Agriculture in Nigeria is gradually becoming the industry of focus in recent times. While it has always been fact that there are massive investment opportunities for potential investors in agriculture as well as a large job creation potential with attendant macro-economic effects if all aspects of the value chain are properly harnessed in Nigeria, many; especially the youths are yet to fully embrace the opportunity. However, there is a growing movement of young agribusiness oriented youths and the young at heart across the country providing support particularly in knowledge sharing, resource pooling and cooperation in various agricultural ventures.
There is a general belief that farming is capital intensive. This is not always the case depending on the aspect and the scale of production. Below are some
1. Vegetable production: Most vegetables have a short generation period and are categorized as catch-crops (fast growing crops). These include leafy vegetables like ugwu (pumpkin), ewedu, amaranthus spp (popularly called ‘green’), okra, tomato, pepper, etc. A small bed at the back of your house can hold a vegetable garden that can adequately serve your neighborhood on a commercial basis providing constant source of fresh vegetables even to nearby markets. This on a large scale may require more capital than the backyard farm however, continuous production and good management can make a backyard producer into a large scale vegetable farmer.
2. Fruit Production: Some fruits are biennial or perennial requiring at least 2years or more before fruiting. However, fruits like cucumber, water melon, carrot, eggplant etc. However, practical training may be required to successfully manage these. But they are not as capital intensive on a small scale relative to other farm ventures and they give a faster return on investment.
3. Agricultural commodity marketing: This is one of the most interesting aspects of agribusiness. Many farmers have produce but do not necessarily have a ready market or do not know where the demand for their produce is. Often times they get to selloff at not so profitable prices. There are also individuals and organizations in need of certain agricultural produce but do not have access to farmers when they need these produce. As an agricultural commodity marketer you provide a valuable linkage between the sellers (farmers) and the buyers. This connection under an agreed contract assures the farmer of a ready market and the buyer of a ready and constant supply when needed, and you nexus get your agreed commission from the transaction. Everybody is happy!!!
4. Industrial processing of agricultural products: this is another step in food production value chain. A step ahead of crop production actually. Agricultural products require processing to improve it’s suitability for consumption or industrial use, depending on the final demand. Oil palm production, cracking of nuts, processing and packaging of food spices are few of the subsectors under industrial processing of agricultural products.
5. Agro commodity export: this is also a step ahead of industrial processing of agricultural products. You might decide to process your agricultural products strictly for export. This can also be on a small scale through friends and family abroad who need the local African food condiments or through a structured organization that provides such service with an existing infrastructure thereby saving you cost on registrations and certifications. With increase in dollar price to Naira, agricultural commodity export is an attractive option to take advantage of now. According to statistics from Nigeria export promotion council, there has been an increase in export from non oil export segment with agriculture being one of the most notable non oil export sector. Some of the agricultural products that are exportable includes, pepper, crayfish, Iru (locust beans), garri, ginger, cashew, vegetables, food spices, cocoa, hide, groundnut etc.
6. Micro livestock and poultry farming: rabbit production, snailery, poultry are some low start-up requiring ventures too. Rabbits are very prolific (giving birth to litter size of 6-10 rabbits) and have a gestation period of about 30days. With a mature male and 2-3 females you can start off. Snails are easy to manage in terms of feeding and housing requirement. Materials like baskets, tyres, and wooden hutches can form the housing. Although they require a longer waiting time to maturity the relatively very low financial requirement and the high demand for the delicacy of snail meat more than make up for the waiting period. When we talk about poultry, most times we think about chicken and turkey. However, poultry refers to all domestic birds. Among the list, quail farming is one of the least expensive to start off compared to chicken and turkey. Quail eggs are in high demand, and a mature female begins to lay at 6-8weeks of age.
Article by: SCOTTS FARMS
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For more information, guidance or training on any of the above, or seeking a structured system through which to farm or export farm produce, contact Scott Farms Nigeria (email@example.com, 08176770555)