With the downturn of our much relied-on oil and gas sector, Agriculture has taken a position of prominence in Nigeria’s economy making up about 20.49% of our total GDP in the first quarter of 2016 (National Bureau of Statistics). The demand for agricultural products both in Nigeria and the world at large will always be on the high side because food is one of the basic needs of man. Thus, as an entrepreneur, you can key into this demand and set up an agro business, creating enormous wealth for yourself. There are unlimited opportunities in the agricultural sector; this article will highlight 50 agriculture business ideas for starters.
There are many reasons every young aspiring entrepreneur should look into agriculture. The most compelling reason I found is in this article I read a while ago:
Nigeria is world’s highest importer of wheat. At the current growth rate Nigeria will be importing 17 million MT by 2020, the equivalent of the entire exports of the 3rd largest exporter, Canada. In addition to wheat and sugar, cassava can also be a substitute for corn starch currently imported to Nigeria in significant quantities.
Nigeria is also one of the world’s top importers of rice, importing over 2MT of milled rice per year. Rice export trade is very thin and prices are highly volatile with the Thai government positioned to significantly increase price by 50%. The unfortunate aspect here is that rice grows all across Nigeria, which will foster self-sufficiency and positively impact all geo-political zones. Our major problem is a lack of proper milling facility and capacity for quality rice. Another area of concern is that a country like Nigeria endowed with vast water-bodies, manpower and skill still imports fish at an average of N97bn per annum – Source: AgricultureNigeria.com
There are endless opportunities in agriculture and more people are starting to realize that, especially young people. This article is a highlight of agriculture business ideas in Nigeria and Africa at large. As much as possible, I will give links to other detailed articles on some of these ideas. That said, the best way to get started in agriculture is to find and learn from people who are already involved in it.
The first hand, hands-on knowledge far outweighs anything you will read from any book. The prices quoted in this article are relative; they vary with time and place but should give you a general idea of what to expect.
Top 50 Agriculture Business Ideas for aspiring entrepreneurs
1. Poultry Farming – Broilers
This is for meat production. The good thing about broilers is that they take very little time to mature. The best time to start this business is February against Easter sales and October for December sales. The cost of a day old chick is N125, while a week old chick goes for N250. It is advisable to go for a week old chicks because they have a higher survival rate than the day olds. The bulk of your expenditure should go on feeds for the chicks for the duration of 3 months. At maturity, a chicken can be sold for between N2,000 and N2,500. If only 35 of your chicks stayed till maturity, you can make N70,000 after sales. These prices are relative, of course, and are subject to time and place. But it gives you a general idea about how lucrative this business could be. You don’t need any specialized skills to start, just your determination to succeed and willingness to learn.
2. Poultry Farming – Layers breeding
Here you are breeding your layer chickens with the major aim of having them lay eggs. It takes more time and costs a bit more money for this business to mature but here is the good thing: it gives you two major sources of revenue. You sell the eggs, which is very lucrative anytime, and when the layers become weak, you sell them as well.
3. Poultry feed production
You could start feed production and supply feeds to all the poultry farms around you. Feeds is a major money spinner in poultry business because for chicken to grow they need to eat, a lot. It requires that you know a lot about poultry farming and what constitutes the feeds. Again, learning from people who are already in the business saves you many mistakes downtime. Here is our article on how to start your own poultry feed production business.
4. Poultry Farming – Hatcheries
There are people who specialize in hatching day old chicks for poultry farmers. Because of the demand on poultry farmers to grow more chicken, hatcheries are usually booked round the clock. This is an opportunity for more people to enter this line of business because in poultry farming, it’s rare for one farm to be involved in all processes. Specialization is key.
5. Poultry equipment manufacturing
These are usually skilled artisans who construct various equipment needed on the poultry farm – welders, carpenters, electricians etc. You can learn the various specifications needed for the poultry equipment and you are in business.
6. Chicken and Egg Distribution Business
This basically involves bridging the gap between poultry farmers and the consumer market. It is very lucrative and requires relatively little money to start-up. You can focus only on chicken, eggs or both. You meet poultry farmers, buy their stock and resell them in the market to wholesalers and retailers. It does not need any special skills, only your marketing abilities and a working vehicle.
7. Fresh Vegetable Business
The fresh vegetable business is a small-scale business that you can start with little or no capital base. One benefit of this business is that it requires no cost of maintenance to run the business. Also, there is always demand for fresh leafy vegetables like; the Waterleaf, Scent Leaf, Ugu leaf and Green. To run this business, you need a small space in your compound or nearby farm where you can cultivate the vegetables. For cultivation, you only need to plant the stem of the vegetable. It takes six weeks or less for the vegetables to mature for harvest. You cut the leaves and sell to consumers and marketers.
