In the past, Nigeria was famous for the export of groundnut and palm kernel oil. But over the years the rate of export of this produce has reduced. A few years back local Nigerian companies has commenced exporting groundnuts, cashew nuts, sesame seeds, moringa seeds etc.
The country’s agricultural products fall into two main groups: food crops produced for home consumption, and exports. Prior to the Nigerian civil war, the country was self-sufficient in food, but increased steeply after 1973.
The Nigerian Agricultural landscape is opening up very rapidly so much so that the international investing community cannot but notice. A lot of improvements have taken place under the current Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Akinwunmi Adesina. Farmers now have direct access to fertilizers as opposed to what it was when a few persons acting as middlemen through corrupt practices denied these farmers access to fertilizers.
Government has also put a number of measures in place to encourage young and agile people, especially graduates to take to farming as a career option instead of waiting for jobs that are not available and where they are, cannot go round everybody.
So are there really prospects in this industry?
Let us look at 9 Career prospects in Agriculture in Nigeria.
1. Small Scale Farming
Now it is easier for intending small scale farmers to get involved in the farming sector and enjoy government support so long as they can be registered with appropriate bodies within their locality and necessary government regulatory agencies. This way, access to necessary support from government becomes easy. More so, if the farmer teams up with other farmers as a member of the farming community in that area.
2. Fish Farming
Like never before fish farmers are increasing by the day. More and more people are going into this line of farming as a stream of financial income. And the beauty here is that you don’t need so much of mass of land to do it. Many people do this in their backyards and compounds. The Catfish is the type of fish that most people rear and it has high patronage. You can bet there is a ready market for it should you decide to go into this.
3. Farm Produce Transportation
This is one area where a lot of farmers still have difficulty. Transporting their produce from the farm to the warehouses and markets is a big challenge to many farmers. And that leaves an opening for anyone who is interested to step in and fill. The farm produce needs to be moved from the villages to the cities in time to prevent the perishable ones from getting bad.
Another major need for farmers. Do you have the space and facility that can be used for storage of farm produce at harvest? This could become a source of income for you. Just do your necessary fittings for the purpose and register appropriately, then you are ready to go into business and make a lot of money.
5. Exportation of Farm Produce
Cassava and other farm produce are in high demand in places like China and other European countries. Even if you are not a farmer directly, you can buy these farm produce and package them for exportation. And the sure thing here also is that it enjoys a lot of government support. Then if you can now go into some form of partnership with other exporters it makes it all more lucrative as your combined effort will yield more profits.
Another lucrative farming business that has been around for a very long and which is still helping people smile to the banks. It will amaze you that though there are some religions that do not support the eating of pigs, yet some of these religion’s practitioners still flout this injunction and eat pork – pig meat. Or how else will you explain why the trade has thrived for ages? So if this is an area of interest, the market is there waiting for you.
Maybe the most popular aspect of farming apart from actual cultivation of lands. There is no point arguing whether animal farming is more popular than poultry, after all, it’s the same family. The caveat here is that going into poultry has its downside. The business thrives more during the festival seasons and that of course for some families is the only time they get to eat chicken. Also, an outbreak of diseases such as bird flu could be devastating. But by and large, it is a good business option in the Agric sector.
8. Land Leasing for Farming
A big challenge for some desiring-would-be farmers is non-availability of farming land. Do you have a piece of land you are not using at the moment and can be leased for farming? That could be a stream of financial income. You can collect money upfront or share profit at the end of each farming season. Whichever way it is a win-win both all parties involved.
9. Agric-extension Worker
There was a time that the government took it as a point of priority to send Agric-extension workers to farms to help farmers by teaching them modern techniques of farming. But these days it is not common to see that happening. However, if you have knowledge of modern ways of farming, maybe as a result of what you studied in school, there are farmers out there that will be willing to have you teach them and pay for your services.
With the way the Nigerian economy is being positioned, there is no doubt that very soon we will become the food basket of Africa just as Egypt was to the entire world at a point in history.
You have the opportunity now to join the train and begin to harvest your own portion in the Agricultural sector of the Nigerian economy. The opportunities are limitless and indeed endless.