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What is Agricultural Engineering? Where & How to Study it in Nigeria.

New farming machine

What is Agricultural Engineering?

Agricultural engineering refers to an aspect of engineering that deals with the design of farm equipment, soil management, land development, mechanization and automation of livestock farming, planting, harvesting, storage, and processing of farm produce.

It is a broad multi-discipline field of biology that combines both the natural, economic, and social sciences which have to be put into practice.

Agricultural engineering can also be referred to as biological engineering and Jay Brown Lee (JB) Davidson is said to be the father of agricultural engineering after he successfully organized the American Society of Agricultural Engineers in 1907 and served as the first president.

It can also be defined as the study of employing the usage of science and mathematics just like other engineering fields but with agricultural engineering, the focus is primarily on the design of agricultural systems, for things related to farming and farming practices.

This aspect of engineering is pretty unique as it combines all other aspects of biological sciences in ecology and puts them together to improve and produce food. In simple terms, it is the application of engineering knowledge to tackle agricultural problems.

New farming machine
New farming machine

Departments that makeup Agricultural Engineering

  1. Farm power and machinery: This department deals with the research and development of tractors, harvesters, and other farm types of machinery.
A simple farming Tractor
A simple farming Tractor
Farming Tractor powered by a Steam engine
Farming Tractor powered by a Steam engine
  1. Farm structures: This is the segment responsible for the construction of huge barns, grain storage, the strength of the structures, dairy farms, poultry farms, etc.
Old Layers in a poultry farm
Old Layers in a poultry farm
  1. Irrigation and drainage engineering departments: This department deals with the designing of irrigation systems, drainage systems, development of canal systems, reducing excess water table, and also deal with various soil preventive measures. Also, designing drip systems, sprinkler systems, and irrigation systems.
AGROBOT: A New Automatic Harvesting Machine For Strawberry Farmers
AGROBOT: A New Automatic Harvesting Machine For Strawberry Farmers
  1. Renewable energy sources and electrical engineering: This department is about harnessing renewable energy resources like the development of biogas plants, solar heaters, solar sprayers, solar pumps, wind energy power, etc.

Importance of Agricultural Engineering

Just like every field of study has its own relevance, so also agricultural engineering has its own usefulness. They are:

  1. It helps in solving the problems of producing enough energy for a growing population in society.
  2. Agricultural engineering also helps in solving the issue of provision of enough food in the country for the large population of the citizens.
  3. It also helps in maintaining environmental quality for sustaining the ecosystem.
  4. It also helps to provide plant-based products.
  5. Agricultural engineering teaches new ways to cropping or grow crops using little chemicals and fertilizers.

Universities/Schools Offering Agricultural Engineering in Nigeria

Engineering students during classes
Engineering students during classes

As we stated earlier, agricultural engineering is the study of using engineering principles to solve agricultural problems.

For one to be eligible to study agricultural engineering in school, he or she must have written English Language, Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics in the annual JAMB/ UTME examination.

The prospective students will also have a 5 credit pass in WAEC/NECO with subjects including Mathematics, English Language, Agricultural Science, Physics, and Chemistry.

If the prospective students emerged victorious in these exams, they prospective students can now look for admission to the following schools:

  1. Ahmadu Bello University
  2. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi
  3. Bauchi State University
  4. Enugu State University of Science and Technology
  5. Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta
  6. Akwa Ibom State University of Technology
  7. Federal University Oye-Ekiti
  8. Federal University Agriculture, Abeokuta
  9. Federal University of Technology, Akure
  10. Imo State University
  11. Federal University of Technology, Owerri
  12. University of Uyo
  13. Obafemi Awolowo University
    14.  Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State
  14. Kwara State University
  15. Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State.
  16. Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso
  17. Imo State University
  18. University of Agriculture, Makurdi

It is available as Agric and Bio-Resources Engineering in:

  1. University of Nigeria (UNN)
  2. Nnamdi Azikiwe University
  3. Federal University of Technology, Minna

It is available as Agric and Bio-system Engineering in:

  1. University of Ilorin
  2. Landmark University, Ogbomosho.

It is available as Agric and Environmental Engineering in:

  1. Modibbo Adama University of Technology

The Work of an Agricultural Engineer

If you graduate as an agricultural engineer, you have a huge role to play as the subject tries to solve agricultural problems that have to do with power supplies, the efficiency of machinery, the use of structures and facilities, pollution and environmental issues, and the storage and processing of agricultural products. 


The above videos illustrate the activities in modern and ancient agriculture. Practices involving Agricultural Engineers.

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