- Agricultural Inspector
Who is a Agricultural Inspector?
Agriculture was the first occupation of man, and as it embraces the whole earth, it is the foundation of all other industries E.W. Stewart
The Agriculture Inspector is someone who works to prevent food-borne diseases and provide healthy food to everyone. Anything that we eat does not come directly to us especially in the cities. The food goes through numerous departments before finally coming to the consumer. The food crops in the field often get infected by pests and insects. To avoid this, the farmers spray pesticides and insecticides on crops. The chemicals used in pesticides and insecticides are not only harmful to insects or pests but also for humans. If the pesticides are sprayed more than the adequate quantity then it could turn the crop toxic for human consumption.
Similarly, the meat processing units are required to test the livestock before slaughtering them as the livestock might have some disease that could affect anyone consuming its meat. Agriculture inspector does this inspection on a daily basis to ensure that the food processed from the crops of the farm or raw meat of the processing facility is healthy for consumption.
Agricultural Inspector in a Nutshell
Agriculture Inspector is commonly employed by government agencies such as the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. The Agriculture Inspector makes sure that all the agricultural and food processing entities follow the government laws and regulations in terms of health standards.
Quick Facts for Agricultural Inspector
Average Salary in India
Male, Female, Others
It is suitable for every gender who has an interest in travelling and examining food ingredients. Agriculture Inspectors are found to be individuals who enjoy travelling and like to spend time with themselves. They have a natural curiosity and are more likely to be investigative in nature.
Any special needs
It is not suitable for a person with special needs. This career requires travelling to farms and other food processing units to collect samples and sending them to the lab. It is both a desk and a field job. This career requires inspecting food processing operations which require the inspector to be physically fit.
Table of Contents for Agricultural Inspector
What is the role of Agricultural Inspector?
The Agriculture Inspector examines the food processing operations such as reports of logging, fishing and farming operations to make sure that the food received by consumers is healthy for consumption. Agriculture inspectors are responsible for inspection of meat processing units and ensuring its safety at meat processing facilities. They may also be required to measure the quality standards of shipment of agriculture and farm products before it crosses the border to be sold in another state or country. The Agriculture Inspector requires to collect samples from animals, plants, or products and transport them to the lab for testing. They have to remain in contact with the personnel working on the samples of the agricultural products taken for inspection, to draft a report about their findings and suggest applicable health recommendations to farmers, and other authoritative bodies.
Examine agriculture commodities and related operations such as fish and logging operations to ensure the operations compliance with law and regulations of government's health, safety and quality standards.
A large number of people in our country consume dairy and other animal products. Hence, it is important to ensure that the livestock from whom we take our dairy and other products are not infected with any kind of disease which can be harmful to human beings. So it is the responsibility of the agricultural inspector to examine the livestock and ensure that they are healthy.
Ensuring the cleanliness is another important job responsibility of an agricultural inspector. Slaughterhouses or poultry and dairy farms can be a ground for various diseases which can be quite harmful to human beings. Hence, it is important for them to be clean. An agricultural inspector ensures that such places are clean and that conditions are hygienic. Monitoring the cleanliness and sanitary conditions of slaughtering houses or meat processing units is one of the prime job responsibilities.
Inspect the transportation and handling procedure to ensure it meets all the regulatory requirements. Inspecting horticultural products and livestock to detect harmful disease, infestation or growth rate. Agriculture inspectors also examine livestock to determine the effectiveness of medication and feeding programmes. Examining, weighing, and measuring commodities such as poultry, eggs, meat, and seafood to certify wholesomeness, grade, and weight.
As an agricultural inspector, it is important for the individual to conduct several tests in order to maintain quality. An agricultural inspector collects samples from livestock, plants, and other products such as the feed given to the animal and sends it to laboratories for testing the purposes. Periodic tests conducted by them also help in the prevention of widespread disease among the animals.
