Exam Date: 06 Feb, 2021
Declaration of Result: 22 Mar, 2021
Most of the countries across the world including India are agro-based economies. This means agriculture and food business contributes significantly to the overall GDP of these countries. It is a quintessential part of an economy which only evolves with the advancement in science and technology but never loses its sheen. There is a wide range of job opportunities in the agriculture and food business. This ranges from opportunities in the research sector, retail sector, transportation industry, food and fibre technology as well as jobs in the financial sector related to the agriculture industry such as banking and other financial institutions. So, despite the fact that engineering and medical courses are far more popular among students, agriculture and food business studies assure a career that is no less satisfying than either of these two professions.
Agriculture and food business courses comprise a specialised branch of management studies which are taught in some of the most revered institutes of the country. One can do an undergraduate course followed by a postgraduate and even doctoral programme or can only do an MBA. Students pursuing B.Sc-M.Sc or B.Tech-M.Tech courses in agriculture and food business or related branches of science and technology can also expect to make a great career in agricultural and food business in India as well as abroad.
Food and Agriculture Business Course Highlights:
UG, PG, doctorate
Through entrance exams and admission process
Duration of course
UG- 4 years (B.Tech), PG- 2 years (masters)
Average course fee
Range from Rs.10000- Rs.23 lakhs
Around Rs.1.5 lakhs – Rs.3 lakhs
Commodity merchandiser, market analyst, sourcing specialist, agronomist, agro goods supply chain manager, agricultural inspector, estate/farm manager, rural practice surveyor, agricultural consultant and financial advisor
Agriculture and Food Business Degrees and levels:
The various degree courses (and PhD programmes) offered by the renowned agriculture and food business institutes in India are as follows:
Undergraduate level (4 years): Candidates can obtain this degree from institutes offering the course after passing class 10+2. Here they have to study B. Tech in food technology, B. Tech in fibre technology, B. Tech in biotechnology, B.Sc in agriculture, B.Sc in agricultural economics, B. Sc in biotechnology, B.Sc in botany, B.Sc in biochemistry, BBA in agriculture business management, Food and Agricultural management.
Postgraduate level (2 years): After completing an undergraduate degree, students can opt for a postgraduate degree from esteemed universities or other institutes of agriculture and food business. Throughout this degree they have to read M. Tech in food technology, M. Tech in biotechnology, M. Tech in fibre technology, M. Sc in agriculture, M. Sc in agricultural economics, M. Sc in biotechnology, M. Sc in botany, M. Sc in biochemistry, MBA in agriculture business management, Food and Agricultural management.
Dual degrees in Agriculture and Food Business: Some colleges offer comprehensive Agriculture and Food Business courses for M. Sc which encompasses both B. Sc and M. Sc degrees from the same universities while some other courses offer M. Tech degrees along with a B. Tech degree together as part of the same course. Other degrees like MBA and BBA may also be clubbed together under a dual course. Dual courses are also available for aspirants taking up PhD.
PhD in agriculture and food business: Apart from all the courses at UG and PG level, willing students can also go for a PhD for their desired course. After completion of their master's degree and qualifying the required entrance examinations, aspirants can opt for completing a PhD in their field of interest as a part of the same course offered by the college.
Minimum and Maximum Duration of Agriculture & Food Business Courses
For a B.Tech or engineering degree in the Agriculture and Food Business industry and its related courses, the minimum duration is 4 years or roughly 48 months. For an undergraduate degree in the related fields, the minimum required duration is 36 months. Professional degrees like M. Tech and M. Sc or MBA takes up to 2 years or roughly 24 months. Dual courses for masters in science and commerce (viz. business and management) take a minimum time of 5 years (3 for UG +2 for PG) or 60 months. For a masters in engineering or M. Tech, the dual courses take up to 6 years or roughly 72 months minimum. The minimum time required for a PhD is 4 years or less, that means, 48 months or less.
The maximum duration for UG level courses depends on the agriculture and food business college or university the student joins. For colleges which allow relaxations, the UG courses can extend from 4 to 6 years or 48 to 72 months.
Eligibility criteria in the UG level:
To pursue courses related to agriculture and food business a student must successfully qualify the class 12 exam without any backlog. Additionally, the candidate must secure at least 50-60% score in culmination. It must be noted here that satisfying the eligibility criteria does not guarantee admission into colleges. Each college has specific cut-off and students securing the cut-off or more are allowed for admission. This is the minimum eligibility criteria which allow students to apply for colleges. The minimum criteria may vary from category to category. For pursuing B. Tech after class 12 for UG, the candidate must additionally qualify the JEE exams. Some colleges have entrance tests that the candidates have to qualify.
