Hub for Jobs | Find the Right Job Vacancies in Nigeria

Career Opportunities in Environment and Agriculture

Hub for Jobs | Find the Right Job Vacancies in Nigeria

Did you know that before the oil boom, all of Nigeria’s revenue came from agriculture? Considering that our country’s economic history is common knowledge, you probably already knew that. What is not common knowledge, however, is that farming and trading food crops are not the only career paths in the agriculture industry. When most people think of careers in environment and culture, they think of livestock farming and food and cash crops cultivation. While these form the core of agricultural practices, career opportunities in environment and agriculture are not limited to farming or teaching agricultural science in secondary schools. Here are some other thriving career opportunities in agriculture apart from farming – some of these experts may never have to step foot on a farm all their life!

1. Engineering

Farmers and traders are not the only professionals who work in agriculture, engineers do too. Agriculture engineers are tasked with designing relevant equipment and techniques to make important everyday processes on the farm easier. Apart from big farm machinery like tractors, irrigation channels, water lines, and waste management systems are also built by agriculture engineers. Experts who work in this career path are expected to have at least a B.SC in a specialized area of engineering. Career opportunities in this niche include:

  • Food Engineer – Designs relevant systems to help in food processing such as mills, barns, silos, and so on.
  • Environmental Engineer – Is responsible for brainstorming, designing, and implementing waste management systems.
  • Electrical Engineer – Takes care of the electrical work on the farm, and oversees installation and repairs of electrical necessities like lighting and heat systems.
  • Software Engineer – Is responsible for designing important software used in stock-taking and customer interactions.

2. Economics

Economists also play an important role in agriculture. They analyze the market trends and assist agriculture companies to make better financial decisions, based on the result deduced from the analysis. They give valuable advice concerning pricing, marketing, and other important decisions that may affect a company’s financial resources. Some career opportunities in this niche of agriculture include:

  • Agricultural Economist – Is responsible for carrying out research and analysis on market trends and conditions to help businesses make profitable financial decisions.
  • Food Distribution Manager – oversees food distribution and transportation of farm produce and supplies.
  • Sales Representative – specializes in marketing farm equipment and agricultural systems, and sourcing for profitable business deals.
  • Agricultural Policy Analyst – stays up-to-date on policies and regulations affecting agricultural practices and transactions. He acts as a consultant to the management of the enterprise regarding all related matters.

3. Food Science

Food scientists work to ensure that food production is done in a safe environment and that it passes all necessary quality tests and checks. They oversee the production, processing, and packaging of food. Career opportunities in this niche include:

  • Quality Assurance Specialist
  • Food Researcher
  • Food Microbiologist
  • Packaging Manager

4. Animal Science

Animal science is the study of livestock production and management. Agriculture professionals who specialize in this niche are concerned with promoting the growth of livestock, and the production of livestock derivatives. Some career opportunities in this niche include:

  • Livestock Operator – Is responsible for overseeing livestock feeding and maintenance. This job role requires background knowledge in animal husbandry.
  • Livestock Insurance Representative – recommends relevant insurance policies to farm management to protect livestock.
  • Veterinary Doctor – Is in charge of keeping livestock in an optimal state of wellbeing. The veterinary doctor is a health personnel and is required to have a degree in Veterinary Medicine.
  • Animal Geneticist – specializes in analyzing the genetic makeup of livestock, and giving solid advice for better breeding.

5. Communications and Publicity

The focus of professionals in this niche is to promote the organization and draw awareness and patronage to the brand. Career opportunities in this niche of agriculture include:

  • Account Manager – Handles customers’ and employees’ accounts, and keeps a track record of sales.
  • Reporter or Journalist – Broadcasts relevant news relating to agriculture, such as breakouts of livestock or crop diseases.
  • Public Relations Officer – Acts as the link between organizations and potential customers and partners.
  • Brand Manager – offers helpful advice to promote the growth of the business, and increase revenue generation.

6. Business and Administration

Like in every other industry, organizations involved in agriculture need good business practices and professionals to thrive. Career opportunities in agriculture related to business and administration include:

  • Farm Production Manager – Oversees the work of department heads and supervisors. He also organizes schedules and dictates sowing and harvest periods.
  • Farm Administration Manager – Is responsible for keeping a record of farm operations and accounts, and writing reports. He also gives valuable advice to farms and agro-companies regarding the best business practices to adopt.
  • Agriculture Lawyer – Is in charge of all the legal paperwork, and ensuring that the organization abides by stated rules and regulations. This job role requires a degree in Law.
  • Crop Adjuster – Is tasked with vetting crops on the farm, to identify reasons for low production and areas for improvement. This job role requires a degree in crop science or a related course.

7. Agricultural Agronomy

An agricultural agronomist specializes in soil science. His contribution to the farm is to develop methods to improve soil fertility and crop production without compromising soil health. Career opportunities in this niche include:

  • Greenhouse Manager – oversees the growth and maintenance of a greenhouse or plant nursery.
  • Soil Scientist – focuses on developing and implementing methods that can improve soil health.
  • Environmental Specialist – aims to preserve natural resources and conserve farmland, by establishing measures to prevent soil erosion, reduce deforestation, curtail pollution, and alleviate other environmental ailments.
  • Horticulturist – specializes in the growth of ornamental plants.

8. Agriculture Mechanics

Professionals who work in this niche work directly with equipment relevant to agriculture. While agriculture mechanics professionals may not need to work on the farm, they are responsible for the maintenance and operation of farm equipment. Job roles in this career path require some technical knowledge of farm equipment and a background in sciences. Some job positions and agriculture facilities also require a B.SC in Agriculture extension or a technology-related course. Career opportunities in this field include:

  • Precision Specialist – Resolves technical issues that arise on the farm by offering expert advice on relevant up-to-date technology practices.
  • Mechanical Engineer – mostly works in the manufacture of equipment. He may be called upon to fix issues that arise in the course of operating the equipment.
  • Service Technician – Responsible for running routine checks on equipment and repairing broken parts when necessary.
  • Automation Technician – Oversees installation and use of electronic and automated equipment. This position requires a degree in Industrial Technology.

Agro-based Companies

For a vast majority of Nigerians, getting into agriculture means going to work on a farm. However, graduates of agriculture-related courses may also work in agro-based companies. These are establishments that use plant or animal-based products to manufacture their goods. Examples are companies that manufacture processed food like corned beef and yogurt, companies that produce leather, and so on. Job seekers could land jobs that are not niche-specific in these companies as well.

Is a Degree in Agriculture or a Related Course Relevant?

A degree in an agriculture-related course would come in handy when applying to niche-specific jobs. One advantage of starting a career in agriculture (or a business like fish farming or plantation cultivation) is that there are a lot of opportunities to grow, and agricultural products are always in demand which indicates job security.

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Oputa Okwanuzor is a freelance writer skilled in the art of weaving words into stories for brand boost through copywriting, or make a soothing read using creative writing. In her free time, she loves to share personal development talks, fashion inspos and writing tricks on her blog.

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