Career in Agribusiness Management

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Career in Agribusiness Management

Agriculture is considered as the backbone of our economy. Indian agriculture contributes approximately 17.50 per cent of the country’s GDP, provides large scale employment and fulfills the food and nutritional requirements of the nation.

It provides important raw materials for some major industries. Indian agriculture faces numerous challenges with a rapidly changing business environment, pace of technological change, globalisation, competitive environment and changing role of government.

Today, agriculture has achieved commercial importance and has changed from subsistence farming to commercial farming, import oriented to export oriented, supply driven technology to demand driven technology etc.

New inputs and new technologies are hitting market everyday. The market for processed and packaged food products is increasing day by day and therefore there is a vital need of trained manpower in this business.

Only 14 per cent of total food products are being processed in India, whereas 35 per cent food is wasted during packaging and transportation. Many businesses started building up in and around agriculture.

This resulted in growth of Agri – business. Agri – business management is becoming a popular career choice for agriculture students and there is great need to develop the professional agribusiness managers who cannot only fill the management requirements of the changing agriculture scenario but also prove to be a great support to the farmers.

Agri – business education is a qualification that helps mould the personnel into good managers having managerial expertise.

Agribusiness Definition :

Agri – business includes all business enterprises that buy from or sell to farmers. The transaction may involve either a product, a commodity or a service and encompasses items such as :

  1. Productive resources e.g. feed, seed, fertilizers equipment, energy, machinery etc.
  2. Agricultural commodities e.g. food and fibre etc.
  3. Facilitative services e.g. credit, insurance marketing, storage, processing, transportation, packing, distribution etc.

Agri – business can also be defined as science and practice of activities with backward and forward linkage related to production, processing, marketing and trade, distribution of raw and processed food, feed, fiber including supply of inputs and service for these activities.

In a developing country like India, agri – business system with forward and backward linkages consists of following four major sectors such as agricultural input, agricultural production, agricultural processing – manufacturing or agro processing, and agricultural marketing – distribution sector.

These four sectors act as interrelated parts of a system in which the success of each sector depends, to a large extent, on the proper functioning of the other sectors.

Thus, agribusiness is all about how to conduct successful business in the food and agriculture related sectors. Agribusiness management is nothing but the application of management principles for agriculture.

Need for Agribusiness Education :

Commercialization of agriculture calls for specialized production, post – harvest management, expansion of processing, transportation, packaging activities and positioning of products both in the domestic as well as international markets.

Every year about 20 – 30 per cent of crop is wasted at farm level in India due to improper handling, spoilage, floods, droughts, pests and diseases and lack of knowledge of post – harvest technologies.

In the case of fruits and vegetables, this wastage is around 30 per cent. The policy of liberalization and the establishment of WTO have created more opportunities for globalizing agriculture.

Certain sectors in India such as floriculture, aquaculture, poultry, processing of fruits and vegetables are reaping the benefits of advanced technology.

The agribusiness sector encompasses the many activities of agricultural sector under one umbrella like integration of agricultural inputs, agricultural productions, agro – processing and agricultural marketing and trade which add value to the agriculture produce. Nowadays, agri – business has become one of the most important fields in the developing country like India to boost up its economy and taking care of globalization opportunities and challenges.

The public, private and cooperative organizations are looking for professionally competent and trained agribusiness managers. The State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) can take a lead in this direction to provide them the desired manpower.

The managerial skills of meritorious agricultural graduates can be developed by SAUs. So that they can prove as effective agribusiness managers. There is greater need of agri – business education, research and capacity buildings.

Now, most of the State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) are offering post-graduate programs in agri – business management.

Currently, some of the premier institutes providing post graduate courses in agri – business management programs areas follows :

  • National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), Rajendranagar (Hyderabad) www.manage.gov.in.
  • National Institute of Agricultural – Marketing (NIAM), Jaipur (Rajasthan) – www.niam.gov.in.
  • Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) (Gujarat) – www.irrha.ac.in.
  • Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Vastrapur (Ahmedabad) – www.iimahd.ernet.in.
  • Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Prabandh Nagar (Lucknow) – www.iiml.ac.in.

Other Institutions / Universities Offering Courses in Agri – Business Management :

Agriculture Holdings in India
Type Holding (in hect.) (% of Total)
Marginal Holding Less than one 59%
Small Holding 1 - 4 32.2%
Medium Holding 4 - 10 7.2%
Large Holding More than 10 1.6%

Eligibility :

A background in agriculture and allied sectors (dairying, food, agriculture engineering, forestry etc.) is the first step towards entering agri – business management course.

Students who have Bachelor’s degree in agriculture or allied sectors from any recognized institutes or a university are preferred.

Agri – Business Curriculum :

In the present time, many management institutes and agricultural universities in India have been conducting courses in agri – business management.

The curricula are definitely different in different institutions. However, the following are some of the courses that are usually studied in agribusiness education.

The subjects like Agri – business environment & policy, Business laws and ethics, Basic Computer Skills, Communication for Management & Business, Human Resource Management, Financial Management, Management Information System, Managerial Economics, Managerial Accounting and Control, Marketing Management, Operations Research, Organizational Behaviour, Production and Operations Management, Project Management, Research Methodology etc. along with electives subjects like :

Agri – business Financial Management, Agricultural Marketing Management, Agri – Supply Chain Management, Farm Business Management, Farm Power & Machinery Management, Feed Business Management, Fertilizer Technology & Management, Food Retail Management, Food Technology & Processing Management, Fruit Production & Post Harvest Management, International Trade & Sustainability Governance, Management of Agribusiness Co – operatives, Management of Agri – Input Industry, Management of Agro – Chemical Industry, Management of Floriculture and Landscaping, Management of Veterinary – Pharmaceutical Industry, Management of Dairy Industry, Management of Fisheries, Poultry and Hatchery Management, Rural Marketing, Seed Production Technology Management etc. are among the many key areas which are focused on in the course.

Agribusiness Job Opportunities :

Almost all the institutes get good placements. Today agribusiness job opportunities are available in sectors like warehousing, retail sector, seed companies, pesticide companies, fertilizer companies, finance services, banks, insurance sector etc.

Agri – business management has wide scope in developing the trained manpower in different areas of operation viz., management personnel to cater to cooperatives and agriculture industry, policy makers for financial sector, trained teaching staff to cater the academic field, technically sound team to serve research area etc.

Apart from this, agriculture consultancy, journalism, agri – banking, hi – tech farming, agriculture conservation, agriculture engineering are also some potential areas for a career.

Career prospect in agri – business are varied from Farming to Commodity Broker, Commodity Buyer, Food Broker, Supply Planner, Supplier Manager, Purchase Executive, Procurement officer, loan officer, marketing researcher / specialist, product analyst, purchase agent, statistician, and wholesaler.

Agri – business management as a career is promising as well as challenging. Agri – business management is now becoming a popular profession.

Remuneration :

In the age of liberalization and globalization, after completing agribusiness education, students can work in public or private or cooperative sector and can earn good salary.

The salary in agri – business sector depends on various factors, such as student’s qualification, experience, expertise in a particular field etc. Remuneration in these sectors is getting more attractive with the passage of time.