Eligibility criteria in the PG level:
The candidate must clear the graduation in a related field from a recognised university with at least 50-60% marks. For admission in masters in any esteemed government recognized institutions like IIT, IIM, JNU to name a few, the candidates must qualify additional entrance examinations. Apart from this, private colleges may also have their separate entrance exams which a candidate must qualify.
Agriculture & Food Business Courses: Admission Criteria for the Entrance after class 12
Admission to the engineering courses takes place through a common entrance exam. For admission into highly reputed government institutions students have to qualify the JEE Main. Some private colleges also provide admission on the basis of entrance examinations held by the institutions. General admission in the other UG level courses takes place on the basis of the marks obtained in the final examination of class 12 or higher secondary exam. Admissions are also done on the basis of merit.
Entrance Exams for Agriculture & Food Business Courses
The entrance exam for pursuing MBA in agriculture and food businesses is known as the Common Admission Test or CAT. CAT is an aptitude test of the highest degree which is held once in a year. It tests problem-solving skills, mathematical intelligence and general knowledge of the aspirants. Students willing to do B.Tech in Agriculture and Food Business must qualify JEE main as well as the JEE advanced exam. The JEE exams are held annually. The aspiring aspirants can also apply for four of the top examinations namely ICAR AIEEA, CG PAT, MCAER CET and UPCATET.
Fees and Expenses of Agriculture & Food Business Course
The minimum fee for UG ranges from Rs.10,000 - Rs.13,000 for a bachelor's degree in the courses related to agriculture and food business. The maximum fee can range from Rs.3, 00,000- Rs 8, 00,000 and the range is the same for B. Tech or engineering degrees. The fee for pursuing MBA in IIM Lucknow is Rs.14 lakhs and that of IIM Ahmedabad is Rs.23 lakhs.
We have discussed earlier that the food and agricultural business is a dynamic industry. There are a number of problems that are riddling the sector. The financial aspects of this industry are crucial for the economy as a whole. This is true for any country but those with a huge population like India, China and other Asian countries, the challenges are much bigger. This throws open a number of opportunities for students pursuing food business & agriculture courses.
The industry also has a wide scope of research. There are a number of problems which need novel scientific solutions for mitigation.
Scope in India
India and its economy are largely dependent upon agriculture and its products. Thus, the scope of building a career in this field is huge. The consumers are shifting to online purchase. This results in the formation of new platforms and methods for food packaging, storage and transport. There is a wide scope of using new tools like genetically modified plants, novel microbial processing, food processing and so on. So, fresh graduates and postgraduates coming from a variety of streams like food technology, bioengineering, and agriculture can add much value to these developments.
Even abroad, the food business is one sector that never goes out of trend. Asian countries like Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and western countries like the USA, Mexico and European countries also have an economy that is partially dependent upon the production, development, export and import of food and agriculture products. Hence, the scope of jobs abroad is also quite promising.
The world population is higher than it has ever been. Providing food for the ever-growing population with limited space and resources without irreversibly damaging the environment is quite a challenge. This is why agriculture and food business management is a highly sought after profession.
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For MBA in agriculture and food business in IIMs, the course subjects include:
Agricultural & food policy
Marketing of agricultural inputs
Management for agribusiness projects
International agri-food trade
Market research and information systems
Strategic food marketing
Value chain management-applications in agribusiness
CINE: understanding creativity, innovation, knowledge, networks and entrepreneurship
Food and agri-business international strategies and organizations
Food supply chain management
Analyzing and building competencies
Sales and distribution management for agriculture
Social entrepreneurship: innovating social change
Agricultural futures and option markets
Economics of food quality
Agricultural markets and pricing
Applied agricultural trade and policy analysis
Managing energy businesses
Course subjects for engineering and a bachelor's degree in agriculture and food business are:
The above-mentioned courses are general highlights. The exact subjects list will be determined by the institution. Finally, some subjects may be added, skipped or replaced.
People with a diploma or degree from any recognised university or college can expect to get secured and well-paying jobs in the Agriculture and Food Business industry. Some jobs that a candidate can opt for are mentioned below. All of the below-mentioned jobs can be opted for by candidates soon after completion of a course related to Agriculture and Food Business.
