Agriculture is big business, it has always been. Before the oil boom, Nigeria earned huge revenues from agrobusiness. Palm produce, Cocoa, rubber, timber, groundnut, and others earned the economy good income. The country grew enough food for its populace and was far less dependent on imported food, and also exported to other countries.
A lot of things have changed now in that regard. Over the years, people abandoned farming in pursuit of white collar jobs. Leaving the agriculture sector in the hands of a few, with the great potentials laying waste.
These potentials must not continue to lay waste. Anyone can profit from the huge potentials in Agrobusiness. With passion, skills required in the trade can be acquired. There are numerous business opportunities in the Agrobusiness.
With over 170 million Nigerian population, there is no slowing down for the food industry, as food has no substitute. This is outside the international market where Nigerian grown farm produce is sold.
There are very many business ventures in the food industry. Some may require professional training and skill to undertake, but most do not. Here are a few business ventures in Agrobusiness you can explore ;
The food industry is a basic industry as everyone depends on their produce, not for comfort or luxury, but for the satisfaction of hunger. An average person eats three times per day.
For the working class, at least one of these meals would be eaten outside the home. Some eat the entire three-square meals outside the home.
We have 5-Star restaurants, roadside “bukas“, fast food joints, food delivery companies, etc.
There is no substitution for food and there will never be. Even the weight control craze is yet to cause a drop in demand for food. This points to how vibrant the business of food is and would continue to be.
- Poultry Business
Poultry produce is in high demand all over the world. Chicken, turkey are alternative forms of animal meat asides beef, fish, etc.
Eggs are not only consumed in the household but are also used in industries for the production of snacks. This makes poultry business a good one, as its products can either be sold as meat, egg or their excreta as manure.
- Food Storage and Preservation
All organic produce begin to wither, decay after sometime. But they can remain edible for longer periods if they are processed and preserved.
Not all farm produce are cultivated or grown all year round. Some can only be cultivated and harvested annually. Preservation and storage bridges the gap in supply between the time of abundant harvest and the time of lack.
If food is not properly stored, they spoil before they are ready to be consumed. An entrepreneur can buy up farm produce in time of abundance and low prices, and sell when the prices go high. All that is required is a good storage facility and storage equipments.
There are few cold rooms in most towns and the frozen food industry remains vibrant. Grains get festered with pests or damaged by moist if not properly stored. All these present business opportunities.
- Food Processing
Most agricultural produce are not eaten in the form they were harvested.Some produce need to be processed in other to make it edible, or to change it to a more acceptable form. Processing food makes it more durable and better packaged for commercial sale.
Food processing requires special skill and training. There is a degree program in that specialty– Food Science and Technology. Processing also require funding, as sophisticated machines are needed.
What we know as flour is wheat grain processed into a powdered form. With processing, fish, meat, tomatoes, corn, etc are converted into canned food, Cocoa becomes chocolate, timber becomes paper, animal skin becomes leather, etc.
Processing is where the big money in agriculture lies. Companies buy off raw products from local farmers, process them and sell them as finished products to stores.
There are many agricultural produce that can be processed and commercialized. With rich aqua resources, Nigeria has enough seafood supply to never import sardines again. Tomatoes, corn, meat, oil, etc, are all abundant in Nigeria and can be processed as canned products by local companies.
Anybody who undertakes a long distance road trip in Nigeria would attest to sighting many trucks carrying one farm produce or another from one location to another. Most produce are consumed in lands far away from where they were cultivated and harvested.
Investment in food transport promises to be rewarding as there would always be demand for farm produce in all parts of the country.
Agricultural produce from Nigeria are in demand in other countries of the world. Nigeria is a world leading exporter of Shrimps and prawns, sesame seeds, yams, cashew, ginger, grain, etc. Asides export, these products are still in high demand in the local market.
- Production and Sale of pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals
Modern farming involves the use of chemicals to increase yield, control pest and protect crops and animals from disease. Even peasant farmers apply one type of chemical or another, on a larger scale, such applications are compulsory.
An entrepreneur can produce or import these chemicals and sale to farmers, as there is high demand for them.
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