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Lack of agriculture colleges hampering productivity

Posted by sonimanish Published on Fri, 2015-06-19 12:50

News article

Fri, 2015-06-19 (All day)
Hyderabad, India

Lack of agriculture colleges is posing a huge deterrent to producing quality professionals who can usher in newer ideas, officials said. While there is a huge demand for agriculture courses, the existing 1,000 seats are unable to meet at least treble the demand. 

Experts believe that the emphasis on engineering and medical courses has sidelined the focus on agriculture. Currently, there are only eight agriculture colleges for students, who appeared for Eamcet. While there are many private engineering colleges across the spectrum, agriculture remains to be a lesser known field for many aspirants. 

"Unlike medical and engineering, agriculture is not a hyped stream. First preference for Eamcet students remains either medical or engineering. If there were private colleges, agriculture too would have had the same hype as other fields," said Praveen Rao, special officer at Jayashankar Telangana State Agriculture University. 

"For this, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research is taking efforts to improve employability and quality of graduates by conducting regular checks and reviewing the accreditation and curriculum every five years," Rao added. 

While there is only one Agriculture Officer (AO) for every two or three mandals and one Horticulture Officer (HO) for every nine mandals in Telangana, experts believe that the twin states need almost 2,500 graduates per year."Maharashtra creates about 20,000 agrarians every year. If Telangana and AP also increase the number of seats, it may enhance diversification and commercialisation of the field," said Aldas Janaiah, senior professor and researcher at Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University. 

Telangana and AP is home to 23rd of the seed industry with a turnover of Rs 5,000 crore. Incidentally, in 2012, a proposal was submitted by a team of agrarians to the government of undivided AP to develop one agriculture college in every district. However, the proposal was shelved due to bifurcation and several other issues. 

"Although there are Krushi Vigyaan Centres in each district, lack of research land and colleges is a deterrence. The government must look into the matter and reconsider the proposal once again," said Janaiah. TimesView T he government should immediately open more colleges for agriculture and even encourage private players to come and join this sector.With agriculture yield decreasing in the largely arid state, there is a need to infuse newer ideas which can only come with fresh graduates studying agriculture.