MAXIMISING THE AGRO-BASED BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN KOGI STATE TO BOOST IGR
BY DR. TOM OHIKERE
Kogi is an agrarian State blessed with fertile soil, but yet much is been done to maximize this God given potentials.
There are unlimited opportunities in the agricultural sector especially with the downturn of our much relied-on oil and gas sector, Agriculture has taken a position of prominence in Nigeria’s economy.
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 many reasons every young aspiring entrepreneur should look into agriculture because of its opportunities.
Huge investment opportunities lay fallow in Nigeria agricultural sector, because it is the largest sector of the economy which generates employment for about 70% of the Nigerian populace and contributes 40% to the GDP with crops accounting for 80%, livestock 13%, forestry 3% and fishery 4%.
This article is a highlight of agricultural business ideas in Kogi and Nigeria at large.
As the government is working hard to switch direction towards the non-oil sector, agriculture is one sector which is really gaining grounds with its past glory. It has been the center our country’s economy growth and still possesses the capacity to scale and generate enough wealth for the country. Smart entrepreneur in Nigeria are already keying into this switch and investing in the agro-related business. Here are some hot Agro businesses you can invest in Kogi State and make good returns for your investment.
Local Rice Production and Distribution
Rice farming is a very practical business in Nigeria. With over 180 million Nigerians who consume rice for at least twice of thrice a week. There are government grants put in place to encourage rice farmers.
Rice investors in Nigeria stand to gain ROI of up to 42%. According to report, the national paddy rice production has said to have increased by an additional seven million metric tons, while net incomes of farmers have risen by $2.5bn, little wonder companies like Dangote investing $1 billion for large scale production. Reports show that Nigeria is looking to be a net exporter of rice.
Although a small scale business man may not have the financial power to go into massive production of rice, but opportunity abounds in the wholesale and retail selling of locally produced rice in Nigeria, within and outside Nigeria. The Government is looking to flood out foreign competitors; Nigeria is looking to be a net exporter of rice.
Nigeria is the second largest producer of citrus, the largest producer of pineapple, cashew, mangoes and tomatoes in Africa, but imports orange juice from South Africa and tomato pastes from Latin America and China. This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to tap into and make good money. Knowing fully well that there is market available for this products.
With increasingly diverse use of cassava products in Nigeria, cassava farming is becoming more lucrative, 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. Cassava is used for producing flour in Nigeria and can be used as partial substitute, for imported wheat flour in bread andconfectioneriesstarch, sweeteners, chips and ethanol. Reports show that thirty bakeries produce cassava-wheat flour bread for local and international sales in supermarkets like Shoprite and Park Shop regularly sell cassava-wheat flour bread, so, investing in mechanized cassava farming in Kogi will yield good returns.
Cassava Processing Business
Garri which is also known as cassava flakes 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.
Yam is an important food crop especially in West Africa. Reports indicates that West Africa accounts for 90-95% of worlds yam production with Nigeria being the largest single producer, in 2004 Global yam production was 47 million metric tons(MT) with 96% of this coming from Africa. Nigeria alone accounts for about 70% of world production of yam, where Kogi State also contribute significant portion.
Apart from serving as food, it has industrial uses. It is used in production of all-purpose adhesives, Such as cartons for packaging companies and also shoe producers.
Some industries particularly in Europe use yam flavour in preparation of high quality biscuits, bread, cakes etc.
The average consumption rate of yam and its bye-products in Nigeria is estimated at 0.5-1.0 kg daily. The demand for the commodity is expected to be over 17million Nigerians living outside the country.
Natural Rubber Export from Nigeria
Natural rubber is the main focus of our national economy development, which provides raw materials to agro-based industries, for foreign exchange earnings and places Nigeria in the world map as a net exporter of rubber, and it provides employment to Nigerian farmers. According to the international rubber study group, the global demand for natural rubber may reach 12.4 million tons by 2015 and 14.2 million tons by 2020, while the production of natural rubber can reach only 13.6million tons/year in 2020. The gap in supply is an opportunity for investors to go into the production and/or exports of the commodity.
Export of Cattle Horns from Nigeria
Horns are gotten from slaughtered cattle with over 180million people in Nigeria, consuming it meat for protein. This implies that, there are high number of cattle’s slaughtered daily to meet demands and in turn business opportunity to amass enough cattle horns for export purposes. Cattle horns are used in the preparation of medicines, button, spoon and fork, jewelries, belt buckle etc.
Reports shows an estimated ROI between10%-20%
Cocoa Production and Exports
Reports shows cocoa production grew from 250,000 MT in 2011 to 370,000 MT by 2013, and cocoa exports earned over $900. The revolution of the cocoa industry has seen huge investments by large companies with $20 million invested to procure cocoa from over 20,000 certified cocoa farmers.
This presents a huge opportunity to small scale farmers and business people who desire to start agro business. Business people can source local farmers in the rural areas, display these products on a platform like cokodeal marketplace, where products like these can be sourced and then make huge sales.
Catfish is a unique type of fish, rich in polyunsaturated fatty acid 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 explained earlier, the best training you can get is by visiting a successful catfish farm and seeing things firsthand.
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.
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.
Agro-produce exportation is one of the most lucrative agriculture business ideas to invest in. Nigeria is a major exporter of some highly soughtagriculture produce like cocoa, cashew, sesame seeds, bitter kola, etc.
The commodities sell in Europe, Asia and America. While importers are lamenting because of the situation of FOREX, exporters are smiling their way to the bank.
There are a lot of publications on how to start agro-export business in Nigeria. So any intended investor in this area can access it for more information.
Yam Flour Production
Most people prefer to prepare their pounded yam meal from yam flour instead of pounding cooked yams thereby, making the era where African men required their wives to pound yam every night for dinner 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 before taking it to a grinding engine where it will be ground into flour, for packaging and sales.
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. This is referring to as detailed guide on how to start your own bean flour production company.
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 it into flour. You can sell a custard bucket of the flour for N800.
Foodstuff Distribution Business
You can buy Foodstuffs in bulk quantities from one part of the country and resell in other parts where such commodity is required. For example, you can buy palm oil from Kogi and resell in Abuja, or you can buy yam from Benue and resell in Sokoto.
It requires knowing available opportunities and exploring them to your advantage. A lot of people make their money this way.
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. The blog can monetize through adverts, selling of Information Products and Online Consulting.
Agro-Based E-commerce Site
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, which will connect farmers directly with buyers.
Agro-produce exporters need agents who procure agriculture commodities from farmers. These agents know where the farmers are and the process for exportation.
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. As a small medium and large 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 smooth 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
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 tractors and harvesting machines.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Online Agric Agency Business
You can serve as an online agent for farmers. This enables you to 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.
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 Kogi, Nsukka in Enugu State and sell in small quantities.
The list is to encourage entrepreneurs to invest on agro-based businesses for assured returns.