The study of agriculture is termed as agricultural science. It is a multidisciplinary field which consists of a variety of scientific, technical and business subjects that promote the efficient production of quality food on the farm and in the agricultural-food industry linked to farming. Closely related to biological science, it uses the principles of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics to solve the problems related to agriculture. Agricultural science include research and development on production techniques; improving agricultural productivity in terms of quantity and quality; transformation of primary products into end consumer products and prevention and correction of adversities. Major areas of specialisation within agricultural science are food science, plant science, soil science and animal science.
Agricultural science professionals specialize in agricultural production and livestock. They play an important role in maintaining the nation’s food supply. Some of the major tasks performed by them involves improving the quality and quantity of farming; improving crop yield with less labour; conservation of soil and water; controlling pests and weeds more safely and effectively etc. In short, Agricultural scientists engage in research to discover and promote effective, practical pathways to sustainable land use, food and fiber production and food harvesting.
Those who have a passion for research, development and improvement in the existing agricultural products can opt for agricultural science as their career. The courses offered by various agricultural universities are designed for students interested in production agriculture, farm management etc. which can produce trained professionals in this field. Several career opportunities exist in different areas of agricultural production, research and development, social services, business, education and the non-profit sector. Even though food production is the major phase of agricultural industry, textiles and fibers also makeup a large portion of agriculture.
Graduates in agricultural science are employed as agricultural managers/ inspectors in farm related organisations, agro-industries, food-processing unit, dairy fields, NGO’s and breeding centers. Many of these positions can be in areas that support the marketing and distribution of agricultural commodities as well as in the production sector of agribusiness operations. They can also set their own business in primary economic sector such as farming, plantations, fisheries, mining, cattle rearing, poultry farming etc.
Research areas of agricultural science has become more prospective with the new advances in the study of genetics and biotechnology. Scientist s work with biologists and chemists to develop efficient processes for turning crops into energy sources. One can work in the private sector on applied research and product development or engage in basic research, mainly in universities or government agencies. Agricultural scientists can also work as consultants to business firms, private clients or to government.
They can join in the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Delhi as junior fellow researcher. Vacancies for scientists in the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Institute are through a combined entrance test conducted by the Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board or ASRB. Aspiring candidates can also take ARS NET (Agricultural Research Service/ National Eligibility Test) examination to work as lecturers in various agricultural universities and their affiliated colleges.
The Department of Agriculture in every state recruit gazetted officers like District Agriculture Officer, Assistant Director of Agriculture through the State Service Commission (SSC). The recruitment to the post of Agricultural Development Officer (ADO)/ Block Development Officer (BDO) is also through entrance examination conducted by public service commission/ concerned department. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT) with its head quarters at Andhra Pradesh is a non-profit, non-political organization for research related job of agriculture field.