8. Cucumber Farming Business
Cucumbers are the 14th most planted vegetable in the world. They are juicy, nutritious and favored by many people for their many health benefits. Cucumber farming is a very lucrative business as entrepreneurs who are already in the business will testify. The right time to start is now! Here is a detailed post on how to start cucumber farming business in Nigeria.
9. Cat Fish Farming
Catfish is a unique type of fish rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids which helps in managing the human cholesterol levels. The numerous health benefit of this species of fish makes its demand higher among health-conscious eaters especially people above the age of forty. Restaurants, fast food joints, hotels, food courts (shopping malls like Shoprite), local pepper soup joints, market women, secondary and tertiary institution of learning and offices are possible markets for any entrepreneur venturing into catfish farming in Nigeria. The profitability of catfish farming depends on how much you are willing to invest as an entrepreneur.
Apart from catfish farming, you can also specialize on feeds for the fish. This is another lucrative aspect in the fish business. There are lots of articles on the internet about how to start catfish farming in Nigeria. As I explained earlier, the best instruction you can get is by visiting a successful catfish farm and seeing things firsthand.
10. Fish Hatching Business
This is for people who are highly experienced in fish farming. A lot of people who wish to start the fish farming business prefer to hire the services of a fish hatching consultant instead of purchasing fingerlings which is more expensive. You can start a fish hatching business to help fish farmers start up and expand their business. The amount you charge for your services will depend on your site and number of fingerlings you are required to hatch.
11. Snail Farming
This is another business that is often neglected by entrepreneurs. You can source for small snails either from villages or from snail farmers; rear the snails for a given time and sell for profits. Read this comprehensive article on how to start a profitable snail farming business in Nigeria. This article also gives a detailed breakdown of the process.
12. Cassava Farming
With increasingly diverse use of cassava products in Nigeria, cassava farming is getting more lucrative with every passing day. This farm product has always been a source of livelihood and food for millions of Nigerians. 90% of Nigerian households consume cassava products every day. Some of the meals are: garri, wheat-flour, animal feed, commercial caramel, and a lot more. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to start your own cassava farming and processing business in Nigeria.
As the population of Nigeria, and Africa as a whole continues to grow, the demand for cassava products will continue to skyrocket, leading to higher revenues generated by cassava farmers. This widespread consumption of cassava products will continue to place it as a cash crop that always gets bought after a harvest, and guarantees a good profit after sales – Source: How to start a cassava farm in Nigeria
13. Cassava Processing Business
Garri which is also known as cassava flakes (eba) is one of the widely eaten staple foods in Nigeria. The industrial processing of cassava in Nigeria holds much potential for investors. Cassava can be processed into different products like garri flour, fufu, tapioca, ethanol, chips, starch, glucose syrup, etc. All these products are in high demand locally and have significant export potentials. However, restricting your plant to processing only garri flour for sale can still achieve for you the status of a large, national and/or international business. This is an article on how to successfully start cassava processing business in Nigeria.
14. Flower Business
Flower is used for decoration. You can start a flower business in a nursery, and then you sell to house owners and hotel owners. You may charge an extra cost to the buyer to help transplant the flower from the nursery to a permanent soil.
15. Rice Farming Business
Rice farming is a very practical business in Nigeria. With over 180 million Nigerians that consume rice at least once every week, you have a market hungry and willing to pay for your product. There are government grants put in place to encourage rice farmers. Here is an article on how to get government grants for rice farming in Nigeria.
If you are looking to invest in Nigeria, the largest Economy in Africa, you should consider rice farming which is the most profitable in the Agriculture sector…It is the most profitable thing that anyone can be doing in Nigeria today…That is because the population is rising and people are consuming more rice…Nigeria Agriculture has changed and that is why the big names are coming in. They realized that it is a big money making enterprise. There is a role for everybody, the small the medium and the large. Despite the increase in the production of rice, there is still a shortage of supply, as rice is a staple food that most Nigerians eat. Source – Mr Akinwumi Adeshina Speaking to Channels Tv, August 2014
16. Agro-Produce Exportation
Agro-produce exportation is one of the most lucrative agriculture business ideas one can invest in currently. Nigeria is major exporter of some highly sought agriculture produce like cocoa, cashew, sesame seeds, bitter kola, etc. The commodities sell in Europe, Asia and America. While importers are crying because of the situation of FOREX, exporters are laughing their way to the bank. A lot of materials have been written on starting agro-export business in Nigeria. So far,this is the most comprehensive step-by-step guideon the internet regarding the topic.
