It might seem odd in present-day Nigeria when you tell someone you have a passion for agriculture and are looking to develop a career within this sector. Of course, most people would ask if you are not interested in being a doctor, accountant, an engineer, a lawyer, finance, an economist, or even a tech career, but what they fail to realize is and even you may not know it, is that most of these career fields are also applicable in the agricultural sector.
You can become an agricultural engineer, agricultural economist, and an AI specialist focused on creating solutions to improve farming yields and more. You can read up on this blog post about different careers in agriculture youths can explore. If you are interested in the agritech side of things, you can also check out the top in-demand agritech jobs to get additional insights.
Also, the agricultural sector is one of the major contributors to the country’s national GDP. According to the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics, agriculture accounted for 23.78% of Nigeria’s GDP in Q2 2021. A study by the World Bank shows that agriculture provides employment for about 34.97% of Nigeria’s population as of 2019.
Indicating that agriculture has a significant impact on Nigeria’s economy, there are opportunities for anyone genuinely interested in the sector.
Here are tips for selecting a suitable career in agriculture:
Decide on the Field of Agriculture You Want
This is the first step to selecting a career path in any job field; there are various fields in the agricultural sector, and picking a specialty to focus on will help you grow within that field. You can choose to become a farmer (crop farming, livestock farming, animal husbandry, etc.) or the other career fields in agriculture such as a farm manager, crop scientist, crop manager, farm administrator, software engineer, and many more. By now, if you’ve read some of the blog articles we recommended earlier in this article, you should have a rough idea of what you want.
Once you have decided the field of agriculture you want to go into, the next step is to take a course that will enable you to gain knowledge in that field. To succeed in any career, you will need to learn everything you need to know about the course from lecturers, facilitators, or experts in that field.
There are various agricultural universities and other higher institutions in Nigeria to study any agricultural-related courses. If you do not intend to go to a higher institution to learn it, you can also enroll in specialized short courses in your desired field.
Having an education will also make you open to applying tech to your agricultural endeavours.
Most agricultural universities and higher institutions in Nigeria ensure their students go on a mandatory 6-12 months farm practice year. This enables students studying agricultural-related courses to gain practical experience in various fields of agriculture asides from their course of specialty, ranging from crop farming, animal husbandry, farm management, farm equipment and machinery, and many more. It also prepares them for life after school.
If you are not studying in a higher institution, you can gain experience by starting a small farm, applying for internships or entry-level agricultural jobs.
As you continue to gain experience and grow within your chosen field, you will need to continue learning by taking courses, attending training, seminars, and other agricultural events to acquire more knowledge, experience, skills, and innovative ways to solve problems. You shouldn’t be stuck in a bubble, it may impede your career growth, and you may become uncertain about the career path you’ve selected.