A new ray of hope: Creating jobs in agritech space


By Pankajj Ghode


Gone are the days when working in agriculture meant being restricted to traditional roles of being a farmer, labourer or a trader. Indian agriculture has come a long way since the Green Revolution of the 1960s when modern methods were adopted to upsurge crop yield. Agriculture and its allied sectors still remain to be the largest source of livelihood in India.

However, agriculture is often prejudiced as being for the uneducated and unsophisticated, which is an unfortunate misconception. The skillset, experience, education and business acumen required to undertake jobs within the agricultural domain extend not just to farm workers, but across the entire value chain. In fact, a modern agricultural operation, backed by cutting-edge technology, has more to offer in terms of employment and remuneration.

The recent Rs 1 lakh crore agro infra fund announced by the government has renewed hope for this sector and has sent a positive message to the private players, agri startups and investors. The often intersecting technologies present a unique opportunity in the agritech space to create jobs in different segments – ranging from software to biotech. Let us look at some of these options.

There is a bright scope for agronomists often called as ‘crop doctors’ who study about crop production, seed and soil management. Agronomists can also work as farm managers, fertiliser store managers, field/lab technicians and crop management consultants.

Agronomists act as a liaison between farmers and crop researchers. They work closely with ‘plant geneticist’, another lucrative prospect for those with a background in botany/science. They are experts in improving or creating new varieties of crops. A plant geneticist provides a range of solutions to farmers regarding new scientific developments in crop growing operations.

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Firms can also appoint Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) who can reach out to farmers and encourage them to become tech-enabled. This can especially turn into a successful project in India as it will generate employment for the rural youth.

‘Land Architects’ can also play a vital role in planning, developing and designing lands which will support the dynamic cropping patterns and ensure optimum usage of the given land. These architects can also design infrastructure facilities that can act as an added benefit during crop harvesting.

Other job profiles one could explore are precision agriculture specialists, tech seed specialists, pedologists, environmental engineers, climatologists, food microbiologists, soil and water conservationists, supervisors and data scientists. All of them play a crucial role in the pre-harvest management system.

Once crops are harvested, there is a need for warehouse managers to handle supply chain needs like distribution, coordination, operations and logistics. Hence, warehouse management is an equally interesting profile to handle. Sales representatives/ managers also play a vital role in the post-harvest process. However, a good sales representative should possess fundamental understanding of how technology adds value to the farmer. Those who have an acutely developed sense of empathy, can offer value-based solutions and communicate effectively with farmers, will be successful in managing sales role.

The company also requires Web/ App/ Software developers to design online apps or e-commerce stores as well as digital marketers to create a solid social media presence online. Agritech firms can also appoint 24×7 customer service representatives and support staff to handle queries and operations respectively.

Apart from these options, there is a dearth of experts who understand Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain, modern machines, drones, sensors, GPS technology and remote monitoring, which can efficiently help manage the entire agri-value chain. Hence, tech specialists have a brilliant future in the agritech realm.

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It has been noticed that many startups in the agri space are still struggling to build effective teams as a result of an under-utilisation of talent of those outside the agriculture discipline. However, apart from emphasis on earning formal degrees, social and professional development programmes can help stimulate innovation and career prosperity.

In fact, job advertisements for agriculture space often come across as less appealing. I feel changing the current perceptions along with creating enticing job advertisements can enhance both the quantity and quality of attracting a more diverse range of talent pool. Agritech companies have a huge potential to not only bridge the gap between farmers and new technology but also open doors to diverse career prospects.

(The writer is the CEO of Agri10x, a Pune-based agtech company focused on tech enablement in the agricultural sector.)





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