How to Become A Horticulturist?

Careers

by Amit Walawalkar, Horticulturist, Green Grower--a division of Pest Control India 

 

What is the role of a horticulturist?
Horticulture is the branch of plant science that deals with the production of fruits, vegetables, nuts and ornamental plants. Horticulturists work and conduct research in different areas like plant propagation and cultivation, crop production, plant breeding and genetic engineering, plant biochemistry and plant physiology. But today, horticulture is more than planting and maintaining trees. Horticulturalists also find creative solutions for the urban environment. As a horticulturist, your responsibility is to increase food safety, improve health benefits from fruits and vegetables, develop ecologically sound landscape and gardening techniques and improve aesthetics of the urban environment.

 

What is the nature of the job?
Horticulturists can find jobs in areas such as production where one can operate ones own business. As a landscape designer one can design gardens. As a marketing executive one can engage oneself in wholesale or retail sale of gardening supplies, flowers, fruits and vegetables. The area of research is always open which allows one to investigate into areas that will improve the yield and quality of fruits, vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants. Other options are in the pest management industry and in communication where one can write for agricultural or gardening magazines.

 

Do you think there is a demand for this type of job today?
The demand has gone up because currently the trend is to go green. Due to space constraints in the metros more people are opting for smaller gardens in their apartments. More and more people are gifting plants as a gift or return gift in birthday parties and so on. Even garden maintenance and guidance is in demand.

 

In terms of a career, what is the scope in India?
It's tremendous, especially in urban areas. People depend on professional help for pursuing these kinds of passions.

 

What are the benefits of this profession?
Job satisfaction is high as you contribute directly to nature and environment. One actually feels great as one is helping control pollution and global warming and solving other environmental problems. Apart from that, the content feeling which comes after designing or creating a garden is remarkable.

 

Which subjects do you need to be good at in school?
Physics, chemistry, biology and geography.

 

What payscale can one expect?
One could start with a salary of Rs 8,000-10,000 as a fresher and with experience you could earn about Rs 35,000 per month.

 

EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS THAT OFFER COURSES IN THIS FIELD

Annamalai University:
Annamalainagar, Tamil Nadu – 608002Tel: 04144-38610
 

College of Agriculture:
Hebbal, Mysore, Karnataka–560024

 

As spoken to Shreyashi DasGupta

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