Employment Avenues in Agriculture

India, with 1.34 billion people which is growing at a rate of 1.8 per cent a year and could make the country the most populous in the world by 2050.Alarmed by its swelling population, India represents almost 17.85% of the world’s population to cater the employment avenues. Literacy is the foundation for a progressive and developing nation. Literacy is India’s only way make a place for itself in the times of mechanization and globalization. Although India has raised its current literacy rate of 74.4% (Census, 2011) from 12% at the time of Independence in 1947, its still lag behind the world average literacy rate of 84%. Literacy enabled hitherto illiterate youth and adults to be more independent in conducting daily business and empowered to engage in more profitable income generating activities or to improve the profitability of their existing projects. The mainstay of our economy, Agriculture, offers sophisticated and rewarding career opportunities. It’s a parable that the jobs in agriculture require widespread education in the food science. Nowadays the sector offers a plethora of jobs where one can learn the work onboard without having any prior education in this field.

Today, farming is high tech, big business, and most careers in agriculture are actually either business or science related. The sector is not just limited to producing food grains but also pilots many other industries dependent directly or indirectly on it. Only a small percentage of those employed within the agricultural industry are employed in “traditional” farming occupations.

The vast majority work as either food/agricultural scientists or in business related careers, such as marketing and merchandising. Now the governing body of Indian Agriculture Research Council (ICAR) has approved UG degree in agriculture and allied subject as professional degree courses.

Career in the science side of agriculture may be enjoying doing experiments and analyzing the results. Agricultural scientists study farm crops and animals, in an effort to improve both production methods and food quality.

The most common perception about agricultural sector is all about scientific research. It has become high-tech science to be sure, but there are careers in the agriculture sector that relate to just about any major stream could take an individual to a countless exciting career opportunities that the agricultural industry has to offer. The advent of agribusiness in the late 20th century has meant fewer but much larger farms. Agribusiness refers to the business of farming, although, oddly, the term is not often used in correlation with actual farms. Animal Science in another focused area in careers on the science side of agriculture. Animal scientists conduct research designed to improve the production and processing of meats, fish and dairy products.

They use biotechnology to study the genetics, nutrition, reproduction, growth, and development of domesticated farm animals.

Some animal scientists inspect and grade livestock food products, purchase livestock, or work in technical sales or marketing.

As extension agents or consultants, animal scientists advise agricultural producers on how to upgrade animal housing facilities properly, lower mortality rates among their animals, handle waste matter properly, or increase the production of animal products, such as milk or eggs.

MANAGE (2014) observed that around 15,000 Agri-graduates pass out every year from agricultural universities in India and only around 2500 Agri-graduates are able to find jobs in private and public sectors.

Thus every year around 11500 Agri-graduates are available for supporting the agriculture. The growing migration of youth from the sector, Ministry of Agriculture emphasized to transform agriculture sector into a more profitable business.

In order to provide employment in rural areas and check the migration of youth, the Government is giving priority to transform agricultural and rural activities into employment-oriented ones

In order to create a center of attention of rural youth and Agri-graduates in farm sector, government has initiated a various schemes like. Agriclinics and Agribusiness Centers, Skill India, Start-Up, ARYA and Atal Innovation Mission have been launched for employing the youth. Agriclinics and agribusiness centers scheme is a subsidy based credit linked scheme for setting up agriventure by agricultural graduates launched by Government of India towards strengthen technology transfer, public extension system and employment generation in rural areas The Skill India is touted to be a demand-driven, reward-based skill training scheme that will incentivize skill training by providing financial rewards to candidates who successfully complete approved skill training programmes.

The government has set a target of training 24 lakh youths would be skilled across the country. Start-Up initiative will be proved a new dimension to the entrepreneurship and help new comers in setting up their businesses as well as make a live network of start-ups through connection.

Highly skilled and multi talented youths of the country will be completely benefitted through this campaign and able to generate new jobs.

Such initiatives are warm welcomed as they are very necessary to enhance the economic growth, betterment of people’s lives and making India a developed country. ARYA will be implemented on a pilot basis in 25 districts in 25 states to attract youth in the agriculture sector.

To developing entrepreneurship capabilities among rural youth, training on the essential skills as per the requirement of selected enterprises and entrepreneurial units will be set up at their location within the selected districts.

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) including Self-Employment and Talent Utilization (SETU) is Government of India’s endeavour to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship to serve as a platform for promotion of world-class Innovation Hubs, Grand Challenges, Start-up businesses and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology driven areas.

The mandatory qualification (BSc. Agriculture) as requirement to get license for sale of agriculture inputs like seeds, fertilizers and pesticides will create additional employment opportunities for agriculture graduates.

In order to build their technical competency in agriculture and to facilitate them to serve the farmers better and to act as para – extension professionals, National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE) has launched a self-financed one-year Diploma in Agricultural Extension Services for input dealers programme and to equip the extension functionaries with latest tools and techniques for participatory decision making.

The financial assistance to agriculture students of undergraduate and post-graduate level have been increased to encourage them to take up higher education in agricultural field.

Various new agriculture colleges and universities have been established to promote higher education and enhancement of agriculture across the country. There is a vast scope for youth task force to undertake agriculture as their profession which is directly or indirectly contributing to the financially viability and societal development of the country.
(The author is Junior Agriculture Extension Officer,
Department of Agriculture Jammu)

Source: Daily Excelsior


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