In a country like India, where there are crores to feed, quality is often the first victim to the problem of such a large population. As an agricultural inspector, it is his or her duty to regularly inspect food processing plants or food manufacturing factories. Bad quality food or ingredients such as additives and compounds that are used to prepare food products can spell disaster for a nation. Hence, it is essential for the agricultural inspector to ensure quality.
Issuing official grading certificates, labelling and sealing graded products as per the regulatory standards.
In an event where there is a violation of food laws, an agricultural inspector might be required to take part in the legal proceedings and provide evidence in the form of test reports.
Report writing is again an important aspect of an agricultural inspector's job profile. Writing reports of discoveries or findings during tests or recommending and advising farmers about a particular method; it is all done by the agricultural inspector. Sometimes the reports also include the crop growing procedures or safety regulations.
Types of a Agricultural Inspector
The Department of the agriculture job description has been discussed below:
Plant and quality control technicians - The plant and quality control technicians are required to examine and test the samples of raw material and products to ensure they meet all the standards regularised by various government bodies. Expertise in lab skills helps the technicians to bag a good amount of salary. No doubt, the experience is necessary to work in senior positions.
Meat inspectors - As the name suggests, meat inspectors examine the meat products such as beef, pork, seafood, poultry, and other items. It is required to ensure that the meat processing follows standard quality assurance regulations. Meat inspectors also examine livestock to ensure that it is not infected with any disease before getting slaughtered.
Animal health technicians - Animal health technicians work for animals’ health and ensure that the animal is fit. In other words, the animal health technician is similar to a nurse to humans. They also work with veterinarians, scientists and researchers. They conduct surgeries on prepping animals, administer medications, and carry out lab tests and record medical history.
What is the workplace/work environment of Agricultural Inspector like?
Agriculture officers work for long hours, their working hours often extend the regular nine hours of a day. They spend much of their time in food-or-meat processing plants. They are required to travel from farms to ports to conduct an inspection of cargo on boats, anchored on the docks. During on-site visits such as inspection of premises of food processing entities, the inspector performs checks on the environment, building, and machinery of the entity.
Agricultural inspectors are also required to act upon complaints received and investigate it for taking the necessary actions and draft a report on the same. As the job involves finding the food processing or meat processing entities violating the rules and regulations, inspectors often have to deal with hostile individuals and unpleasant situations. Sometimes the job can become very stressful, as the inspector’s duties have an impact on important financial and health consequences.
The nature of the job often requires the agriculture inspector to be present in the court during the proceedings and present evidence and test reports. Senior-level agriculture inspectors are also required to give guidance to farmers about developments in farming techniques. Agriculture inspector in India also receives several benefits like health and dental insurance, paid sick leave, vacation days, and retirement days from their employer.
Word of Caution
One job hazard which comes with being an agriculture inspector is that they are more likely to get infected from contagious diseases. As they are constantly involved in the interaction with numerous people and require frequent travelling for office work. They also have to be in noisy surroundings while examining the machinery. They are likely to be exposed to unhygienic conditions such as rotten food ingredients or food-related microorganisms causing diseases, pollution, extreme temperature, and odours.
Does Agricultural Inspector require travelling?
An agriculture inspector’s job involves both types of work on desk and fieldwork as per requirements. An agriculture inspector’s majority of the time is spent on the field visiting farms, food factories and warehouses, ports, and other food processing entities for inspection. This career requires travelling to farmlands, companies such as food processing and meat processing entities. An agriculture inspector visits the ports, farmlands, food processing entities to check the sanitary conditions, food quality before being packed and to ensure that all the standards and safety measures are taken into consideration.
An agriculture inspector usually works for about five days a week, with a nine-hours shift. Most of the time, it could extend official working hours or 9 hours as this career requires travelling and visiting different places for inspection and examination of processed food imports and exports. Occasionally, it may also require overnight stay away from the home. The inspection site could be miles away from home and may require extended travelling hours. Although there are regular shifts, there are chances that an agriculture inspector works extended hours as well, especially when they are on the field. At times they are required to work late nights as well.
