Digital agriculture technician, drone operator and agricultural data scientist are some of the hot careers. — Photo: PrathanChorruangsak
Eight new occupations in agribusiness should create 178,800 jobs in the next two years, but only 32,500 will be qualified to fill them, a shortfall of 82%. In 10 years this gap should be reduced to 55%.
This is according to the study "New professions in the digital age: Opportunities and challenges in professional qualifications for the green recovery", conducted by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in collaboration with the National Industrial Training Service (SENAI) and the Engineering and Organization Nucleus (NEO) of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS).
Below are eight new professions in the agri-food sector:
Drone operator: some of the requirements this professional must have are courses in drone control, aviation, route knowledge, speed and acceleration. In agriculture, drones facilitate the collection of data on crops, animal location, hectare research, diseases, damage due to weather problems, etc.
Digital agriculture technician: this professional aims to improve agricultural production through digitization. This requires him/her to understand both field processes and information and communication technologies (ICT), combining knowledge such as agriculture and planting, water recycling, smart planting, sustainable technologies and digitization technologies.
Agricultural machinery designer: must design machines that meet environmental, economic and social sustainability standards. Must have knowledge and training in areas such as product development; digitization technologies; design and sustainability.
Urban farmer: follows the development of food cultivation in large cities. Training requirements are scanning technology; plants and planting methods, analysis of agricultural production data, in addition to knowledge of the topography and orography of the region in which he/she will be working.
Digital Agricultural Engineer: specialist with knowledge of agronomic engineering and digital agriculture to design farms based on new technologies. In addition, knowledge of plants and planting methods; analysis of agricultural production data; and the topography and orography of the region in which he will work is required.
Digital agribusiness technician: a business-oriented, ICT-savvy professional who takes into account all elements of the field, from planting to animal care and climate. Training requirements: data analysis, programming and management.
Agricultural data specialist: professional with knowledge of agricultural market, software, planting and geoprocessing. Training requirements: data analysis, programming, statistics and agricultural markets.
Agricultural Automation Engineer: professional specialized in agricultural automation. Knowledge of automation technology; agriculture and various plantations; agricultural processes; remote operation and connectivity is required.
It is necessary to update the courses.
The shortage of specialists for these new professions shows how the Brazilian education sector can respond to this scenario.
The director of NEO at UFRGS, Alejandro G. Frank, says some recommendations are: invest in teacher training, in the continuous renewal of curricula and in the creation of new courses; encourage interdisciplinarity; and develop a medium-term digital inclusion policy.
"In the long term, it is important to create a course renewal plan in Brazil, bring high school students closer to technical education and increase the supply of courses and teacher training in less favorable areas of the country," says Alejandro Frank.
The general director of Senai, Rafael Lucchesi, recalls that the offer of a technical subject in secondary schools is foreseen in the New Secondary School model.
Carlos Bragini, director of Senai Education in the State of Mato Grosso, recalls that hybrid or fully online education is a strategy to retrain professionals already working in the field.
"In recent years, the availability of the Internet in agricultural units has increased considerably. We have to prepare a multidisciplinary specialist.