Into the world of Agricultural Engineering

From Advancing North East 
• Introduction 
The agriculture industry is one of the oldest and most important industries in the world. It is said that the first agricultural tools came into use during the stone age. The agricultural field was introduced to technology and its ways gave birth to agricultural engineering. Agricultural Engineering, also called agriculture and biosystems engineering, is the stream of research and application of the science of engineering and its designs, and principles for serving the purpose of agriculture, which comprises various rules of mechanical, civil, electrical, food science, environmental, chemical, and software engineering. It is used to enhance the working processes of farms and agribusiness enterprises to ensure the sustainable use of both natural and renewable resources. Agricultural engineering is also concerned with designing sustainable ways of managing land use.
• History
The introduction of agricultural engineering first came into light when it was used for irrigation in large- scale agriculture on river banks like the Nile. Even before the Christian era, India too saw the use of large irrigation structures developed using agricultural engineering. Although the term wasn’t introduced back then, with the growing use of more advanced machines and steam power in the evolution of this industry, began the age of agricultural engineering. By the start of the 20th century, with the rise in the reliability of technology, there has been an enormous boost in the productivity of crops.
• Agricultural Engineers
They are biological engineers involved in the production and processing of agricultural goods. Their work is all about the increase in the quality, quantity, sales, and consumption of the products by solving problems like power supplies, the efficiency of machinery, proper use of structures and facilities, pollution and other environmental issues, storage and supply, etc. These engineers are typically found:
1) Using computer-based software to design equipment, systems, or structures.
2) Modifying environmental factors that have adverse effects on animal or crop production. For eg., airflow in a barn or runoff patterns in a field.
3) Testing equipment to ensure their safety and efficiency.
4) Overseeing construction or production and keeping a check on the numbers.
5) Planning and working together with clients, contractors, and other engineers for ensuring a fulfilling outcome.
Agricultural engineering is scattered in fields like aquaculture (farming of seafood), forestry, ornamental production, food processing sectors (as canned or packaged food), etc. Not just production, but agricultural engineers also work to develop solutions for animal waste disposal, integrate artificial intelligence and geospatial systems into agriculture, and improve the efficiency of fertilizers.
• Job Opportunities
There are many career options open to engineering, that professionals can work towards. Especially biological engineering, is the rarest, on its own is a garden of opportunities. The average salary of agricultural engineering is somewhere around 25.8K/month with a 5% grace every year. Some of the careers in this field are listed below:
1) Food Production Worker
Their job is to help a company prepare, package, and verify the contents of food products. This included both veg (grains, spices, vegetables, etc) and non-veg (meat, fish, etc) in high production large-scale farms. They check the quality of the processed foods and then ship them to retailers & markets.
2) Agriculture Specialist
They are the experts in all the agricultural fields. No one can understand the placement, handling, and maintenance of the crop and soil better than they do. They do it by planting different seeds at different stages of the season. As specialists, they can alternatively choose to be auditors and review and revise the regulations with the agricultural firms by keeping a check on their workstations and safety margins.
3) Soil Technician
They maintain the quality of the soil used in agricultural projects and farming endeavors. They also help maintain the crop rotation, the requirements of the soil, and the hospitality of the plants.
4) Irrigation Technician
They are responsible for the upkeep of the irrigation patterns of the soil, the pipes used for irrigation, etc. They also look after the dusting of the crop (a practice that makes the crop ready before the harvesting season). An irrigation technician can reschedule or adjust irrigation plans and techniques for the season.
5) Research Associate
They help in research and the introduction of new and innovative methods inside their industry for the betterment of maintenance, production, supply, and delivery. They make them understand the new ways to improve efficiency and productivity, which results in the graphical rise of the market value of the product. Research associates can also conduct study sessions on plants during the entire season to create great hypotheses concerning growth and harvest rate.
6) Architectural Designer
They arrange field designs, barn structures, storage, and preservation facilities to help the farms in producing, storing, and delivering the products on time and effectively. They also assist in designing pathways for harvesting, transporting, and delivering to make each of the processes easier and smoother for the staff members. Architectural designers are skilled at designing buildings for staff and testing faculties where lab teams can work too.
• The Scope of Agricultural Engineering
Agricultural engineering is a new profession that is expected to soar to new heights. With the advancement in technology and the way it is spreading in every field, agricultural engineers are the need of the hour in India’s sight. The future of agricultural engineering is bright as it’s a unique perspective to improve the country’s agricultural assets.
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