Agriculture remains a very viable sector with even more opportunities for investors than before. Nigeria seems to have all she needs to become Africa’s biggest agriculture production state because she is blessed with large tracts of arable land, good weather, and climate.
Sadly, the agricultural sector in Nigeria did not receive as much attention as it was worth. The sector used to be largely dominated by subsistence farming and marked with traditional methods. However, the government is now putting in much more effort to grow this sector. Over the last 5 years, the sector has witnessed even more growth. With improved seedlings, modern farming methods and better weather forecasting, agricultural yields in Nigeria have continued to grow. This has in turn promoted the cultivation of a wide variety of agricultural produce such as cash crops, root crops, exotic fruits, vegetables, livestock farming, etc.
Agricultural sector contributes to 25% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and accounts for 48% of the labour force. Crop production dominates the sector, accounting for 22.6% of GDP while livestock accounts for about 1.7% of GDP, fisheries (0.5%), and forestry (0.3%).
The Nigerian agriculture sector is open to private participation and investment opportunities across different fields. This article will let you know about golden investment opportunities which you should look into if you are interested in the agriculture sector in Nigeria.
Agricultural Investment in Nigeria: 10 Golden Opportunities
Mechanized crop production
Crop production is essential for food security and to provide industrial raw materials. As an essential product, food will always be in demand. Potentials in crop production that you should look into includes:
Cereals such as Maize, rice, sorghum, corn, millet, wheat that are stored using a grain auger to put them into the silos.
Root crops such as Cassava, yam, ginger, potato, cocoyam.
Legumes such as Soya beans, groundnuts, cowpeas.
Fruits such as Mango, banana, oranges, guava, papaw, pineapple.
Vegetables such as Cabbage, green pepper, carrots, lettuce, spice, onions, melons.
Tree crops such as Oil palm, cocoa, rubber, coconut, kola nut, coffee,
With sufficient land, the best option for crop production in Nigeria will be food crops such as cassava, rice, and beans. Nigerian’s staple food is rice and cassava. These crops are in huge demand in the country, and with them, you cannot go wrong as long as you do all other things right. You do not have to worry about the markets. Root crops such as Yam are also in demand in every part of the country. You can also do plantain. Growing plantain does not require significant investments, it is also quite popular in cooking. Fruits such as oranges, banana, and pineapple are also a good option. They are popular all over the world and have a high market price in Nigeria.
Food processing and preservation
Food processing is the means through which raw food is transformed via physical and chemical processes. The food processing industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry in Nigeria. In Nigeria, where there are other issues such as poor electricity supply, it is very important that foods are processed, to avoid wastage. This sector is widely untapped and will yield great returns if done right. Food processing simply involves the processing of clean and harvested crops into marketable food products. Examples of food ingredients you can process include:
- Baking ingredients
- Cashew nut processing
- Tomato paste production
- Condensed milk production
- Coconut oil production
- Custard powder production
- Flour production
- Groundnut oil production
- Honey processing
- Noodles production
- Palm oil production
- Plantain chips production
Beef processing and packaging
Another opportunity for investment is meat processing and packaging. This is a very good business in Nigeria because meat is widely consumed by many. Many also do not like the unhygienic conditions of most abattoirs in the local market. To venture into meat packaging, you will need meat packaging machines, labels and branding of your product. You will also need to store the product properly in refrigerators to avoid spoilage.
Fruit juice/canned fruits
This is a good business in Nigeria because Nigeria is one of the highest consumers of fruit juice in the world. It also is the biggest market in the African continent. A very good investment in fruit juice production in Nigeria will yield great returns within a short period of time. Fruit juice production entails the process of extractions, mixing, preparation, bottling, and packaging with the use of a fruit juice production plant.
Processing of Cash crops
You can also be involved in the processing of cash crops such as cocoa to produce other products such as:
Cocoa butter – Cocoa butter is used to make chocolate. It is also widely used in cosmetic products such as moisturizing creams and soaps.
Cocoa powder – Cocoa powder is used as an ingredient in many foods such as chocolate drinks, ice cream and mousse,
The exploitation of timber and wood processing
You can be involved in the manufacturing, importing, and exporting of large volumes of hardwood and softwood products. You can sell them directly to building industry, paper, and wood processing operators, etc, or distribute to merchants.
Livestock production holds great potentials for development. In Nigeria, grazing lands are abundant and there are also in-land rivers, lakes for fishery. You can go into animal breeding if you are not interested in growing crops. Poultry farming is quite popular. Opening a large poultry farm involves lots of investments and modern technologies. However, you can start small with just a little capital. For example, you can take up chicken breeding for eggs or meat. Catfish breeding is also a good business in Nigeria that has recorded huge success because of its resistance to diseases.
You can look into the Commercial growing of flowers and ornamentals.
Agricultural machinery supplies
Nigeria needs more modern technology, supplies, and machinery such as having a national tractor dealership. You can look into the importation of these machines. These include: fertilizer, agrochemicals, tractors, cassava, grating machine, peeling, tractor, Bulldozers, Plough, Harrow, Cultivators, Ridgers, Farmyard manure spreader, Planter, Sprayer
Commodity trading and transportation
Food needs to be transported from the farm where it is produced to the market. Therefore, this is a great business opportunity. All you need is trucks and the necessary permits, get connected to farmers, and run your business.