Agronomy is a branch of agriculture that focuses on yielding optimum food production through effective field management. The term is derived from Greek words, where “Agros” which means “Field” and “Nomos” means “Management”. Students of Agronomy study various concepts like soil fertility, agronomy of major cereals and pulses, crop ecology, sustainable agriculture, etc. To summarise, agronomy is an advanced concept of agriculture that helps students become specialists in increasing crop production by analyzing soil, field, and seeds. Recognizing that food demand is likely to increase in the coming years, the scope of Agronomy is promising for those who love plants and love to experiment with them.
Scope of Agronomy in India
- Students interested in pursuing a career in Agronomy can start by pursuing B.Sc in Agriculture and then opt for M.Sc in Agronomy. M.Sc Agronomy is a 2-year programme that requires the students to complete several theses on the chosen research areas.
- After successfully completing M.Sc in Agronomy, students can opt for jobs as Agronomists, Agricultural Scientists, Crop Production Specialist, Crop Scientist, Lab Technician, Assistant Professor, Research Fellow, Farm Associate, Farm Manager, etc.
- Students can also opt for PhD in Agronomy and pursue research. Pursuing PhD widens job scope and also increases salary.
- Students can also look for jobs in various government organizations like Centre for Cotton Research, Central Rice Research Institute, Central Arid Zone Research Institute and many others.
- It should be noted that every state in India has been mandated by the Government of India to have at least 1 agricultural university, which is an advantage to those who want to make a career in Agriculture. In fact, there are 49 such universities in India.
- As per India Today Magazine, the average salary of an agriculture graduate at the post of an officer is Rs 5 – 6 lakh per annum.
Skills Required to Make a Career in Agronomy
- Good communication skills with a good hold on local languages to communicate and explain technicalities to the farmers.
- Must have critical thinking abilities to experiment and research innovative methods to increase crop production.
- Ability to withstand excessive fieldwork and local climate.
- Those looking forward to a career in teaching should acquire relevant certificates (UGC – NET) and further education (PhD) as applicable after completing M.Sc in Agronomy.