Agriculture the revolutionary occupation that led to the rise of civilization, animal husbandry and stratified society. It refers to the production of food and goods through farming and forestry. Modern agronomy, plant breeding, pesticides and fertilizers, and technological improvements have sharply increased yields from cultivation, and at the same time have caused widespread ecological damage and negative human health effects. In various countries agriculture is the mainstay of the entire economy. Agriculture is no longer practiced by rule of thumb, instead it has become highly scientific, sophisticated and mechanized and consequently, very profitable too. Horticulture, dairying and poultry farming are allied agricultural activities that have become economically viable opportunities today.
The impact of agriculture is not only on the production of food grains, vegetables and fruits, but on so many agriculture dependent industries which get its raw material from agriculture sector. A good monsoon would drive the senses raging as bull, while floods or other such calamities would bring it to a grinding halt. Agricultural universities offer a 3-4 yrs bachelor course in agricultural science. The basic criteria for B.Sc(Ag) is 10+2 with minimum 50% marks with science or agriculture as a subject. Some institutes conduct separate entrance tests also. Notifications of the courses at various places appear from January onward, while the sessions usually start off between July and September. Numerous colleges also offer B.Sc and M.Sc courses in agriculture. Specializations in agriculture include agricultural economics, agricultural chemistry, animal husbandry and dairy, horticulture, farming system management and agricultural marketing management. Some universities and institutions are also offering BE Agricultural Engineering Courses. To enter the research level courses also one needs to appear for certain entrance tests which varies as per the rules of a nation.
There is a wide scope in this field in a country like India blessed with diverse topography, variety of climate and abundant cheap labor. Today agriculture is science-based, high-tech and offers an array of career possibilities — from animal and plant researchers, food scientists, commodity brokers, nutritionists, agricultural journalists, bankers, market analysts, sales professionals, food processors, forest managers, wildlife specialists. . .and the list goes on. The spurt in government support for export of agree-products has evoked considerable interest among the large business houses which have worked out agreements for technology transfer, marketing tie-ups, and management and trading contacts with leading foreign counterparts. Commercialization of agriculture and horticulture have opened doors of opportunities for salaried jobs as well as entrepreneurship. Landscapers and horticulturists are hired by hotels, health farms, and holiday resorts to beautify their surroundings. Florists and nurseries are doing lucrative business especially in the metropolitan cities.