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Agricultural consultants are agribusiness experts who offer a variety of agricultural services to farmers, farming research centers, agricultural institutions, governmental agricultural agencies and agricultural business firms. Farming in modern times can be a complicated business, requiring in-depth technological knowledge, business understanding and market acumen. It has become common practice to hire agricultural consultants to provide necessary and up-to-date feedback on agriculture projects.
The consultants use their qualifications, technical know-how and experience to address the specific technical and business requirements of their clients. To start with, agricultural consultants assess a potential farming site for a client and determine its agricultural suitability. They test the soil and offer advice on the types of crops that would fare well in that particular soil type. Agribusiness consultants also advise on the financial viability of farming a particular crop and help formulate a sound farming project plan.
Apart from initial research and project planning, agricultural consultants help with seed and plant selection. They recommend necessary farming equipment and irrigation systems, and help with its procurement from agricultural suppliers and producers. In case of advanced equipment, they may conduct training seminars and lectures in its use. Sensor technology is widely used in farming nowadays to monitor things like plant growth, weather and humidity, and the consultants help set these up and monitor the relayed data.
Agricultural consultants supervise the preparation of the agricultural site and the planting operations. Once the planting is done, they specify the amount of water and light necessary, and recommend the right organic and inorganic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides for facilitating healthy crop growth. Since environment concerns are paramount in modern farming practices, agricultural consultants may emphasize the use of organic, chemical-free farming methods.
Once the crops are ready, agricultural consultants offer advice on harvesting methods. They will show the farmers how to correctly store the produce until it is ready to be marketed. The produce may need to be treated and packaged before it is marketed, and the agricultural consultants will help with that. They will also market and advertise the ready produce, and assist with its shipping and delivery.
In addition to assistance with practical farming issues, consultants advise agricultural business firms on the type of agribusiness products to manufacture and launch. In addition, they add heir expertise to agricultural research on new and better plant varieties and farming methods. They are consulted on the financial assistance and subsidies extended to farmers.
Some agricultural consultants may also serve as educational advisers and assist students with selecting the right agricultural careers. For those interested in becoming consultants, it will help to take courses in business and finance in addition to agriculture. Career prospects in this field are good with agricultural jobs for consultants on the rise.
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