Rice is the number one most consumed food in many countries of the world, including China, North Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Nigeria, and so many other countries. Rice farming in Nigeria is one integral crop farming section that has a strong backing from the government for some good reasons.
There are a lot (and I mean a lot) of rice farmers in Nigeria, but the demand still keeps on crippling out the supply for it and that’s why Nigeria still imports rice till today. As you read this, or rather before you finish reading this ‘How to Start‘ guide, over two hundred bags of rice would have found their way into the country, to help in meeting up with the demand for rice in the market.
Rice Farming in Nigeria: Overview
Rice farming has a lot of opportunities if the correct information can be sourced and the correct knowledge can be applied. This article would to some extent, help in showing you how you can successfully kick-start your own rice farming business, and nurture it to a thriving stage. There are quite some basic vital information you need to have, to profitably run a rice farming venture and we would check out the basics together.
Some of the factors that give the business an upper hand over other form of farming are that Rice as a crop takes just around four months from start to finish. That is, from planting to harvesting. Also, the government has loans and grants ready for farmers who want to go into rice farming and production, as it’s only logical that the more we make in the country, the less we import from other countries.
Also, rice farming doesn’t need an intense or extended training. Running a successful rice farming business is pretty straightforward. All you need do is apply some minor techniques and you’re good to go. It is also not overly capital intensive like some other crops, and also, unlike some other crops, you can feed yourself domestically with the yields from your rice farm. The most important one is, rice doesn’t need too much marketing to sell. It is always, always and always in demand.
Rice Farming: Required Facilities
Swampy Land: Although rice can grow on almost any kind of land, it has been found to fare better on swampy lands. That is the main reason rice farmers till the soil and make sure they do some serious irrigation, ‘before’ the planting starts.
If you can’t get a swampy land, you can go for the one you can lay hands on, and it would just cost you the some extra operational cost of a tractor to till the land, and the cost for water to be channelled in and around it for proper irrigation. That is the best and most suitable environment for the rice to grow.
Irrigation Channel: Dry lands are not particularly the best seat choice for rice. The land needs to be swampy and if it is not natural a swampy land, then irrigation would just do the trick. If you can’t channel the irrigation of a farm land yourself, simply hire the services of someone who’ll help you channel it.
Rice seeds: It is very important you select healthy seeds that can start settling in, as soon as they hit the ground. Indiscriminate selection of seeds is why some farmers find it very hard to produce high returns. The healthier the seeds, the more the farm produce at harvest.
Hauling Mill: After the four months of growth period and the rice is ready to be harvested, you would to buy hauling machines to get out or separate the haul from the grain. The process in summary is just separation and blowing off the haul.
Knowledge: It is very possible to run a successful rice farm with just detailed guides and/or attending workshops or seminars but if there’s a rice farm at your reach, then it won’t hurt as a prospective rice farmer yourself to attach for at least three months to gain some much needed practical knowledge about the daily management of a rice farm.
Rice Farming: Feasibility Study
The feasibility study included in this guide is for a rice farm after one of a possible three time harvest (four months interval) in a year.
Cost of the plot of land, cost of tilling the ground, cost of irrigation channelling, cost of rice seed purchase, cost of rice solarisation, additional costs and expenses, all approximated to N2,000,000
If on the starting scale, the farm produces 120 medium bags of rice at each period of production, and a bag of rice is sold for the around N12,000, the calculation is as follows:
120 bags X N12,000 = N1,400,000
If harvesting is done at the same rate three times in the year: N1,400,000 X 3 = N4,320,000
At the end of the year, N4,320,000 – N2,000,000 = N2,320,000
That’s quite an attractive sum to show at the end of the year, after start-up capital has been covered.
Rice Farming: Risks Involved
- Rodents, insects, pests and so on, are also waiting for the harvest period to go feed on the developed rice grains. One of the techniques of getting the maximum profit from a rice farm is Timing, as you can’t afford to waste any time when harvest period comes.
- Weeding and pest control cannot also be taking lightly, as they would inadvertently determine the overall yield of the crops. Take this with levity and your business may just be on the downward spiral.
- You have to manually select healthy grains when buying the rice seeds to start your rice farm. Failure in this may result to very low yield.
Rice Farming: Advantages
- Like mentioned earlier, rice doesn’t need too much marketing and it sells faster than most other agricultural products.
- From planting to harvesting of the rice seed takes just 4 months, which makes it a super bargain as you can harvest two to three times a year. Just like doubling or tripling your gain.
- It doesn’t require an overly huge capital. If you’re serious about it, the capital can be borrowed and returned as soon as after your first harvest.
- Serious rice farmers refer to it as a Get rich quick crop, owing to the fact that you can take a loan to start and return the loan before the middle of the same year.
Rice farming in Nigeria requires deep knowledge about selecting healthy seeds to plant and making the correct soil for the plant to grow. Though it doesn’t overly require a lengthy training or deep technicalities; Rice farming can make you a millionaire within one calendar year.