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Agricultural Officer

Who is an Agricultural Officer?

An agricultural officer is a person who holds a position of high authority within the government. An Agricultural Officer is responsible for making sure that all of the agricultural practices and products are in accordance with the rules prescribed by the state and local authorities.

What does an Agricultural Officer do?

The duties of an Agricultural Officer include the inspection and investigation of agricultural products and activities and the sampling and testing of the same to ensure that they comply with the state and local regulations.

What are the skills required?

The role of an Agricultural Officer requires you to have plenty of knowledge in the respective field. Additionally, to become an Agricultural Officer, you will need to have the following skills –:

  • Good interpersonal skills

  • Sound knowledge of agricultural business practices

  • Time management capabilities

  • Adaptability

  • Technological knowledge with regards to agricultural practices

If you wish to become an Agricultural Officer, a degree in Agricultural Engineering will be very beneficial for your career growth. Here are some of the top colleges offering a degree in Agricultural Engineering –

Prestigious Universities offering a degree in Agricultural Engineering -

  • IIT Kharagpur

  • Indian Agricultural Research Institute (ICAR)

  • National Dairy Research Institute

  • Tamil Nadu Agricultural University

  • Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences, Coimbatore

  • Punjab Agricultural University

Popular Colleges offering a degree in Agricultural Engineering -

  • Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana University, Hisar

  • University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore

  • Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Science and Technology

  • College of Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar

  • Bharath Institute of Higher Education and Research

The position of an Agricultural Officer mandatorily requires you to acquire a 4-year degree in the related field. Aside from obtaining a degree in Agricultural Engineering, you can also choose to pursue a degree in biology or agricultural sciences.

A degree of this nature will help you attain knowledge about matters like greenhouse management, the business of agriculture, the farming sector, policies surrounding agriculture in the country, and much more. This knowledge will help you grow in your career and also to make highly informed decisions if you are granted the post of an Agricultural Officer.

After your education, you can also choose to obtain an internship in the related field, and this will improve your scope of becoming an Agricultural Officer.

What is the Career scope for an Agriculture Officer in India?

As per RBI guidelines, Public Sector Banks provide to priority sectors approximately 40% of their lending, of which 18% is reserved for Agriculture. An Agriculture Officer’s services are required in rural and semi-urban banks to extend loans for the purpose of agriculture.

To become an IBPS (Indian Banking Personnel Selection) Agriculture Officer, you will need to appear for the IBPS exam to be assessed for the knowledge required for a person in this position. Keep a tab on the notification for the IBPS annual exam and follow the guidelines on the website to register and appear for the exam.
Once you qualify the IBPS exam, you will most likely be posted in a bank as an Agricultural Officer. As it is the public sector, the growth in your career will come at certain intervals of time. A rough career hierarchy is as follows –

  • Junior Management Grade Scale 1 – You will be employed as part of a training period.
  • Middle Management Grade Scale 2 - After the training is complete, you will stand a chance to acquire a post equivalent to that of a Branch Manager.
  • Middle Management Grade Scale 3 – Upon promotion, you can be promoted from Scale-II to Scale III.
  • Senior Management Grade Scale 4 – As a Scale 4 Agricultural Officer, you can be promoted to the position of Chief Officer.
  • Senior Management Grade Scale 5 – The next promotion will be to Assistant General Manager. 
  • Regional or Zonal Manager – Based on your merit, qualifications and performance, you can possibly be promoted to a Regional or Zonal Manager.

You can also avail other jobs in private sectors, wherein your input concerning agricultural management will be valuable.

How much does an Agriculture Officer make?

The pay band (salary) of IBPS Agriculture Field Officer is 23700 – 980 (7) – 30560 – 1145 (2) – 32850 – 1310 (7) - 42020. The salary will include other allowances, such as medical, petrol, telephone bill, DA, CCA, HRA, and more.

As the posting of an Agricultural Officer is usually in banks situated in rural and semi-urban areas, the opportunities for an increment in salary or promotion will be sparse.

What are the Books and study material available?

To become an Agricultural Officer, you will need to prepare for the IBPS exam beforehand. Here are some books and materials that will help with your preparation for the IBPS exam –

  • IBPS-CWE Specialist Officer Recruitment Exam- Arihant Publishers

  • Kiran’s IBPS Specialist Officers Agricultural Field Officer CWE SPL -V- Practice Work Book – English

  • Study about the section dedicated to agriculture in the previous year’s budget

  • Refer to newspapers like the Economic Times for important updates

  • Remember to avail Mock Test papers online and practice regularly to improve your familiarity with the exam pattern

Who are the Major recruiters?

The recruitment for the position of an Agricultural Officer is usually undertaken by the respective state authorities. Once you have cleared your IBPS exam, you can avail a position in -

  • The National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)

  • ICAR

  • CSIR

  • Agriculture Universities

  • Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, IARI

You can also apply for the position of an Agricultural Officer in many private banks across the country.

Interesting facts

A key personality who contributed immensely towards the Green Revolution in India was Dr M.P. Singh. He introduced the Indian agricultural sector to High Yielding Seeds (HYS), which paved the way for India to become a self-sufficient country in food grains.