Are you not much inclined to formal school education and higher education thereafter? Would you like to get into horticulture or fruit and vegetable farming or agricultural & food science to learn and experience setting up your own business in the future perhaps? Or would you love to work in gardens or flower plantations professionally to grow different kinds of flower plants from India and other countries? These are just a few instances! But if you are the one, you are on the right page!
Vocational careers in agricultural and food science are gaining popularity among the youth due to increasing interest in sustainable living, organic farming, and healthy food production. Whether you’re interested in farming, animal husbandry, food processing, or horticulture, there are plenty of vocational careers available in the field. In this blog, we will discuss some of the most popular vocational careers in agricultural and food science, what it takes to pursue them, and a lot more valuable insights to help you decide!
Why choose the agriculture & food science industry?
There are several reasons why someone might choose a vocational course in the agriculture and food science industry:
1. Growing industry: The agriculture and food science industry is an essential and growing sector globally. With a rapidly increasing global population, there is a constant demand for high-quality food products, making it a stable and secure career path.
2. Diverse career options: The agriculture and food science industry offer diverse career options, including farm management, food production, food safety, nutrition, and research. With a vocational course in agriculture and food science, you can choose to specialize in one of these areas.
3. Hands-on experience: Vocational courses in agriculture and food science offer practical, hands-on experience in the field, providing you with the skills and knowledge required to succeed in the industry.
4. Sustainability: Sustainable agriculture and food production practices are gaining traction in the industry. With a vocational course, you can learn about sustainable practices and contribute to making the industry more environmentally friendly.
5. Opportunity to make a difference: The agriculture and food science industry plays a crucial role in feeding the world’s population. By pursuing a career in this industry, you have an opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives and contribute to global food security.
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Popular specialization in the agriculture & food science industry
Agriculture and food science are among the oldest and most important fields of human activity. These fields provide essential services for human survival by growing food, raising livestock, and maintaining our environment. Here are some of the popular specializations in this domain along with their eligibility criteria-
As a Beekeeper, you will be primarily responsible for nurturing and keeping or maintaining various species of bees in beehives, which is their habitat. You will be mainly nurturing bees that produce honey, apart from various other by-products of beehives such as wax, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom, etc.
You will also produce bees used for pollinating crops. You may sell bees to other beekeepers. You will be responsible for monitoring the size of beehives or colonies, introducing new colonies or maintaining these colonies, monitoring the amount of honey produced, collecting the honey produced, etc.
As a Bamboo Worker, you will be responsible for cultivating or growing Bamboo by following various bamboo cultivation methods. You will also be involved in the process of Bamboo processing and Bamboo dying. You will be choosing, cutting, and splitting the right bamboo poles for making various Bamboo items such as mats, furniture, gifts, stationery items, Agarbatti Stick, and jewelry, etc. For example, if you are making bamboo mats then you will have to select seasoned and colored bamboo strips to match the required pattern or design. On the other hand, if you are making bamboo furniture then you will be responsible for sizing and dressing bamboo pieces, drilling holes, and building frames and bodies with strengthening pieces, with the help of various machinery used in bamboo technology.
Food Processing Technician
As a Food Processing Technician, you will be responsible for processing various food items and raw ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, and other seafood items either manually or with the help of machines or processing plants. You will be processing these food items for making processed food items. Food Processing means converting raw food items into other forms of food items.
Food Processing is the process of converting raw agricultural and non-agricultural products such as fruits, vegetables, and seafood into other forms of food items. For Example, converting apples into apple jam or apple juice, or apple squash by processing apples either manually or with the help of processing plants. Similarly, processing fish and seafood for achieving high quality and high quantity of products as well as preserving them by maintaining nutrients and freshness of fish.
Organic Farmers or Organic Growers are involved in farming using various traditional methods and techniques of farming which do not use any synthetic chemicals either as fertilizers or pesticides. Organic farming is done using natural manures only such as organic waste, farm waste, animal waste, and manure. This ensures that no harmful and toxic chemical enters the human body through food produced or processed at farms.
Organic farming use only natural products like manure, hybrid seeds, and natural pesticide and fungicides like cow dung, cow urine, vermicomposting, neem cakes, Sarsonki Khali (paste generated from Sarson or Mustard), etc. And you can imagine how different and delicious these fruits and veggies would taste as no chemicals and preservatives are used in growing them. While conventional farming involves great use of chemicals either as fertilizers and pesticides or uses genetically modified seeds (GM seeds) and artificial techniques to speed up the growth process.
