Are you one of those who think studying agriculture is just about planting seeds and rearing animal? I have to tell you that you are on the wrong path because studying agriculture is way more than that. Before we talk about courses in agriculture, we must understand what agriculture is.
Agriculture is the method employed in farming cultivation of plants, and the cultivation or rearing of animals as well as fungi.
The next thing you will likely ask is why is the study of agriculture important?
Agriculture has been at the helm of human civilization since civilization began. The importance of agriculture cannot be overemphasised.
The economy of several countries is dependent on agriculture. It is the largest employer of labour in Africa.
It also forms about 65% of export commodities from the continent.Most pressing issues of human society can be addressed through agriculture.
The study of agriculture is called agricultural science.
Agricultural science is a multidisciplinary field which comprises of several agriculture courses.
These agriculture courses make use of several scientific and technical as well as business subjects.
The main purpose of these courses in agriculture science is to facilitate the production of good quality food and preservation as well as produce high-quality raw materials for industrial growth.
Agriculture courses are interdisciplinary which requires a student who is interested in sturdy of agriculture to have sound knowledge of both natural and applied sciences as well as social sciences.
However, the scope of sturdy differs from one institution to the other.
Agriculture course also differs based on the aspect of agriculture that you went to specialise in.
Agriculture aspect includes crop farming, agriculture extension, Agric engineering and animal care.
Furthermore, colleges like their students to have an overall knowledge of the agriculture industry and the principles behind the industry as well.
Studying agriculture course in college would comprise of lectures, laboratory work, a practical session in the college farm and tutorials as well.
Now that we have an overview of what studying agriculture course comprise of, we now look at the agriculture course in particular in order to help the potential student decide which course in agriculture that wish to pursue.
As you want to pursue a career in agriculture. There are several options available to you, including but not limited to Bsc, masters degree and PhD.
There is the option of certificate courses in agriculture as well though it is dependent on the country you are in.
Top 10 Courses In Agriculture are:
This has to do with the study of soil management and crop production.
It can also mean the application of soil and plant science to land management and crop production.
There are two aspects of agronomy. There are
- Horticulture: The study of flowers, fruits and vegetables.
A person who studied horticulture is called horticulturist.
- Floriculture: this is basically called flower farming.
The study is restricted to flower farming and the science behind it.
2. Agriculture Economics
This is the use of economic principles in vetting the maximum output in production and distribution of food and animals as well as fibre and its by-products.
Agriculture economics combines the knowledge of agriculture and basic economics.
3. Agriculture genetics
Genetics is the study of hereditary and variations in organisms.
Agriculture genetics deals with the application of the science of genetics to retain valuable genetics traits in the production of crops as well as animals for better growth.
Forestry deals with the use of the plant as well as animal resources.
These resources are Growing crops,The harvest of raw material such as timber,Growing or breeding of animals.
The resources can be on the farm or in a natural forest or habitat.
There is section within this agriculture course which differs according to your country of study.
These sections are crop production and animal, forestry logging which deals with wood production and fishery or aquaculture.
Entomology or agriculture entomology deals with the study of insects and they affect crop and animal production.
It is a very interesting but tough agricultural course.
6. Agriculture microbiology
This is the aspect of microbiology that is concerned with plant microbes which include those harmful ones as well as the beneficial ones such as nitrogen-fixing bacterial like azotobacter.
It also concerns itself with soil fertility and soil nutrient depletion.
7. Weed Science
Every agriculturalist knows the effect of weeds on the plants on the farm.
Weed science is an agricultural course that deals with the study of weeds and its effect on crops.
8. Soil science
Soil science is concerned with the study of the soil. Its formation, texture, properties such as fertility and structure and its classification.
The soil is the most important requirement in agriculture.
Hence it’s study is essential to improving the quality as well as the number of plant products we intend to get from it.
9. Animal production
Animal production deals with the application of agriculture knowledge in taking care of farm animals with the intent of increasing its productivity.
With the increase in land pollution, the soil has lost most of its fertility and this has affected its productivity.
Hydroponics deals with the study of an alternative way of plant production without the use of the soil.
Agricultural Science Jobs And Salary In South Africa
Since we now have an idea of the courses available in the field of agriculture, the next for us to know should be how rewarding are these agriculture courses.
With the global economic crunch, it is essential that we know how rewarding courses in agriculture.
We will use South Africa as a case study because they have one of the best economies in Africa as well as the highest minimum wage of about R4000k
A person who studied agronomy and specialised in it. The average salary in South Africa is R176k.
2. Agriculture economist
The average salary in South Africa is R 276k.
3. Agriculture microbiologist
The average salary for this course is R350k
4. Agriculture entomologist
The average salary for this is R270k
5. Soil scientist
A specialist in soil science is called a soil scientist. Average salary is R300k
6. Agriculture genetics
If this is your course of study. Your average salary would be R380K. Most of your jobs, however, would be research jobs.
7. Farm managers
The average farm manager salary is R189k.
The agriculture field is highly rewarding as you can see from the above data on the major courses and their monthly average salary scale.
Agriculture is essential to human existence and sustainability and therefore cannot be overlooked. Employment are readily available to their graduates all over the world.