India has a rich agricultural history, and the sector has mainly evolved in recent years, with innovations in technology at the forefront. Farmers in the current times are provided with more innovative facilities than they have ever been before, such as technologies, fertilisers, government schemes, and so many more.
These facilities make it easier for them to reap the maximum benefit from their profession. Since the technologies keep evolving with each passing day, it is essential to generate more awareness about these facilities. It is essential to pass this agricultural tradition to the new generations and keep the country’s rich agricultural culture intact.
College of Agriculture in Baytu, Barmer, Rajasthan, can exactly do that. The College of Agriculture imparts more than just the traditional curriculum to its pupils; it also provisions agriculture-related sciences and technologies that are developing and improving to address a range of issues and concerns in the agricultural sector in India.
The College of Agriculture was established in the same pursuit of fostering the Indian agricultural sector. It was founded on 6th August 2021 as a constituent college of Agriculture University, Jodhpur.
It is mandated to impart education to the students in the field of agriculture, research advancement, and extension of agrotechnology to the farmers. Currently, it is imparting a four-year degree programme, i.e., B.Sc. (Honours) Agriculture, with an intake capacity of 60 students.
Currently, the teaching activities of the college are conducted in the temporary allotted building, Rajasva Parisar’ at Baytu.
Later, upon completion of construction work, the college will shift to Batadoo, 30 km away from Baytu headquarter, towards the north side.
Functioning of the Institute
The admission of the students in this college is carried out through the All Rajasthan JET (Joint Entrance Test) conducted by the State Agriculture University of Rajasthan.
Currently, the college leverages teaching faculties in the subject field of Agronomy (02), Horticulture (01), Genetics and Plant Breeding (01), Plant Pathology (01), and Agricultural Economics (01), Entomology (01), Soil Science (01), Animal Production (01), and Extension Education (01) are available. For remaining disciplines/subjects, guest faculties or faculties from other constituent colleges are invited to accomplish the teaching work.
Reinforcing Strong Relationships Beyond the Doors
Since 2021 onwards, the college began crafting a strategic plan for the best education under college that will guide its efforts over the next ten years. Developing its plan then and journey thereafter has been an all-hands effort for the college, with input gathered from the university and state, sharing ideas and insights for raising education studies in agriculture to even greater heights.
Strong relationships beyond its doors reinforce student work inside the campus. The college benefits from a committed, well-placed network of students and progressive farmers. This enables students to obtain a good quality education.
The college aims to produce agricultural graduates with high knowledge and competence by imparting practical technical education through an innovative and analytical approach with the objective of creating valuable human resources for sustainable agriculture, the Argo- industry and services to the society for its wellbeing.
To accomplish the mission, the College of Agriculture, with advice from stakeholders, endorses the following objectives with an aim to produce competent Agriculture Graduates:
- To provide the best possible infrastructure and facilities for innovative teaching and learning of agricultural and allied subjects.
- To establish a centre of excellence to promote academia – Agro-Industry interface and partnerships for enthusing competence of students as per the needs of the industry.
- To empower students with the latest agricultural and allied techniques and skills to promote their employability and encourage them to become agro-entrepreneurs, with emphasis on practical-oriented teaching to develop the skills and analytical capabilities of students.
The core values of the institute are:
- Attempt to be pacesetting in everything it does.
- Motivate to the highest standards of ethics and citizenship.
- A community of scholars committed to excellence and teamwork.
- Promote the synergism that comes from interdisciplinary interactions.
- Value human capital.
- Embrace and promote increased diversity of knowledge.
- Adopt emerging information and other technologies as tools.
- Resolve to disseminate its knowledge to people of all ages actively.
Procuring the Facilities
Since the inception of the college at Baytu, academic activities were started in the ‘Rajasva Parisar’ building with five teachers and two non-teaching staff. Later the essential facilities, viz., chairs, tables, and the whiteboard, were procured.
Upon receipt of money under MLA-LAD fund, COA, Baytu procured the facilities for students and faculties like armchairs, tables, whiteboards, LED-Projectors, lectern podium, personal computers, printers, wi-fi, drinking water and sports-related facilities. These ways faculty members facilitated their knowledge and understanding of the subjects and appropriate teaching methods.
Strong emphasis is being given by the college to stimulate the quality of education, research, and cross-disciplinary development activities for the benefit of agriculture education, from such domains as agronomy, horticulture, animal husbandry, entomology, soil science, plant pathology, extension education, agriculture economics, etc.
Eye on Excellence
The learning objectives set by the college are:
- To impart first-hand knowledge and in-depth practical knowledge on agriculture and allied sciences with traditional to modern agricultural practices.
- To provide extensive knowledge on agri-allied sectors like organic farming, protected cultivation, plant protection, crop improvement, and sustainable production system.
- To identify and overcome the problems encountered in day-to-day agriculture and provide knowledge on commercial agricultural production practices.
- To make students competitive in pursuing higher studies.
- Detailed knowledge of various agri-business activities protected cultivation, and digital and precision agriculture.
- Agri-entrepreneur (Experiential Learning Programme/Hands-on Training).
- Plant clinics.
- Rural Agricultural Work Experience and Agro-industrial Attachment.
- Student READY (Rural Entrepreneurship Awareness Development Yojana).
Adjusting with Transition
The world’s population is expected to grow to almost 10 billion by 2050, boosting agricultural demand – in a scenario of modest economic growth – by some 50 per cent compared to 2013.
Income growth in low- and middle-income countries would hasten a dietary transition towards higher consumption of meat, fruits, and vegetables relative to that of cereals, requiring commensurate shifts in output and adding pressure on natural resources. Hence, the college is on a quest to produce adept agricultural professionals who are not only efficient with the latest technology but are also ready to cater to the upcoming advancements in the agriculture sector.
Pacing up with Future Challenges
Since the agricultural land holding is shrinking and the population is increasing and putting more and more pressure on agricultural land. Owing to climate change, the factor productivity is declining. To pace up with future challenges, the college trains its students in such a way that it infuses and strengthens practical learning through the Hands-on Training/Experiential Learning Programme, RAWE, and Agro-industrial Training.
The college is making the following efforts to pace up with the future.
- Updating course curriculum as per the needs and challenges of stakeholders.
- Training in the field of Agri-entrepreneurship.
- Emphasis/Focus on mechanisation of agriculture, digital agriculture, climate-smart agriculture, etc.
- Imparting training to the students to build the knowledge to mitigate the challenges of food, nutritional, environmental, and livelihood security in a sustainable manner.
The school advises students to “Improve theory as well as practical based knowledge and also a live demonstration of present problems with solution” and to “acquaint advanced and modern technology as well as tools in agriculture fields.”
Upon completion of the construction of the infrastructure of the college and farms, it would develop an Agri-entrepreneurship programme for farmers as well as students.