Agriculture used to be the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy before the oil boom. Nigeria was a powerhouse in the production of cocoa, palm kernel (used for Palm oil) and other cash crops and even non-cash crops.
For some time, the sector has been neglected but the government under the outgoing administration has made some remarkable efforts to revive this money spinning sector of the economy and bring it back to its glory days. Jobs have been and are still being created and young people are being encouraged to take up agriculture as an option to seeking white/blue collar jobs.
Let us look at 9 high paying agricultural jobs in Nigeria.
1. Vet Doctor (Veterinarian)
Animals just like humans are prone to sickness, whether they be domestic or farm animals. And they definitely need care and treatment from time to time. Are you trained in this area? If you are a lover of animals, you might give this a thought. Some research results have shown that the health of animals is inextricably connected to human and environmental health. As long as there are farm animals, there will be a demand for veterinarians. The importance of veterinarians in agriculture goes far beyond the need to keep valuable livestock healthy. Vet doctors in most case always have private practice, so are in full control of what they earn as charges for services rendered. Veterinarians can earn as much as between N150,000 to N250,000 per month.
This is an aspect of farming that focuses skills and experience on growing and selling highly marketable fruits and vegetables, flowers, and decorative plants. Landscape designers, nursery managers, florists, and forestry experts manage natural resources on both public and private lands, as well as for the timber industry and large private corporations, and for farms that grow and sell flowers and plants. The fact that there aren’t many people involved yet means there is huge opportunity to be tapped into and money to be made. Even the government is campaigning for green environment. Horticulturists are in most cases too in private practice, and could earn as much as N250,000 per month or even more.
3. Farm Extension Workers
As new ways of farming are being discovered old farmers that do not have access to such information need those who do to assist them with this information. Graduates who have agricultural background and have knowledge of new techniques and technologies will have a lot of clients to serve or should they decide to be fully employed on be on the payroll of a farm business, it all stacks up together. You will still earn some considerable income. This is also tied to the fact that extension workers are graduates. If they are in full employment, they could earn with the range of N50, 000 to N80,000 per month or more.
4. Farm Workers and Labourers
Farmlands are usually vast and large expanses and always require several tens or even hundreds of workers to work on them. There is job for farm workers and labourers in greenhouses, nurseries, farms and ranches. Farm workers and labourers are essential to the agriculture industry, and despite the seasonal nature of some jobs, they are always in demand. The sheer number and diversity of jobs in this category may surprise you. In addition to planting and harvesting crops, farm workers and labourers perform related tasks such as installing irrigation systems, packing and loading harvested food onto trucks for shipment, and maintaining farm equipment. They also do routine animal care tasks on ranches and dairy farms, keep written records on animals, assist at births, and keep animal housing areas clean. Because their work does not involve a lot of thinking the money they earn seem small compared to others, but for the level of skill required to do their work, they could earn in the range of N35,000 – N50,000.
5. Agricultural Equipment Operators
Agricultural equipment requires high-skilled individuals to operate them. The workers drive, operate and maintain the equipment used to plant and harvest crops, such as tractors, balers, conveyors, manure spreaders, mowers, shredders, harvesters, and power washers. The job outlook for agricultural equipment operators has been continuously doing well for the past 10 years, and this is not likely to reduce as time goes on. This category of farm workers earn in the region of N60,000 to N70,000. You will make much more if you own an equipment and do hiring services.
6. Produce transportation
The job of conveying agricultural produce is not just a business of truck drivers, it is a job that requires a lot of technical expertise for loading and unloading in order to preserve the market quality of the produce. Several billions of Naira is being lost annually to produce spoilage as a result of irregular handling during transportation. People who are involved in produce transportation makes chunks of money doing it. They could work for farm owners or own the vehicles themselves. There is really no figure here because what they earn during harvest is far more than what they earn during the non-harvesting season. A trip could fetch about N50,000 or more depending on the distance or market value of produce.
7. Food Processing/Packaging
One of the ways to preserve raw farm produce is when they are processed and then packaged so that they can last long. This provides a wonderful job opportunity to anyone who is willing to earn big by starting a food processing business or packaging. Contemporary packing operations are usually done with sophisticated package processing equipment that takes skill and experience to operate. As you might expect, the employment outlook for food packers in agriculture is best in parts of the country where agriculture is a larger part of the economy, like in some parts of the North and East. But secondary food processing companies pays their professional staff really well. If you are employed in a food processing and packaging company, you are likely to earn between N35,000 to N50,000 depending on job responsibility. But if you own the outfit, then a food processing/packaging company can generate as much as N500,000 to above N5,000,000 depending on the size of the company.
8. Agribusiness Management
Although this is not common around here, but it is a viable job or business option that is guaranteed to fetch good income. Agribusiness is the management field of the agriculture industry. Some who work in agribusiness own or manage farms and ranches themselves; others work for separate businesses that exist to support farms and ranches. If you can develop yourself in business management generally and have basic knowledge of agriculture, then you are good to go. And there is no limit to how much you can earn, because you can service as many farms and ranches as possible, depending on the kind of structure you can come up with.
9. Agricultural and Natural Resources Communications
Do you love advocacy and still have interest in agriculture? Then this is for you (You could refer to someone in this profession as an activist). Agricultural communications professionals work in print and broadcast journalism, on the staff of magazines and newspapers, as press spokespeople, as public relations, advertising, and marketing executives, and as educators. Job growth for public relations jobs is especially strong and the prospect is very high. These positions are usually filled by those who read courses related to agricultural extension and rural development.Journalists and communicators earn sometimes on a commission basis and/or salaries. You can combine both and earn within a minimum of N100,000 monthly
Have you decided to give agriculture a trial? Do you find this piece encouraging? Do you have more information in this regard you can share with us?