A lot of graduates consult me daily on this matter, therefore, I decided to pass this message publicly. I know you want to ask the same question for clarification or more enlightenment on job opportunities out there for students who study agricultural related courses in the tertiary institution.
And maybe you want to study an Agricultural related course in a tertiary institution, this article can also be a compass to you, so read with an open mind.
It is clear that most people look down on Agriculture in this part of the world, parents, caregivers, and even lecturers in the Agric department advise their children against choosing a career in agriculture.
Let me shock you before we progress, I read Accounting/Accountancy in university. That was my dream course, right from childhood the dress code for bankers and their working environment influence my love for the profession, working in the bank was my dream.
I remember vividly, while in secondary school, I told my chemistry teacher that I would one day become the “Accountant General” of the federation, so, I saw no need for wasting my precious time taking notes, and reading chemistry textbooks. All my attention was devoted/marshalled 100% to Accounting related subjects and I scored the highest marks in examination.
Photo: Introducing Benue State NYSC Members into the business of Birds Rearing
After graduation, I wrote JAMB, scored 179 which was below cutoff mark to be admitted into a BSc program. I was forced to stay at home and rewrite JAMB and I failed again, scored 163. I told my Dad “I want to join my friend and study Accounting in a polytechnic, then come back and continue with Bsc Accounting“. My Dad was supportive and never urge with my view, I bought the form, read Accounting for 2 years, graduated with upper grade. After that, I continue with Bsc Accounting in Benue State University.
I was lucky and happy for reading my dream course at the university level, but something changed. I developed love for commercial agriculture, I started studying and attending agricultural-related seminars for modern knowledge and to understand business opportunities that exist in the industry.
To cut the long story short, Agriculture is paying my bills now not Accounting and I no longer dream of working in the bank again, I prefer taking care of my livestock, selling after maturity and cashing out the millions. The freedom I have as a farmer no bank can give me that, so, Agriculture is my culture and I do it with joy.
Now, let us discuss the topic of today.
What The Business Opportunities In The Labour Market For Graduates Who Study Agricultural Related Courses?
I might not be able to discuss all the opportunities that exist in our industry in a single article, Agriculture is that vast. Millions of opportunities exist here for everyone not minding your Age, Sex, Ethnicity, Nationality, Color of your skin, or Religion. Your certificate grade doesn’t count in Agriculture.
Now, if you read Agricultural related course in university and know the practical aspect of your course, you have nothing to do with joblessness in Nigeria.
Yes, read the above statement again. You cannot be jobless if you know the practical aspect of your course. I will hight a few business opportunities for you below, read with an open mind.
Be an Agro Consultant
Have you noticed the title of this article? “Business Opportunities” not really “Job” vacancies, because you can become a self-employed Agro consultant immediately after graduation if you really know what you study in school.
Becoming an Agro Consultant after your university program is what you should do because you’ll make cool money here to take care of yourself, pay your bills and never be a dependant or burden to your parents. I read Accounting but I’m a practising farmer, still, I apply my schoolish knowledge in Agriculture, I keep proper books of accounts.
I help big farms audit their accounting books, help them calculate proper financial sales projection and I get paid for doing this. You are better than me, with your school knowledge in Agriculture, if you put up your practising cap, the sky will be your starting point.
Everybody wants to pay an expert for investment advice not minding how much it cost as long as they are getting value for consulting you. Consultancy is a billion-dollar industry, come onboard and cut your share.
Can run soil test?
Can you manage a pig, poultry, cow, snails, plantain, etc farm?
Can you treat sick animals effectively if given the need resources?
Can control weed in a small tomato farm?
The opportunities are endless for people that know the practical aspect of Agriculture.
“The spirit of procrastination is within all men. We desire riches yet, how often opportunity doth appear before us, that spirit of procrastination from within doth urge various delays our acceptance. Listening to it we do become our worst enemies“ -George S. Clason.