Animal Health Worker
An animal health worker provides healthcare services for livestock and pets. This profession requires knowledge of animal biology, disease prevention, and treatment. Animal health workers may work in veterinary clinics, hospitals, or farms.
Animal Health Workers, also known as Community Animal Health Workers / Community Resource Person (Veterinary) or Livestock Service Providers are responsible for providing Minor First Aid Services to Animals under the provision of the Indian Veterinary Council Act (No. 52 of 1984). You will be working under the supervision of a registered veterinarian, or any registered development / private / producer-led agency. As an Animal Health Worker, you will also be providing preventive health care assistance for controlling contagious diseases to various farms and poultry animals.
As an Animal Husbandry Worker, you will work in livestock or animal husbandry farms which breed and raise livestock animals for the production of milk, eggs, meat, leather, and other food products. Animals that are bred and raised in animal farms include cattle, goats, pigs, rabbits, sheep, etc. You will be responsible for various ground-level activities involved in managing a livestock farm including proper care of the animals (health and productivity), milking and marketing of produced milk, etc.
You need to ensure high-quality livestock produce as well as animal comfort and well-being. Your work will mainly involve rearing and feeding the animals, ensuring that their rearing areas are clean and sanitised, and making sure that all the animals are in proper health conditions. You have to pay maximum attention to the animals during their breeding period.
Coffee and Tea Plantation Worker
A coffee and tea plantation worker is responsible for cultivating, harvesting, and processing coffee and tea plants. This profession requires knowledge of plant biology, cultivation techniques, and processing methods.
The plantation workers work on tea and coffee plantations. Their job starts with the preparation of the nursery bed followed by preparation of the land where the seeds will be sown, making pits for planting the seeds, sowing the seeds, planting shade trees at suitable distances, controlling pests and testing of the soil of the harvesting land. Their work ends with harvesting. The workers need to choose a suitable time for harvesting. At the time of harvest the quantity of work that the workers need to do increases. Their role includes proper knowledge of different types of coffee and tea seeds, types of soil, rainfall patterns, the yield of the particular variety and climatic conditions required for growing tea and coffee.
As a Paddy Farmer, you will be working in rice/paddy fields. Your duties might vary with different climatic conditions, rainfall pattern and soil type. You shall be responsible for getting the seeds and also selling your produce in the market later. For this, you also need to know the current market prices of the seeds as well as harvested rice varieties.
You need to sow seeds, ensure that the paddy field is properly irrigated, clear growth of other plants and vegetation in the paddy growing area as well as harvest the crop when it is the right time. You must know about the tools/machines used for rice farming and repair them when they are defective.
As a Livestock Worker, you will work in animal farms that breed and raise animals for the production of various food products such as milk, meat, and leather. Animals that are bred and raised in animal farms include cattle, goats, pigs, rabbits, sheep, etc.
Your work will mainly involve rearing and feeding the animals, ensuring that their rearing areas are clean and sanitized, and making sure that all the animals are in proper health conditions. You have to take utmost care during the breeding period of animals.
As a livestock worker, you will have to look after the needs of every animal at your farm, clean the facility/equipment and monitor the animals’ behavior and health issues.
Horticulture Workers cultivate of plants, vegetables, flowers, fruits, herbs, shrubs, etc. They work in nurseries, plantations, orchards, gardens, etc. However, crops come under the purview of farmers (agriculture). Horticulture comes from Latin words Hortus meaning garden and cultus meaning cultivation.
As a Horticulture Worker, you will not only work on the cultivation of different kinds of fruit and flowers plants, but you will also work at orchards, landscape, garden design, construction and maintenance of farms, etc.
As a Gardener, you will be involved in growing and nurturing different kinds of plants including flowering (producing flowers), grasses, shrubs, and ornamental (used for decoration) plants for gardens, pavements, and parks in commercial, community as well as domestic spaces. You will be managing nurseries to grow trees, plants, flowers, vegetables, etc. in open air or greenhouses, in public or private gardens.
You will be planning preparation of beds, preparing beds, and using various methods of sowing, cultivating, and treatment based on climatic conditions, soil types, irrigation facilities etc. You will be responsible for most of the ground-level activities, under supervision, starting right from nursery preparation. You will be involved in cleaning and ploughing the land and sowing the seeds for growing plants.
