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Editorial Articles


volume-38, 21-27 December 2019

Employment Opportunities in Animal Nutrition

 

Dr. Rajesh Kumar

The Indian animal feed market was worth INR 817 Billion in 2018. The market is further projected to reach INR 1,683 Billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 12.7% during 2019-2024. India currently represents one of the fastest growing animal feed markets in the world. The increasing demand for animal protein and dairy products has resulted in a growing livestock population in India, which in turn has increased the demand for animal feed. Currently the poultry, aqua and dairy industry accounts for the major share of the Indian animal feed industry. Modern animal feed products are manufactured by carefully selecting and blending ingredients to impart highly nutritional diets that both increase the quality of its end products such as meat, milk, eggs.

Indian Animal Feed Market: Drivers

  • The population in India is expected to increase continuously in the medium and long terms. This will create a strong demand for eggs, meat, milk, etc., in turn increasing the demand for animal feed.
  • The Indian government along with private initiatives are increasing the awareness of better feed practices among farmers. Farmers are getting more aware about animal health and the importance of a balanced and nutritional food for their animals.
  • Apart from domestic consumption, Indian exports of animal feed are rising and will also represent an important growth driver during the next five years.
  • Changing lifestyles and rising per capita incomes in India have resulted in a shift in the dietary habits in the country. This has resulted in an increase in the consumption of milk and meat, leading to a growing demand for animal feed.

Veterinarians are basically animal doctors who diagnose and prescribe treatment for animals. They diagnose, treat, and research medical conditions and diseases of pets, livestock, and other animals. Amongst the various divisions of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Animal Nutrition is a very important aspect and hence keeping in view its impact, a separate department for imparting the degree has been in force for decades. However, being the non-clinical aspect of Veterinary Science, it has not received much attention albeit having being an important job provider and large scope.

M.V.Sc. in Animal Nutrition is a 2 years full time Post-graduate course which is divided into 4 semesters. The objective is to provide students opportunities to

learn about nutrients in animals and other biological sciences, the application of nutritional sciences to health, the digestive process, and welfare of companion pet animals.This course also focuses on the application of biological and chemical principles and management of animals and production of animal products. This gives instructions in nutrition sciences, biochemistry, animal sciences, food science and technology, hatchery design and related aspects of animal safety and health.

Eligibility:- Aspirants  with Physics, Chemistry and Biology (PCB) in 10+2  must qualify the B.V.Sc & A.H. (Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry) course. The marks and age criteria are variable as per state and universities. Candidates are selected for the five and half years B.V.Sc & A.H. course on the basis of entrance test held as per VCI (Veterinary Council of India) ) at National level and State Veterinary University at State level. Students who have obtained their Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science from any institute/university recognized by Veterinary Council of India (VCI) with minimum of 55% marks or CGPA not less than 6.0 in 10 point scale are eligible to apply for Master of Veterinary Science in Animal Nutrition course.

Aspirants/Candidates are selected for M.V.Sc in Animal Nutrition by entrance examination conducted by ICAR for the national level institute like IVRI Bareilly (U.P.), NDRI, Karnal (Haryana) and remaining quota of all State Veterinary University at state level.

This course prepares students to care for breed, and market livestock and farm animals. Course includes instruction in animal science, animal health, and animal nutrition as applied to various species and breeds. Animal Nutritionist find employability in academic teaching and research, industrial research, extension education, food and feed industries, and in laboratory research programs. They also work in nutrition industries, private corporations, and pharmaceutical industries. These degree holders work as caretakers, animal nutritionist, veterinary assistants, and technicians. The average salary for these professionals per annum ranges between INR 1 lakh to INR 10 lakhs as per their expertise in this field.

Post Graduates in animal nutrition work in technical sales/marketing in an animal feed production industries within the commercial sector. Most of these professionals can work in a various roles, from advisory positions to product development through marketing and sales jobs.

Some of the Major Areas these Graduates Work in:

  • Animal and pet food manufacturers
  • Agricultural advisory bodies
  • International development agencies
  • Government departments
  • Educational and research institutions
  • Universities

In government sectors, graduates work with regulations governing agricultural industry, or work directly in research. Colleges and other educational organizations employ persons with advanced training as laboratory scientists, researchers, teachers, and extension specialists. They also work in professional teaching positions, area livestock specialists, and agricultural agents.

Animal Dietician :

Animal dieticians deal with diet and nutrition of animals. They closely diagnose the impact of different foods and examine the gastrointestinal tracts of animals. Some dieticians work as government agencies, and veterinary officers. They are also responsible to take care of animals and pets in research laboratories or zoos.

Animal Nutritionist :

Animal nutritionists are responsible for increasing and promoting the effect of diet on the health, and productivity of animals. They evaluate the nutritional feeds, grass, feed supplements, and forage for animals and pets. They also investigate nutritional disorders and the safe storage of feeds often in conjunction with veterinary surgeons.

Veterinary Technician:

Veterinary techni-cians assist other technicians in taking care of animals. They may evaluate animal’s condition, check vital statistics, clean and wrap wounds, collect samples and medicines for animals. They also work in labs by doing blood tests, urine analysis, as well as teeth cleaning. They also communicate with pet owners and update animal’s files.

Dairy Consultant :

Dairy consultants provide farmers with strategies that could help them to increase and improve dairy production. Consultants make reports that show the current product yield and how nutritional changes can potentially improve their numbers. Most of the consultants take an approach by examining multiple factors such as how well animals are fed and types of food they consume.

Higher Studies:

M.V.Sc. degree holder can also undertake higher studies with fellowship in various areas viz., a) Applied Animal Nutrition b). Molecular Nutrition c) Nutritional Biochemistry 4) Nutritional Physiology from national and International institute like Animal Nutrition Division, NDRI, Karnal, Haryana; Animal Nutrition Division, IVRI, Bareilly, U.P.; National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Bengaluru, India; Institute of Animal Nutrition, Berlin etc.

(The author is Teaching Associate, Department of Animal Nutrition, Post Graduate Institute of Veterinary Education & Research, Rajasthan University of Veterinary and Animal Science, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, Email: rajesh kumarmahla46@ gmail.com)

Views expressed are personal.

Image Courtesy : Google