Do not allow procrastination to kill your dream of becoming an Agro consultant, don’t doubt yourself, you are qualified to make this money.
Be an Agro Business Plan Writer
Let’s assume you read Fisheries in school which is a 5 years course and you graduate with the practical know-how of rearing fingerlings from day one to maturity, you also know the monetary cost of setting up a standard fish farm, cost of feeding, how to manage the farm, and how to market the fishes profitably.
Then you have zero business with unemployment, you shouldn’t be hustling under hot African sun begging for jobs in Banks, Oil companies, and hospitals.
What I advise you to do is, invest some money in yourself by paying experts to educate you on how to write a bankable business plan. Business plan writing is now a gold mine, it is a money-making business venture that some people are cashing out millions Naira secretly and you can join them too.
With your expertise in fisheries, you should be able to document the process involved in running a successful fish farm, then sell your knowledge for money. Everybody will trust and paid a trained expert better than a novice.
For example, if you need a “Bankable Business Plan” on Broilers/Layers production in Nigeria, you should consult Tsekohol Denison who has been into the business of poultry for over 6 years now than paying N150,000 or more to someone who is not into the rearing of birds. It is a colossal waste of funds.
If you need a bankable business plan on Real Estate Management, Oil and Gas business, Logistic Business and you are consulting/paying a farmer to write such a critical document for you it is a misuse of funds. Business-minded people will always choose a practising expert to write their business plan for them anytime any day.
This is where you’ll confidently sell your brain and get paid. I earn a lot of money writing grant/bankable agricultural-related business plans, and you can do it too.
You can do this professionally, just create an Agro Consultancy company. I read accounting but I am here milking money out of agriculture with limited knowledge? Then It means you can do it too.
I coached people on business plan writing. I write Agricultural business plans and earn big money without begging for money or hustling for 9-5 jobs, I don’t need any my agric sense is paying my bills.
Be a Practicing Farmer
Let me be frank with you here, I envy those who read agricultural related courses in the university. You don’t know how to monetize your certificate that why you are still jobless in Nigeria.
For example; you read Fisheries for 5 years in university and after graduation your first job application letter was sent a “Bank”, where do you expect Accounting graduates to work?
Maybe you don’t know that Nigeria import dried/smoked fish worth billions of dollars every year due to a shortage in supply within fish farmers in Nigeria, the demand is always above supply.
I know setting up a fish farm immediately after your graduation might be difficult maybe due to capital(money) or availability of farmland within your locality. Another challenge, maybe your school never taught the practical aspect of fisheries, you only know the theories, but never use that as an excuse, learn the practicals first.
If you know what you read in school, you will be confident to approach anybody to become your partner, show them the figures and the project will be financed. Forget about the bank loan. Start small, even if its 20 fingerlings, nurture them to table size, sell, make your small profit, reinvest into the business and one day, the door will be open for you.
Nobody is ready to invest in your business idea, show your little physical results and investors will come after you.
“Starting with what you have make your vision successful because God will take care of the rest. I know you some great ideas. Start right where you are and go where you need to go by making a plan and beginning to implement” –Myles Muroe.
I know your plan is to have the biggest livestock farm in Africa, but right now your bank account balance can not push that dream to reality. My advice for you is, start with the little you have because there’s always a small way of starting a big business.
You read Agronomy? You should not be jobless, we have plenty of seed companies searching for qualify agronomies to manage their nurseries and you are jobless? Is a crime to humanity.
Be A Farmer.
I am a Nigerian, based in Nigeria and I know some of the Universities teach only theories in class, so it is possible to graduate a soil scientist and be unable to differentiate between clay and sandy soil. Is possible to read fishery for 5 years but be unable to harsh fingerlings.
But I will blame you if you never take some steps to learn the practicals after graduation. No shame in learning. We have some farmers that will be ready to teach if you can work on their farm, go and learn.
Do not focus on the monthly salary.
DONT BE JOBLESS IN NIGERIA