Agriculture Policy Analyst
Rural Development Manager
Supply chain manager
There are a number of jobs which candidates can secure with a degree in AFB. The job profiles of some of the major jobs are discussed below:
Agribusiness manager: This job requires the candidates to be responsible for developing new marketing strategies for the agribusiness in the discussion. They are required to be working directly along with the farmers for expansion of their business from the branding perspective.
Commodity research analyst: This job requires candidates to research and understand the market for their commodities. This includes analysing the demand for the commodity, the competition and so on.
Senior business development manager: Like other businesses in the agriculture and food business senior business managers need to work towards the development of agribusiness. They need to coordinate with producers and distributors and other aspects of the business to ensure the efficient working of the business.
Agricultural loan officer: They are responsible for working in the banking sector. They are responsible for handling the prices of reviewing and approving (or declining) the loan applications for this business.
Commodity Merchandiser: They monitor the commodities and their trading, locating, and purchasing by the customers. They act as collaborators between plant managers and the feed formulators. These officers are also responsible for maintaining contact between suppliers and consultants of the external market.
Financial advisor: They are mainly into client handling where they guide the clients about ways to manage their expenses and finances. Their responsibility is to research the marketplace and identify the best of the options with regards to product or service development so that these meet the client's demands.
Sales representative: They maintain contact between the business and its customers. They look into the customer demands and trends so that the business organisation can manufacture items that would satisfy them. They also identify the customer leads, new markets where the company can venture in and pitch the potential customers.
Supply chain manager: they take care of the movement of products and goods to the customer and/or supplier from the manufacturers. From procuring the raw materials to delivering the final product- everything is monitored by them.
The major recruiters in the food and agriculture business sector in India are:
ITC Agribusiness Division
National Bulk Handling Corporation
Agriculture and food business is a very important course and acts as a stepping stone to many interesting career opportunities. But it goes without saying that the competition in this field is stiff too. To avail of these opportunities, the candidates must work hard and show their merit in different examinations and secure admission in an agriculture college of repute.
Management skills: Management skills are a set of skills which allow aspirants to excel as an executive and fulfil tasks which are central to daily operational activities of the Institute. This includes managing operational plans, future planning, supervising production and so on.
Business skills: These are a particular set of skills required for a better understanding of the behaviour of the consumer and the organisation. These are soft skills which may be inculcated through experience and learning.
People skills: As simple as it may sound these refers to skills that allow easy interaction among people and also allows developing rapport among numerous individuals.
Critical thinking skills: This refers to skills which allow an individual to be familiar with the latest developments in the food and agriculture business as well as the major trends of the industry.
Communication skills: Communication skills allow individuals to clearly express and exchange information. Proper communication skills not only facilitate one to convey information but also allows for feedback from others. In a field which is very dynamic and fast-evolving communication is one of the main requisites for success.
The course curriculum depends on the specific course that the candidate is opting for. However, of all the aforementioned courses, MBA in food and agriculture business is the most popular and one of the most fruitful courses. Here we discuss the course curriculum for MBA in Agriculture and Food Business courses. The course curriculum includes the following:
Agricultural production systems
Principles of management
Accounting for Management
Quantitative techniques for agri-managers
Computers for agri-management
Supply chain management
Organic food production & certification
Marketing research & report preparation
Rural marketing & ICT application
Agricultural marketing systems
Storage & collateral management
Rural finance & banking
Consumer behaviour & CRM
Advertisement and Promotion
Entrepreneurship & project management
Elective – Agriculture
Commodity trading & futures
Management of biotech industries
Management of organic agriculture
Elective – Food Business
Food Processing Industry
Agri Procurement management
Food Packaging Industry
Product & brand management
Management Information Systems
Elective – Agriculture
Farm management & contract farming
Agricultural risk management
Management of agri-inputs
Elective – Food Business
Food Processing Environment & Policy
Food Export/Import Management
Quality Control in the Food Industry
Summer internship and dissertation are must in any agriculture and food business course if pursued from a recognized university.
For engineering courses, the curriculum covers:
Introductory science skills
Introductory courses on food technology or biotechnology
Life sciences for engineering
Principles of food engineering
Principles of food processing
Food industry economics
For UG/PG courses relative to food and agriculture business, the course curriculum includes:
The exact course curriculum varies from institute to institute. The above-mentioned curriculum is a general overview of an Agriculture and Food Business course which is not limited to the subjects mentioned.
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