Exploring Career Opportunities in Agriculture and Agribusiness in Nigeria

by Inioluwa Olutayo
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Agribusiness in Nigeria

With a total agricultural area of over 70 million hectares, Nigeria has abundant agricultural resources. Agriculture was once considered to be the backbone of the Nigerian economy. While it is no longer as prominent as it once was, it still holds a significant place in the country’s economic structure.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Nigerian Agricultural sector accounts for 35% of total employment within the nation in 2020. It currently contributes around 22% of Nigeria’s GDP, providing job opportunities for millions of Nigerians.

The Nigerian agricultural sector is still a vibrant and growing industry, offering diverse career paths and agribusiness opportunities for individuals willing to explore it. This article will explore the various career opportunities in agriculture and agribusiness in Nigeria. We will classify them into three major categories, namely;

  • Farming and Agricultural Production.
  • Agribusiness Management and Administration.
  • Agricultural Research and Development.

Let’s dive in!

Farming and Agricultural Production

Simply put, farming and agricultural production involves growing crops and rearing animals. It includes all agricultural activities centered around production for both domestic and commercial purposes.

Farming is a significant aspect of agriculture, upon which every other aspect of agriculture or agribusiness depends. It is especially important in the Nigerian agricultural sector, where the bulk of the agricultural output is centered around production, not agro-processing.

In fact, as of 2022, Nigeria was the largest producer of yam, cowpea, sorghum, taro, and cassava worldwide, with Nigeria’s cassava production accounting for up to 20% of the world’s cassava production.

The point is that farming and agricultural production are a significant aspect of the Nigerian agricultural sector and the primary mainstay. There are pretty several career opportunities to explore in farming and agricultural production; they include:

  1. Crop production

This involves growing crops primarily for commercial purposes. Farmers can grow food crops such as yam, cassava, and maize or cash crops like cocoa, coffee, and cotton.

  1. Livestock production

Livestock production is simply the rearing of animals. Like crop production, livestock production is also a vast agricultural domain. There are many options to explore, including poultry, fish farming, snail rearing, cattle rearing, etc.

  1. Horticulture

Horticulture is a branch of agriculture that grows ornamental plants, fruits, and vegetables. Horticulturists help landscape and create ornamental designs in establishments such as schools, housing estates, universities, and recreational areas such as parks and gardens.

  1. Farm management

As the name implies, farm management involves the management of a farm establishment. It is especially peculiar to large commercial farms, where there’s a need for administration and overseeing day-to-day farming operations such as planting, harvesting, irrigation, livestock feeding and care, etc.

Read also: Why You Should Venture Into Agriculture in Nigeria. 

Agribusiness Management and Administration

As the name implies, agribusiness is the integration of business with agriculture. It includes commercial activities, such as processing, marketing, and distributing agricultural produce, to ensure productivity, profitability, and sustainability.

As agricultural producers, agribusiness management can be directly integrated into farming activities. Agribusiness management can also be pursued independently as a career opportunity. In this case, the individual does not produce crops and livestock directly but buys in bulk from farmers for processing or further distribution. Some of the significant agribusiness opportunities in Nigeria include:

  1. Agro-processing

Agro-processing involves the processing, preserving, and packaging of raw agricultural produce, transforming it into food and non-food products. Agro-processing is important for harnessing the true value of farm products. It helps ensure agricultural produce lasts longer, stays fresh, and doesn’t go to waste. 

  1. Agricultural marketing and distribution

Agricultural marketing and distribution is all about the sales of both raw and processed agricultural products. It’s about connecting producers of farm products to consumers. It could also extend to the international market, that is, the exportation of agricultural products.

  1. Quality assurance and control

Working in the quality assurance sector involves ensuring that agricultural products meet established standards and regulations to ensure that they are safe for consumption and usage. Individuals in the quality assurance and control sector can work with organizations such as NAFDAC and SON.

  1. Agricultural finance and accounting

Agricultural finance is another important aspect of agriculture often overlooked as a career path. Individuals can be financial officers, accountants, or agricultural lenders.

Read also: Organic Farming in Nigeria: Pros, Cons, and Future Possibilities.

Agricultural Research and Development

Agricultural research and development entails systematic investigation, experimentation, and innovation to improve various aspects of agriculture. It is basically about trying out new ideas to make farming better. This could mean developing new farming techniques to improve on old ones, introducing new crop and animal species, implementing novel pest and disease control methods, and so on.

Agriculture relies heavily on research and development, particularly in this modern era. It is important in modernizing and improving the agricultural sector, increasing productivity, sustainability, and food security. Some of the critical career options available in agricultural research and development include:

  1. Research scientist

Agricultural research scientists are usually academicians in agriculture. They could be master’s or Ph.D. degree holders in agricultural fields such as crop production and protection, animal science, soil science, etc. In addition to their usual roles as lecturers in academic institutions, they conduct scientific research on crop and animal production and development to find improved agricultural practices and techniques.

  1. Agricultural extension

An agricultural extension officer intermediates agricultural researchers and farmers. They provide farmers with the latest information, such as new farming practices, techniques, and technologies.

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  1. Food science and technology

As the name implies, food science and technology focuses on production, development, and improvement. Food scientists and technologists apply various science and technological methods to food processing, preservation, and packaging to ensure safe and sustainable food products.

  1. Agricultural engineering

Agricultural engineering involves the production, development, and maintenance of agricultural implements such as tractors, harvesters, planters, etc. As an agricultural engineer, the goal is to improve agricultural practices and solve agricultural problems through engineering. Simply put, agricultural engineers design, develop, and improve agricultural implements and help perform maintenance and repairs whenever they are faulty.

Read also: Fish Farming in Nigeria: All You Need to Know.


Nigeria’s agricultural industry offers diverse career paths and agribusiness opportunities. From agricultural production to agribusiness management and agricultural research and development, there are numerous possibilities for a career in agriculture and agribusiness in Nigeria.

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Edited by Oluwanifemi Akintomide. 

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Avatar of Inioluwa Olutayo
Inioluwa Olutayo
Olutayo Inioluwa Emmanuel is a versatile, creative, results-oriented content writer with over five years of experience. He excels in creating engaging short-form and long-form content, blending creativity with strong research skills. Adding to his strengths, Olutayo strategically employs SEO best practices to enhance visibility and engagement.

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