Introduction- India is an agrarian economy and agriculture is considered as the backbone of our economy. In India, Agriculture has been practiced since ancient times, when other developmental sectors were not even in existence and farming was mostly treated as a life sustaining activity.
Currently, agribusiness education is one of the promising qualifications helps to mould the personnel in to potent managers having managerial expertise. To realize the real potential in Indian agriculture and to grow it to the point of a prospective sector, it is necessity to manage the sector like a professional enterprise. The same can be expected by utilizing the agri-business managers having the qualities to serve the agriculture sector efficiently. The purpose of this article is to make the farmers aware about the importance of agribusiness education so as to sustain in today’s competitive world.
Conventional education in agriculture: In India, education system in agriculture started in early nineteenth century and today its education, research & training sectors are globally recognized for its quality.
The agriculture degree course contains various subjects related to technical as well as professional background like extension, entomology, animal husbandry, engineering, statistics, biotechnology, and many more which helps students in widening their sectoral knowledge. Apart from these; governments as well as various private bodies offer informative training programmers in diverse areas which are specially designed for farmers as well as for entrepreneurs. After graduation; students willing to go for post graduate degree can enroll either for plain M. Sc. or for agri-business management course. The M. Sc. Program is designed to provide technical knowledge along with analytical techniques, conducting research on interested area, applying technical knowledge at primary level etc.
In Agriculture education system, management field is of very recent origin and gaining rapid popularity among students. The ABM program is planned to develop management workforce to cater agricultural Industry which serves as a good option for the students willing to perform in corporate sector. Agribusiness management is a two years course having semester pattern system. The course itself starts from basic fundamentals like introduction to management, managerial effectiveness, business communication, business economics, quantitative techniques, basic accounting, information systems etc. These help students to be familiar with fundamental concepts of any business. Along with all these subjects, agri-business course also comprises of various technical subjects like management in agricultural and allied food processing industries, management of cooperatives, post-harvest management, farm mechanization etc. In the final year, program offers elective specializations like marketing, human resource management, finance, international business management, information systems which cover the overall business activities. From these, students can opt for any single stream which helps them while choosing their career path.
Currently, some of the premier institutes providing post graduate courses in agribusiness management programs are MANAGE (Hyderabad), NIAM (Jaipur), IRMA (Gujarat), IIM (Ahmedabad), besides these there are several government, semi-government and private institutes providing the course on full time and correspondence basis.
Need, importance and scope of agribusiness management education:-
Agriculture has achieved satisfactory growth since last few decades, but presently due to the various national and international factors the agricultural growth is relatively stagnated. The reports from various sources always reveals about the bottlenecks from the sector which put us back in terms of its development. The up gradation is needed right from harvesting the agricultural produce till it reaches at consumer level. Majority of the farmers and small entrepreneurs are not well-versed about standard practices required during pre-harvest as well as post-harvest operations, which undoubtedly plays a vital role in overall productivity. On other side, too many middlemen in the marketing channel are a major cause of concern. As a result of this, the farmer, who is the key performer in farming, is not getting passable returns to his produce. Consequently, overall distortion in marketing channels and high price of final produce adversely effect on cost competitiveness. In addition to these, growing global population has resulted into disparity between market demand and supply side of agricultural produce. Thus special consideration is required on following proper management practices, reducing raw material wastages at farm and processing level, effective marketing strategies like advertising, brand positioning at national and international level etc. Finally, proper management of all the agribusiness activities right from planting the seed to getting the actual reward at market place is required. These issues are expected to be addressed by management education in agricultural sector which certainly has hidden potential of creating second wave of agricultural revolution.
After completing agribusiness management education, students become well versed with various management applications required to follow while running any type of business. The curriculum is the combination of management and technical subjects which offer the advantage of promptly making out any type of slip-ups in the business operations. The specializations of marketing, human resource management, finance, and international business management.
Mr. Deepak Nagar, Assistant Professor, School of Agriculture Sciences, Career Point University, Kota