Correspondence course on basics of agriculture

Hi there,

Am venturing into agriculture but with no theoretical or empherical knowledge. Can anybody suggest any basic course, book or any other material to let me have basic foundation on crop cycle, mineral needs and basic ecosystem?



There are a couple of UK based institute which are offering short courses on horticulture/agriculture via distance learning.
I dont have the web links off hand but will post later. Most of these courses are not specific for Indian weather patterns though.

Some books you could read are:-

-Crop Ecology: Productivity And Management In Agricultural Systems
-Crop Nutrition: Principles And Practices by Parthasarathi M
-Diagnosing Nutritional Disorders In Field Crops And Their Management by Brajendra
-Perspectives On The Micronutrient Nutrition Of Crops by  Kalyan Singh Satoshi Mori Ross M Welch
-Nutrition Management Of Field Crops Ramakrishna Parama Vr, Mruthunjaya S, Krishnappa Am
-Nutrition Of Vegetable Crops ,S K Mitra M K Sadhu T K Bose
-Mineral Nutrition Of Fruit Crops, T K Bose S K Mitra M K Sadhu
-Nutrition Management Of Plantation And Spice Crops, Suseela Devi L,Ramakrishna Parama Vr, Mruthunjaya S
-Crop Nutrition: Principles And Practices by  Prasad Rajendera
-Horticulture by V Kumaresan
-Plant Breeding by V Kumaresan
-Cultivation Of Fruits, Vegetables And Floriculture , Niir Board
Commercial Floriculture, Chattopadhyay S. K
Commercial Protected Floriculture, U. S. Bose
-A Handbook Of Floriculture, Prasad, S.Kumar. U

That is a nice listing of books from agri_exec

You could start with the basic Handbook of Agriculture (ICAR) for an overall picture and get to the depths with the above books. I am not sure how much correspondence courses will help.

Thanks both for the messages.

would start picking the books and lets hope it helps. I know Agriculture is mainly experience and being in field but am hoping that with proper foundation, I could get best out of the field.



I have been doing this research for quite sometime and am looking forward to the same.
I have attached a handbook.

Handbook_2011_2013_AUS.pdf (1.6 MB)

Hi All,

For those who can read Kannada, GKVK, Hebbal has a very very popular hand book for horticulture / Agriculture. Called “Sustainable Cultivation Methods” for all the horticultural products. The book costs Rs 75. Here are the few highlights.

  1. It gives when a particular crop needs to be sown.
  2. what is the distance between plant to plant.
  3. What is planting to yield time frame.
  4. What amount of NPK to be given / Acre
  5. What is the seed requirement / Acre.
  6. what is the yield one can expect. and when to harvest and how many times.

It also give what type of varieties are available and its names.

This is a very very good hand book. Similarly another hand book for agricultural produce is also there. Means from paddy to pulses. And the above for horticultural / Vegetables / flowers etc etc.

I think with these two books, one can become a Theoretical Expert.  ::)  ::)  I doubt there exist an english version.



Thanks Dipen,

now this looks like course list for us but this is too expensive. around 1 lakh for the Certificate course.
Thanks anyway.

Hi Murali,

I wish I could read Kannada. hope there is some english version too


check the above link, it may help

and the above link will ultimately redirect to the following

$40 for the distance module apparently

The courses conducted by this center may be convenient for those staying in Mum/Pune belt - Horticulture Training Center, situated next to CRPF Campus, Mum-Pun Highway, Talegaon Dabhade, Tal Maval, Dist Pune - 410506.

They conduct a one week residential course (Mon to Fri) for Rs 5200/- all included on various courses like “Cultivation of open field flowers, greens and exotic vegetables”, “Plant propagation and nursery management”, “Automation in Protected Cultivation”, “General Greenhouse Management”, etc. Visit this page …

The courses are conducted in English, Marathi or Hindi medium. To book seat for the desired language medium and course, one needs to contact : 02114-223980 and/or 09422030775.

Dear Friends,

While the quest for a suitable structured course on agriculture for beginners goes on, there are so many excellent books on the subject that can give great insights as well as a broad overview on the subject.

  1. The Omnivore’s Dilemma (Michael Pollan)
  2. Agricultural Testament (Albert Howard)
  3. One Straw Revolution (Masanobu Fukuoka)
  4. The vision of Natural Farming (Bharat Mansata)
  5. Organic Revolution (Bharat Mansata)
  6. Books by Wendell Berry etc.

There is also a view (expressed by persons who have let go of other careers and successfully taken up agriculture) that the real challenge is not learning, it is unlearning. Perhaps it is better not to clutter up one’s thought processes with too much information - some of it contradicting and confusing - or to get tied down to any rigid ‘ism’ in the beginning. Some believe that the biggest hurdle to a successful transition is the ‘industrial’ mindset and philosophies that we have acquired through our modern education. These are considered diametrically opposite to the agricultural way of life!

Personally I have begun to believe that after ten-twelve thousand years of farming, we all have a natural inborn connect with nature and agriculture, whether we have studied the science or not. The trick (perhaps) would lie in being able to re-establish that connection, past all the ‘accumulated garbage’, but wish I could express that better!



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