As a Floriculturist, you will be involved in cultivation of flowering (producing flowers) and ornamental (used for decoration) plants for gardens, for the retail flower industry and the cut flower industry (flowers sold in bunches or as bouquets after cutting from the plant).
You will be responsible for most of the ground level activities, under supervision, starting from nursery preparation and cultivation to plucking of flowers and storage. You will be involved in cleaning and ploughing the land and sowing the seeds for growing the flower plants.
A fisherman is a professional who specializes in catching fish and other aquatic animals for commercial or recreational purposes. They typically work on boats or ships, where they use advanced fishing techniques to catch high-quality fish. Fishermen’s job roles include baiting hooks, casting nets, cleaning and sorting fish, and maintaining fishing equipment. They must have a strong understanding of marine biology, fishing regulations, and safety practices.
As a fisherman or a fishery worker, you’ll be using nets, fishing rods, traps, or other equipment to catch and gather fish or other aquatic animals from rivers, lakes, or oceans, for human consumption or export. You may work on fishing trawlers or fishing boats, or even raise fishes through fish farming or aquaculture. The profession might also involve you to prevent fish deterioration, and perform filleting and freezing of fresh fishes for forwarding distribution.
How to opt for vocational careers in Agriculture & Food Science
You will be surprised to know that no formal education is required, but vocational training, apprenticeships, and experience in farming or related fields are preferred to build a career in the agriculture & food science industry.
However, it is advised to do your research before opting for any career. You may also take the help of our expert career counselors. Talk to industry seniors or experts for clarity. It is never late to pick up the phone and call! iDreamCareer is always ready to help young minds like you to select your most-suited career choices.
Salary insights of the agriculture & food science industry
Salaries in the agriculture and food science industry in India can vary widely depending on the job role, location, experience, and education level of the professional. Generally speaking, vocational careers in agriculture and food science may not offer very high salaries initially, but with experience and specialization, professionals can earn a decent income. It is recommended that you research current salary trends and consult with industry experts to obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Although, here is an average salary stats for your reference-
In entry-level jobs, you can expect a monthly salary package of around Rs. 3,000 – Rs. 12,000 or more a month.
As you gain about 5-7 years of experience, your average monthly salary will be somewhere around Rs. 7,000 – Rs. 18,000 or more a month.
In about 10-12 years, your salary package will range anywhere between Rs. 10,000 – Rs. 25,000 or more a month.
After you’ve gained an experience of 12+ years, you can expect Rs. 15,000 – Rs. 32,000 or more a month.
Career progression in the agriculture & food science industry
The agriculture and food science industry offers a wide range of career growth opportunities for professionals. In this industry, individuals can start their careers as technicians or entry-level workers and then work their way up to supervisory positions with experience and additional training. With advanced degrees and specialized skills, professionals can also pursue careers as researchers or scientists, contributing to the development of new technologies and techniques that improve agricultural and food production.
Moreover, as the agriculture and food science industry continues to evolve, new opportunities are emerging for professionals in areas such as food safety, sustainability, and supply chain management. These areas require specialized knowledge and expertise, which can be acquired through continuing education and on-the-job training.
What do industry trends say – future prospects
As per the industry trends and statistics, vocational careers in the agriculture and food science industry have promising future prospects.
According to a report by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), the agriculture and food processing sectors in India are expected to generate employment for over 9 million people by 2023. The report further highlights that the sector has the potential to absorb a large number of skilled and semi-skilled workforce, particularly in areas such as horticulture, livestock, and fisheries.
The Indian government has also been taking initiatives to boost the agriculture and food processing sectors. The Union Budget 2021-22, for instance, has allocated INR 2.83 lakh crore to agriculture and rural development, which is a 5.63% increase from the previous year’s budget. This increased focus on the agriculture and food processing sectors is expected to create more jobs and career opportunities for professionals in these industries.
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Anushree has 4+ years of experience in the career counseling industry as a Senior Content Writer. She has also worked as a Social Media Marketing Expert for a startup and Content Quality Analyst for Publishing and E-learning Industry. She has done her Master’s in Commerce and PGDM in Finance & Trade and Marketing & HR, but she is currently following her passion for writing.