This career provides permanent job opportunities and comes with full-time work responsibility in government departments. In private firms, it comes with contractual as well as permanent employment. Work from home or hourly basis work is not familiar in this career.
Agricultural inspectors are often required to be on the field most of the time. They are either visiting farmlands for inspection or food processing plants for various checks. Hence it is a job where most of the time is spent working on the field.
Presence in Geographical Area
There are more opportunities in rural areas where agriculture is considered as one of the prime occupations. The industrial areas where food processing or meat processing units are set up can also provide good opportunities to agriculture inspectors and other related careers. Food processing units or meat processing units are mostly set up in urban areas, therefore it is concluded that there are growing opportunities for this career in rural as well as urban areas. In India, the agricultural provinces such as Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu provide a lot of opportunities as agriculture inspectors.
Weekly Hours of Work
Min 45 Hours
The work hours in this career normally extend 45 hours per week. It comes with both a desk and field job. It often extends the official working hours or nine hours a day due to long travelling hours and field inspection.
How to become a Agricultural Inspector?
What are the skills and qualities required to become a/an Agricultural Inspector?
Quality Control: An agriculture inspector is required to conduct tests and inspect the products and processes to evaluate the quality of the food material being processed.
Reading Skills: An agriculture inspector is required to read the documents and reports drafted after lab assessment and the safety measures regularised by government authorities.
Listening: An agriculture inspector must be a good listener to nullify any communication gap between the workers or owner of the food processing entity and himself/herself.
Supervisory skills: An agriculture inspector is required to monitor the food processing activities from packaging to delivering the food to consumers such as adding preservatives to keep the food fresh, packing, transportation, and other activities related to food safety standards.
Critical thinking: An agriculture inspector is required to have critical thinking ability to determine the weakness and strength of the solutions of the problem using logic and reasoning.
Which certifications and internships can be helpful in becoming Agricultural Inspector?
The candidate can do internships in food processing companies and other related industries. The internship may require candidates to visit farms for crop and field scouting. The candidates may also require to perform tasks such as seed delivery and pick up. He/she may be required to perform and test maturity sampling. The intern assists in planting and harvest operation. He/she may also be required to keep a record of pesticides used in crops. Effective communication skills are required for this role. The candidate has to communicate with a number of people.
Career Path Progression for Agricultural Inspector
Agricultural Inspector - Agriculture Inspector assigns the duty to an agriculture sub-inspector. He/she is responsible for the execution of works being executed in this section. He is responsible for all the construction material received and issued to the agriculture sub-inspector. He/she also marks the attendance of the workers under him in his section.
Assistant Agriculture Inspector (AAI) - The Assistant Agricultural Inspector is an important member of the Inspectorate team. The Assistant Agriculture Officer is assigned prime responsibilities such as providing scientific expertise for the development of the food sector. Assistant Agriculture Inspector’s career opportunities are available in the following specializations: pest risk analysis, entomology, bee health, nematology, and plant pathology (bacteriology).
Sub Inspector - Agriculture Sub Inspector works under the Agriculture Inspector. He/she stays in contact with farmers and collects applications for requests of soil conservation and other required documents. Agriculture Sub Inspector carries surveys and collects data required for the preparation of plans and estimates. He/she prepares a contour plan as required based on the data collected through surveys.
Village Level Extension Worker (VLEW) - Village Level Extension Worker is responsible for improving crop productivity and ensures that every farmland keeps harmony with the environment such as protection of soil, water and other natural resources. In India, a VLEW is usually in-charge of eight areas. These areas consist of 8 to 10 villages A VLEW works with progressive farmers of different socio-economic backgrounds and provides them guidance and training to improve crop production.
Primary Investigator (PI) - Primary Investigator is responsible to make sure standard operating procedures are developed for toxic chemicals and other operations. He/she also ensures to assign an expert to oversee safety measures in the laboratory. The person who is responsible for overseeing safety inside the laboratory is known as the Research Safety Officer.
