Food & Agriculture

The field of Food and Agriculture fuses the disciplines of nutrition, agricultural science, environmental studies, and public policy. It explores ecological, political, economic and social aspects of food production and distribution, and seeks to provide ethical and environmental solutions to feeding a global population.

What are the Various Disciplines in Food & Agriculture ?

Agriculture

Agriculture is the science of cultivating plants and livestock for producing food, flowers, fibre, fuel and various other products.

Horticulture

Horticulture is the area of agriculture involving the science of growing and caring for garden crops, generally fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants.

Aquaculture

Aquaculture deals with the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants, algae, and other organisms in all types of water environments.

Forestry

Forestry is the science that deals with management, conservation and repairing of forest land and associated resources for human and environmental benefits.

Agricultural Economics

This field aims at applying concepts of economics to learn more about the supply and demand of goods and services in the agricultural sector.

Soil and Water Management

This field relates to relevant issues surrounding agriculture and sustainability including soil quality, wind and water erosion, water quantity and quality, and corresponding environmental and societal issues.

Food Sciences

Food science is the study of the concepts underlying the selection, preservation and processing of food and its packaging, distribution, and safe use.

Agricultural Engineering

Agricultural Engineering is the integration of technology with farming and is concerned with the design, construction and improvement of farming equipment and machinery.

Dairy Sciences and Technology

It is the study of milk and milk-derived food products focussing on the biological, chemical, physical, and microbiological aspects of milk and on the technological aspects of processing milk to produce various consumer products like beverages, concentrated and dried products, butter and ice cream.

Main Admission/Entrance exams

Name of Exam Institutions Languages Application Period Exam Dates Website
Undergraduate - (UG)
AIEEA- UG
  • All Agricultural Universities in India (15% seats)
  • 100% seats in NDRI, Karnal, RLB CAU Jhansi and DR. RP CAU Pusa
English April - May 1st week of July

https://icarexam.net/

https://ntaicar.nic.in/

NEET Kerala Agricultural University English. Hindi, Tamil (also available in many other Indian languages but not Malayalam) November 1st week of May https://ntaneet.nic.in/
Postgraduate - (PG)
AIEEA- PG
  • All Agricultural Universities in India (25% seats)
  • 100% seats in at ICAR Deemed Universities((IARI, IVRI, NDRI, CIFE and Dr.RP CAU Pusa)
English April - May 1st week of July

https://icarexam.net/

https://www.nta.ac.in/Home

KAU - PG entrance Exam Kerala Agricultural University English June-July Last week of July http://www.kau.in
KUFOS- PG Entrance Kerala University for Fisheries and Ocean Science English April 3rd week of May https://www.kufos.ac.in/

What would help you build a good profile for admission at the UG level?

Stream to Choose at +2 level:

Choose Science stream with Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Mathematics/Agriculture/Home Science/ Biotechnology. Eligibility conditions for some entrance examinations include Biology/Biotechnology as a compulsory subject at +2.

Subjects to focus:

Admission to Agricultural Universities is through National and State level Examinations which tests Physics, Chemistry and either Biology/Agriculture or Math, depending on the exam or on stream/courses chosen to apply for. Moreover appearing for these exams also requires a minimum percentage aggregate in the +2 examination. So the student should aim to score high in all subjects as well as give extra importance to Biology/Agriculture and Math if required.

Some skills to acquire:

Students of Food and Agriculture field require good research skills and critical thinking ability to be able to analyse and interpret data and make decisions. They should also have the ability to persevere in adverse conditions. An innate love for nature and plant life will be an additional asset

Minimum marks:

Minimum of 50% or above in aggregate is required for admission to most institutions or for appearing in entrance exams for undergraduate courses

Scholarships

Name Eligibility Website
ICAR National Talent Scholarship for UG National Talent Scholarship would be available to all students admitted through qualification in the All India Entrance Examination (AIEEA-UG/PG)conducted by the ICAR to UG courses in any Agricultural University in a state outside his/her domicile state. Minimum 50% marks at Higher secondary level is required for appearing for AIEEA- UG. https://education.icar.gov.in/Home.aspx
Merit cum Means Scholarship This is available to undergraduate students of Agriculture and allied disciplines, whose parents’ annual income does not exceed Rs 1 lakh and who have scored not less than 60% in the qualifying examinations. https://education.icar.gov.in/Home.aspx
Central Sector Scheme Scholarship for College and University Students Available to students who are above the 80th percentile of successful candidates in the relevant stream from the respective Board of Examination in Class XII of 10+2 pattern or equivalent and pursuing regular courses in recognised colleges/Universities and whose parents’ annual income does not exceed Rs 8 lakhs https://scholarships.gov.in/
ICAR PG Scholarship/NTS for PG A limited number of ICAR -PG scholarships are awarded based on merit to students admitted to PG courses in Agricultural Universities through the AIEEA- PG examination. At least 60% marks in bachelor’s examination is required to appear for AIEEA- PG . Students who do not receive the PG scholarship may be eligible for the NTS- PG provided they satisfy the other conditions required. https://education.icar.gov.in/Home.aspx
Post Matric Scholarship This is provided to scheduled caste and scheduled tribes students in recognised Agriculture Universities for Bachelor Degree programme in various branches of Agriculture. https://education.icar.gov.in/Home.aspx
ICAR JRF & SRF Junior and Senior Research Fellowships to students enrolled in Agricultural Universities through ICAR’s All India Competitive Examination (AICE) https://education.icar.gov.in/Home.aspx

Future of Food & Agriculture

According to the bureau of labour Statistics USA, overall employment of agricultural and food scientists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026. Research into agricultural production methods and techniques is growing as there is additional demand for sustainable agriculture products, such as biofuels and the need to deal with challenges such as population growth, climatic changes depleting water resources and for combating pests and pathogens.

This will produce growth in the employment of agricultural and food scientists Animal scientists will continue to be needed to investigate and improve the breeding, diets, living conditions, and genetic makeup of livestock.

A feature in India Today points out the relevant facts of the scenario in India. Economists point out that agriculture is four times more effective than other sectors in reducing poverty and it could provide a golden opportunity for young entrepreneurs. Also this is a field that is not likely to face recession. Agricultural technology is also advancing fast and becoming more diverse creating new jobs. With government's focus on agriculture, experts say that there will be more jobs available in agriculture and allied industries, than ever before. With the industry on the ascent, but with students not fully aware about the opportunities in this field there is a shortage of talent in this field.

Other Career Areas graduates in Food and Agriculture can enter in?

Life Sciences & Environment

This career field which includes areas like Zoology, Botany and Ecology is closely related to the field of Food and Agriculture.

Nutrition , Fitness & Well-Being

There is a good deal of overlap between the fields of Food and Agriculture and Nutrition. Some Agriculture Universities even offer Bachelor’s courses in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Education & Training

After taking post graduate and doctoral qualifications in the field of Food & Agriculture, careers as teachers or professors in Universities and Research centres may be taken up.

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