Almost every item you come across is an end product of agriculture. Clothes, football, belts, house building materials, basketball, shoes, many other items are all processed from agricultural produce. That’s right. Agriculture runs the world.
The good news is that this opens up many business opportunities in the sector. Here is a list of ten different opportunities that you can explore!
1. Agricultural export business:
Nigeria earns $40bn annually from agricultural exports. Products that are in popular demand in the international market include groundnut, ginger, palm kernel, sesame seeds, cocoa, and cashews. Some crops such as ginger are worth a whole lot more in international markets as opposed to the local market.
Of course, you should adequately research the products you are exporting to ensure you are on the right side of the law.
For instance, it is not every agricultural product that is eligible for export. Products such as raw hide and skin (including unfinished leather), unprocessed rubber latex and rubber lumps, and timber (rough and sewn), wildlife animals classified as endangered species (monkeys, lizards, elephants), imported items, and maize are prohibited.
After carrying out research and deciding on what products you want to export, you can do the following:
- Register your business name.
- Draw up a business plan.
- Obtain necessary license and documentation.
- Source for buyers/contracts.
- Make provisions for warehousing.
Nigeria spends $2 billion yearly on honey importation. There is a need for more local honey making. The honey making process is a bit complicated and involves beekeeping, honey extracting, and processing for commercial value. You can produce honey for local markets or for exporting. Nonetheless, some of the details you should pay attention to are:
- Bee friendly location.
- Honey bees (Apis mellifera).
- Extraction materials.
- Processing and packaging.
3. Jam and juice making:
A lot of people have seen the health benefits of taking natural, healthy, fruit drinks and are opting for freshly squeezed juice against industrially processed ones. There are many fruits you can make fruit juice from and the process is not complicated. In some cases, all you need are bottles, a blender, and fruits. Some of the fruits you can juice and sell are; pineapple, orange, mango, coconut, and strawberry.
Jams are made from crushing fruit pulp or whole fruits. In other words, you can crush fruits like strawberries, peaches, mangoes, or bananas to make jam. Jam spread can be used on bread, cookies, and cakes. As a result, it is a commercial product.
Jam production, though profitable is a bit more complicated. You can however take a class that will give you an understanding on how to properly can,preserve and market your jam business.
4. Flour milling:
You can mill grains such as corn, millet, wheat, and cassava into flour for commercial purposes. Processed foods such as cake, pizza, bread, biscuits, and pasta all depend on flour and thus, there is a demand for the product.
Although flour milling can be done manually with the use of an electric grinder, it is mostly done using an industrial milling machine for commercial purposes. To go into flour milling business, some of the things you need are:
- Location: If you intend to go into flour milling on a large scale, you might need to rent or lease a large location to store your machinery, raw materials, and finished product.
- Training: Running a flour mill plant efficiently requires a certain level of training. You should undergo training on how to use the equipment and how ingredients are mixed to achieve the finished product.
- Supply of raw materials: Getting raw materials depends on the type of flour you want to make. If your focus is on corn flour, you might need to partner with a corn farmer to have the necessary supply of corn.
- Market: Your market could be bakeries, or fast food businesses who use flour in their endeavors.
5. Livestock feed production:
Livestock feed production is using raw agricultural ingredients to manufacture feed for animals. For this agriculture business to be successful, you need to tailor your feeds to suit the nutritional needs of the specified livestock.
Because of the specific minerals and nutrients required for efficient feed production, this venture is most suitable for people with the right education and training. However, if you’re not certified for this agriculture business, you can work with someone who is and take care of the marketing and delivery aspect of the business.
Here are some guidelines for your business:
- Research on what type of livestock feed you want to produce, e.g goat feed, cattle feed, poultry feed, etc
- Register your business. To get your business recognized by the law, you need to register and obtain a license to run it. A good way to make sure you’re following the right procedure is by finding out the bodies in charge of feed production in your area.
- Market research to determine what type of livestock feed you want to produce. For instance, if your business is located in an area where poultry farming is common, poultry feed might be the smart business to undertake.
- Conduct a feasibility study. It is not enough to match demand and supply and then go into business. Conducting a feasibility study will help you factor in other details such as cost, supplies, competitors, etc.
- Create a feed formula that covers the nutritional needs of selected livestock.
- Acquire the necessary feed equipment. Some popular feed machines include; Feed mixing machine, grinders, bags, scales, and many others.
- Package your product in a way that is attractive to your target market.
- Finally, market your produce.
6. Agricultural investment:
Agriculture business in Nigeria does not always have to be tangible. Some other areas you can invest in are:
Farmland: The appreciating factor of farmland puts it at the forefront of intangible agricultural investment. You can also purchase arable farmland and work with local farmers to cultivate it.
Agricultural stocks: You can purchase shares of farming businesses such as equipment companies.
Crowdfunding:You can also sponsor farms on agro crowdfunding platforms such as Farmcrowdy and receive an ROI after a given farm cycle.
7. Agriculture equipment leasing:
One of the problems facing the agricultural sector is the use of substandard equipment. Many farmers don’t have access to affordable equipment to enhance farming activities. This poses a problem which your business could be the solution to.
You can start an agriculture business that rents out farming equipment. These equipment can be leased daily with payment received and it’s economical for the farmers and profitable for you.
However, if you lack the funds to purchase farming equipment for lease, you can act as a broker between the client and the equipment owner. However, if you want to go into the business as an owner, you should:
- Carry an in-depth research on the type of equipment you want to buy to understand the market, pricing structure, and documentation needed so as to make smart business decisions.
- After purchasing the equipment, make sure it’s always in good condition and ready to go at any time.
- Market your equipment leasing business.
- Insure your equipment against loss and damages.
- Make provisions for a driver/handler of the equipment.
8. Cattle fattening:
Cattle fattening is a practice which reduces cattle movements, thereby fattening it. Upon fattening, these large animals are sold off for meat production at a higher price. It can also be done by feeding the animals intensely to obtain high quality meat.
The demand for fresh healthy meat makes cattle fattening a highly profitable business venture. However, before you go into it, you should consider:
- Land and housing for cattle.
- Cattle for fattening.
9. Transport and storage provision:
In Nigeria, 50% of tomatoes produced suffer post-harvest loss due to lack of proper storage facilities. Lack of proper food storage and transportation can undercut hours of laborious farming activities.
As a result of this, you can go into agriculture business by providing storage and transport equipment for farming services and offering the services to farmers at a fee. Some storage equipment you can rent out are bags (for small scale storage), silos (for large scale storage), and warehouses (for large scale storage),
10. Agricultural training:
Another problem facing agricultural production in Nigeria includes agri marketing challenges and lack of proper information. You can conduct training programmes to give useful information on practical actions to take to avoid these issues.
These are just some of the ways to take advantage of agriculture as a business. If you’re interested in crop cultivation or livestock rearing ideas, you can read more business ideas here.