Field Assistant (FTS) - The field assistant’s job responsibilities include assisting field managers on daily farm operations and maintenance. A field assistant is required to maintain crop and site tools or equipment. They are responsible for preparing beds, planting, watering, and harvesting, as well as they, are required to amend the soil, weeding, thinning, and pest as well as disease prevention of crops.
Field Investigator (M&E) - Field Investigator conducts a field survey according to the instructions given by senior officials of the department. Based on the data of the report prepared by field investigators various government schemes and programmes are planned, drafted, and executed.
Agricultural Inspector Jobs and Salaries
Village Level Extension Worker
- Average Salary 40000
- Junior Level Salary 15000
- Senior Level Salary 60000
Village Level Extension Worker is able to increase crop production and ensures that growing farmland is matched with the environment like soil, water and other natural resources security. A Village Level Extension Worker works with progressive farmers of various social and economic backgrounds and supports them with encouragement and guidance to increase agricultural production.
Salary of Village Level Extension Worker on average is Rs. 2 lakhs per annum. They earn one to two lakhs yearly, but they gradually earn almost six to seven lakhs at the senior level of their career.
- Average Salary 30000
- Junior Level Salary 20000
- Senior Level Salary 50000
Field Investigator implements a field survey as per the methods described by departmental senior officials. Various policy policies and initiatives are planned, drafted and executed on the basis of report data collected by field investigators.
On average field Investigator receives Rs. 3 to 4 lakhs per year. They earn one to two lakhs per year but at the senior level of their career, they eventually earn nearly five to six lakhs.
What is the job outlook for Agricultural Inspector?
Agricultural inspector jobs have less growth as compared to other professions. There are lesser hirings in government departments. No doubt, there will always be requirements for agriculture inspectors. The jobs are limited in this area of the profession with the projected job growth of two per cent. The growth in population and education may increase the demand for food inspectors’ in the market. The advancement in technology used in processing methods has lowered the potential job growth in the market.
The agricultural inspector's career is more likely to be stable. The government sector serves as the primary recruiter for the profession. Least number of hirings are expected in this sector for the role of agriculture inspector. The development in technology has upgraded the machinery used in food processing and hence decreased the career opportunities of agriculture inspectors. It is expected that numerous agriculture inspectors would retire in the next few years and hence there will be vacancies in the near future. After gaining several years of experience the agriculture inspector could be promoted to a more senior position. They can also switch to other fields such as public health or conservation.
Frequently Asked Questions for Agricultural Inspector
Que. What are the careers related to Agriculture Inspector?Ans.
The related career options are agricultural worker supervisors, compliance officers and inspectors, construction and building inspectors, food scientists, forestry technicians, science technicians, transportation inspectors, energy auditors, manufacturing production technicians, precision agriculture technicians, occupational health and safety technicians.
Que. Is it compulsory to have an agriculture-related degree to become an agriculture inspector?Ans.
No, it is not mandatory to have a degree related to agriculture to become an agriculture inspector. Training is provided to agriculture inspectors when they join the agriculture department. They learn all the skills during the period of their training. Somehow, an agriculture degree or certification helps one to familiarise with most of the things related to the career; such as the use of pesticides, plant diseases and other related issues.
Que. Is travelling accommodation provided by an employer for on-site inspection?Ans.
Yes, accommodation is provided by the agriculture department if working in the government sector. In the case of private entities, it depends on their policies, most companies provide travel reimbursement or travel accommodations.
Que. Which is the best agriculture-related degree to pursue after 10+2?Ans.
Students can opt for B.Tech in agriculture to gain knowledge and exposure to agriculture technology. Bachelors of Science or BSc in agriculture science would also be a good option. There are other options such as bachelors of business management or BBA in agriculture management, or bachelors of arts or BA in agriculture.
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