There is a wide misconception that Horticulturists are domestic gardeners, while in fact, they're highly specialized in various fields of plant agriculture. Horticulture is a branch of agriculture that predominantly deals with the cultivation of food crops and ornamental plants.
Horticulturists find themselves equipped to farm, garden, research, landscape, produce and market plant-based goods. They can work in any institution, government, or private industry or establish their own business.
What is a Horticulturist?
Before delving into the scope of horticulture, let's understand what a horticulturist is. A Horticulturist is a person involved in growing fruits, vegetables, flowers and/ or ornamental plants. However, modern science has expanded the scope of a Horticulturist beyond plant cultivation.
What is a Horticulturist, besides a grower of plants? The answer is quite interesting. They become technical advisors to other Farmers, Educators, Product Marketers, Managers, Supervisors, and Researchers.
Scope of a Horticulturist:
The scope of a Horticulturist is ample to explore and experiment with. They can become Environmental Horticulturists working in Greenhouse Design, Sustainable Production, Nurseries, Garden Centres, Eco-friendly Construction Firms, Pest Management and Disease Control, or be Self-employed as Florists.
Horticulturists involved in viticulture can grow, manage, or own vineyards and wineries. Landscape Horticulturists create landscapes - parks, botanical gardens, and urban terrace gardens.
If they're into managerial roles, they get to quality check the crops grown. Researchers tend to spend their time breeding new plant varieties that are genetically modified to resist extreme climate changes like drought or flood, pests and plant diseases.
Highly experienced Horticulturists become teachers or professors, consultants to firms, or play an advisory role in any institution. Some of them opt to work as Agriculture Engineers, where they work on restoring degraded or fallow lands, soil chemistry, and water conservation.
How to Become a Horticulturist?
Now, let's talk about how to become a Horticulturist. To pursue an undergraduate degree in horticulture, candidates should have chosen Science stream in their grade XII with Physics, Chemistry and Maths/ Biology/ Agriculture as combination subjects and cleared the board exams with the required minimum percentage.
They can major in Horticulture, Biology or Botany. Food Science, Soil Science, Environmental Engineering, Genetics or Plant Pathology can be taken as supplementary subjects to become a Horticulturist.
For post-graduation, one must have obtained a minimum of 60% aggregate marks in their undergraduate program and specialized in any one of the related subjects. One can pursue a PhD or postdoctoral degree in Horticulture.
|Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Horticulture||3 Years|
|Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) in Horticulture|| 4 Years|
|Master of Science (M.Sc) in Horticulture||2 Years|
|Master of Science (M.Sc) in Agriculture (Landscaping and Floriculture)||2 Years|
Job Prospects for a Horticulturist:
Horticulturist jobs are diverse and expanding, as there is a rising demand for organic farming, technological advancement, and urbanization.
Following are some of the Horticulturist jobs that can be explored:
Horticulture Supervisor: They are responsible for site supervision and maintenance. They also perform administrative duties such as overseeing crop cultivation and inspecting them for any damages or pest infections.
Forest and Conservation Workers: They are involved in the development and protection of wetlands, woodlands, and reserved forests. Besides growing young plants, their role includes disease, pest, water and insect control.
Farm Manager/ Agricultural Officer: Their job is to manage farmlands, maintain raw material inventories, perform promotional activities, monitor the staff employed and execute other managerial roles.
Assistant Horticulture Officer: After clearing the state-level entrance exam, they get to work in the Department of Agriculture and carry out tasks set by their supervising officers.
Professor in Agricultural Sciences: Postgraduates and PhD candidates can apply for faculty positions at Agriculture Universities.
Agronomist: The roles and responsibilities of an Agronomist include crop planning, crop advisory, new crop research, crop financial planning and management.
Agriculture Engineer: They specialize in landscaping, contouring, terrace design and management, and conservation, development and management of soil and water resources.
Plantation Experts: Those trained in floriculture become plantation experts where they grow and develop new breeds of flowering plants, implement post-harvest treatments for flower products and produce such products.
Pomologists: They are well-trained in breeding, post-harvest, storage, and processing of fruit plants, with their expertise ranging from tissue culture to nutrient management and pest control.
Some of the work areas where a person can evolve as a Horticulturist are:
- Sales and Marketing
- Research and Development
- Construction Firms
- Food Industry
- Field Work
- Health Sector
- Import and Export Industry
- Cosmetics and Perfume Manufacturing Industry
A typical Horticulturist's salary varies depending on their educational qualification, subject knowledge, job role and relevant work experience, if any.
Depending on the job position, the annual package of freshers lies somewhere between 2.5 - 3.00 LPA. An experienced Horticulturist can get lucrative deals ranging from 4.1 to 11.5 LPA.
Top Horticulture Colleges in Bangalore:
Bangalore is not just an IT hub, but also a city of scholasticism littered with too many educational institutes to choose from.
A list of top Horticulture Colleges in Bangalore has been provided for the students to stay on top of their game:
|College of Agriculture, University of Agricultural Sciences|
|Rai Technology University|
|Mount Carmel College|
|St. Joseph's College (Autonomous)|
|Jyoti Nivas College|
|Maharani Lakshmi Ammanni College for Women|
|East-West First Grade College of Science|
|BMS College for Women|
|Al-Ameen Arts, Science and Commerce College|
Other Institutes across Karnataka:
- College of Horticulture, Mudigere
- College of Agriculture, Shivamogga
- Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore
- Indian Institute of Plantation Management, Bangalore
- University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Shivamogga
Your career is not limited to only becoming an Engineer or a Doctor, as is the convention among many students. There are a plethora of high-pay jobs, and with the right guidance, you may end up with a rewarding career. If horticulture is your calling, then go all hammer and tongs before self-doubt and anxiety creep in.