17. Mushroom Business
The high demand for mushrooms both within and outside Nigeria has made the mushroom business a viable one. The good thing is that mushrooms take just few weeks to mature, so you can get returns from this business in a matter of weeks.
18. Yam Flour Business
Most people prefer to prepare their pounded yam meal from yam flour instead of pounding cooked yams. The era where African men required their wives to pound yam every night for dinner is fast fading away. This opens up another door for entrepreneurs to venture into the yam flour business. The scale for investment varies depending on available capital. A yam flour business is very simple to start. At the smallest level, you need a capital of about N20,000 to buy raw yams in large measure. Slice the yams into tiny slices and leave under the sun to dry. After that, you take it to a grinding engine where it will be ground into flour. The next step is to package and sale for N200 per small pack.
19. Bean Flour Production
Most people prefer to use beans flour for moi-moi and akara. To produce bean flour, you need to buy beans. You can start with 5 buckets of potisco beans at the cost of N1,200 per bucket. Wash out the outer back, dry and grind. In order to build a brand for your business, you may need to place a label inside your packaged bean flour. Here is a detailed guide on how to start your own bean flour production company.
20. Corn Flour Business
To start this business, you need to buy like 3 buckets of yellow or white dried corn for about N500 each. Take it to the engine where you grind into flour. You can sell a custard bucket of the flour for N800.
21. Quail Farming Business
Ever since Nigerians got to know the health benefits of eating quail eggs, the demand for quail meat and eggs has skyrocketed. You can start a quail farm business with as little as N20,000. You can earn passive income from selling the quail birds and supplying quail eggs to foodstuff sellers.
22. Pig Farming Business
If you have enough capital at your disposal, you can venture into a pig farming business. You can start with as little as 10 pigs and grow your farm into a big farm because pigs are known to multiply rapidly. It takes about 4-6 months for a pig to become matured, and can be sold for as high as N30,000. Here is our detailed, comprehensive article on how to start pig farming business in Nigeria.
23. Corn Farming
There is always a high demand for corn all year round. You can start a large scale corn farm. It takes about 3 to 4 month for corn to mature for harvest. You can opt for supply corn to companies that use it as raw materials.
24. Fodder Growing Business
Most livestock farmers especially those that rear pigs, sheep, and goats have a need for the daily supply of fodders. Fodders are mostly grasses like clover, alfalfa, grass and wheat. You can grow these plants in commercial measure and sell to livestock farmers for a small fee.
25. Foodstuff Reseller Business
You can buy Foodstuffs in bulk quantities from the one part of the country and resell in other parts where such commodity is required. For example, you can buy palm oil from Nsukka and resell in Abuja or you can buy yam from Benue and resell in Sokoto. It requires knowing what is available where and taking the goods to that place at the right time. A lot of people make their money this way. You can too.
26. Charcoal Supply Business
Most industries use charcoals in large quantities. You can buy charcoal in large quantities from villages and supply to bakeries and other industries that make use of it. A bag of charcoal can be purchased for N1,400 and resold for N2,000 or more. Not just for local supplies, you can also export the charcoal outside the country for a higher price.
27. Plantain and Potato Chips Business
You can purchase raw plantains and potatoes in large quantities, fry and package it, and supply in bulk quantities to stores and supermarkets. The success of this business depends, to a large extent on your packaging. A lot of people are starting to realize how profitable this business is. It’s nowhere near saturation yet. And you can also start a plantain plantation which is very good business too.
28. Starting a Blog on Agro Niche
Young people are embracing agriculture as an entrepreneurship venture. Most of them need reliable and accurate information to get started. You can start a blog on a niche in agriculture to bridge this information gap. For instance, you can start a fish farming blog to educate fish farmers and intending fish farmers on new ways to run their fish farming business. You can monetize your blog through adverts, selling of Information Products and Online Consulting.
29. Agro-Based E-commerce Site
Also, you can start an E-commerce site where farmers can display their products for sale. Many farmers complain that agents rip them off their hard-earned profits. So an agro-based E-commerce site will bridge that gap and remove the middle man. It will connect farmers directly with buyers.
30. Agro-Export Agent
Agro-produce exporters need agents who procure agriculture commodities from farmers. These agents know where the farmers and the process for exportation. Read this comprehensive step-by-step article on agro export to know how this benefits you.
31. Shea Butter Extraction and Refinery
There are many agro commodities to invest your capital but one stand out product will always be Shea butter. A large market exists for Shea butter world-wide, particularly as it is organically produced. Shea butter is in high demand and is a wonderful product. It has high prospect and sells well in the international market. Opportunities exist in its production value chain producing on a small, medium and on a larger scale to meet the growing demand. There is a growing interest in butter from Nigeria for use as ingredients in the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and confectionery industries, yet the commodity is in limited supply as much of it is processed by local women through crude and labor intensive means. Investment in the processing of the butter in large volume will not only be profitable, but will also create a feel factor for government support as it is also an avenue for employment for its teeming youths.
