this field, like crop and livestock sciences, policy analysis, credit analysis, international trade, agribusiness, etc.


Top Institutes for Agricultural Economics

Some of the top institutes providing B.Sc in Agricultural Economics are:

  • Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture & Technology, Kanpur
  • Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture & Technology, Udaipur
  • Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi


Career Opportunities in Agricultural Economics

Career prospects for Agricultural Economists range from working in agricultural banks as Credit Analysts or Agricultural Loan Officers in approving loans to farmers. You could also work as a writer for magazines, trade journals or newspapers, and publish articles relating to agricultural research, how the agricultural market works, trends in demand and supply of various agricultural goods, their price behaviour, etc. You can also pursue your PhD and become a lecturer in this field. Apart from this, Agricultural Economists also work with the government to collect and analyze agricultural data and statistics to identify trends and make predictions for the agricultural market.


8. Agri-Business Management

This field essentially involves the management of all the business aspects related to agriculture. It includes handling activities relating to the manufacture and distribution of farm equipment and supplies; processing, storage & promotion of food, fibre and related agricultural products, etc. Professionals in this field are required to build a link between the farm and non-farm sectors for smooth movement of supplies.


Top Institutes for Agri-Business Management

Some of the top colleges for B.Sc in Agri-Business Management are:

  • Agricultural College & Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore
  • Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, Maharashtra
  • Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj College of Agri-Business Management, Maharashtra
  • Dr. D.Y. Patil College of Agricultural Business Management, Pune


Career Opportunities in Agri-Business Management

After pursuing this field, you could explore careers in agribusiness firms, agricultural marketing agencies, food processing companies and retail industries. You could work as an Agribusiness Marketing Coordinator and be responsible for handling the marketing and sales of agro-products. You could also be a Quality Controller to ensure that the quality of the products purchased and produced is according to standards. Business Planning Manager, Business Development Executive, and Agricultural Analyst are also some of the job roles in this field.


9. Agricultural Biotechnology

This field involves understanding and applying a combination of scientific techniques like genetic engineering, molecular diagnostics, vaccines and tissue culture to modify plants, animals and micro-organisms. It allows breeders to make improvements to crops and livestock by identifying and modifying certain genes. It is also used for increasing milk production, preventing and treating animal diseases, and developing better ways of processing food.


Top Institutes for Agricultural Biotechnology

Some of the top institutes for pursuing a B.Tech or B.Sc in Agricultural Biotechnology are:

  • Indian Institute of Biotechnology, Jharkhand
  • University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore
  • Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Maharashtra
  • Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, Maharashtra
  • Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore


Career Opportunities in Agricultural Biotechnology

This field can provide you with career opportunities in pharmaceutical or chemical companies and agro-based manufacturing companies. The main profile could be as a Product Development Scientist, who is engaged in supervising and controlling the activities relating to manufacturing products like seeds, pesticides, insecticides etc. You can also work in the research and development department of such companies or institutes like IARI and contribute in coming up with new processes for improving existing agro products or developing new and better quality goods.


Young aspirants who are keen to pursue a career in Agriculture should consider these options as these are some upcoming fields and would have a lot of scope in future given the fact that India’s economy is still primarily dominated by the agriculture sector.

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