The strong interest in the product by cosmetic companies is due to growing demand for a more natural product that is perfect for skin – Source:Feasibility of Shea butter extraction and refinery
32. Farming Equipment Leasing Business
If you have large capital at your disposal, you can buy mechanized farming equipment and lease to farmers for a daily fee. Some of the farm equipment that are on high demand are tractor and harvesting machines.
33. Spice Cultivating Business
There is a high demand for spices like curry, thyme, scent leave, nutmeg. You can cultivate these spices, dry and package them for sell.
34. Soy Beans and Zobo Business
You can purchase soy beans and Zobo in bulk quantity from farmers and either sale directly in smaller quantities or process into soy milk or Zobo drink and supply to store owners and supermarkets.
35. Yam Business
Yam is another staple food that is in high demand in Nigeria. You can start a large scale yam farming business or you can purchase the yams at a cheaper price from places like Benue State and sell at a higher quantity to retail sellers.
36. Meat Processing Business
Nigeria is yet to have a company that focuses on process meats. Most of the meats sold in the country are kept in an unhygienic environment. You can build a meat process company where meats are processed and preserved in a hygienic environment safe for human consumption. You may not need to rear the animals processed from the scratch, you can buy these animals from livestock farmers in the country.
37. Tomato Processing Business
Most of the processed tomatoes (tin or sachet tomatoes) consumed in this country are imported from foreign countries. You can source for fresh tomatoes from Northern farmers and start your own tomato processing company.
38. Local Food Restaurant
Most of the fast foods and restaurants serve only intercontinental dishes. You can start a restaurant that serves only free local dishes like yam and oil, breadfruit, nkwobi and isi-ewu.
39. Grass cutter Farming
Nigerians love Grass cutter meats (nchi). You can start a grass cutter farming business where you rear grass cutters for supply to restaurants, joints and hotels.
40. Banana and Plantain Plantation
There is a high demand for ripe banana and ripe and unripe plantain both within and outside Nigeria. You can convert any unused land at your disposal into a banana or plantain farm. Here is our article on starting a plantain plantation business in Nigeria.
41. Breadfruit Business
A cup of breadfruit is sold for N120 or more depending on the place, and there is an ever high demand for breadfruit despite its high cost. This shows you that the breadfruit business is a practical and profitable business. You can source for breadfruits from villages in high quantity. The unpeeled ones can be bought for as low as N60 per cup. All you need do is to process it (remove the back) and sell for N120 per cup.
42. Palm Oil Business
Palm oil is required to prepare almost all Nigerian delicacies, thus, there is a high demand for palm oil all year round. You can either start a small-scale oil processing business or purchase the oil in drums and resell for a higher price. Read this detailed info-guide on how to start a successful palm oil business in Nigeria.
43. Sugar Cane Business
Most industries that produce edible products prefer to make use of sugarcane instead of the white granulated sugar. You can start a sugarcane farm (especially in Northern Nigeria), and supply the matured sugarcane to industries for profit.
44. Consultation Services For Farmers
If you have a special training in an aspect of agriculture, you can provide consultation services for farmers in the field and charge them a small fee as payment for your services.
45. Bamboo Stick Business
If you look around, you will notice that most of the football viewing centres and drinking joints are built with bamboos, thus there is a sizable demand for bamboo sticks. The good thing about this business is that it takes just 2 months for a bamboo plant to mature, and a matured bamboo stick is sold for as much as N500. Thus, in less than 3 months; you can start reaping some returns on your investment.
46. Farm Machinery Maintenance Business
Most farmers that make use of heavy farm machinery always have need to service and keep up such machinery. You can start farm machinery maintenance and repair business.
47. Transportation Business For Farmers
One of the challenges most farmers encounter is the lack of means of transportation to get their farm produce from their farms to the market. You can start a farm transport business to help farmers sort their transportation needs for a fee.
48. Online Agric Agency Business
You can serve as an online agent for farmers. You place product adverts on sites like www.alibaba.com, once an order is placed, you source for a farmer that has the produce and supply for a certain percentage of the total sells.
49. Honey Business
You don’t need to have your own bee farm for you to start a honey supply business. You can source for and purchase honey in big jerry-cans from places like Nsukka in Enugu State and sell in small quantities.
50. Raw Agro Product Supply Business
Most industries in Nigeria make use of raw agro products during production. You can serve as a middle man to supply these industries with the necessary raw materials, for a fee.
There you have it; 50 agriculture business ideas. The list is not exhaustive, there’s more.