Understanding the meaning of a business and agriculture is a very important building block of Agibusiness management. Agriculture is the production of food, feed, fiber and other products by the systematic growing and harvesting of plants and rearing of animals to sustain life. Agriculture deals with farming and/or raising livestock. A business can be defined as an organization that provides goods and services to others who want or need them.
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What are the best agricultural business ideas for villages? What are the best agro-allied business opportunities for big towns and mega cities? What business can one start in the agriculture industry and succeed? This article will put these questions to rest.
Approximately 50% of Nigerians are urban dwellers. At least 24 cities have populations of more than 100,000 Those moving from rural to urban areas constitute certain classes, categories and strata of the society that are basically plagued with certain social and economic problems in which poverty ranks highest and most fundamental.
So without wasting your time, this article will highlight in details, some lucrative business ideas and opportunities you can engage in in towns or villages rather than remaining unemployed.
Business ideas in Agriculture for Young Entrepreneurs
1. Urban Agriculture or Crop Cultivation
Urban agriculture is the practice of cultivating, processing and distributing food in, or around, a village, town or city. Urban agriculture in addition can also involve animal husbandry, aquaculture, agro-forestry and horticulture. Urban agriculture contributes to food security and food safety in two ways: First it increases the amount of food available to people living in cities and secondly, it allows fresh vegetables and fruits and meat products to be made available to urban consumers. Urban and peri-urban agriculture are generally seen as sustainable agriculture.
2. Rabbit Rearing
There is no law prohibiting the keeping of rabbits in Towns and Cities. A backyard can serve as a good source of additional income, food and employment; thus reducing poverty, hunger and idleness. Rabbit do not compete with humans for food, as kitchen leftovers, cut grasses and formulated or compounded feed can sustain them. Rabbit keeping does not require much capital for investment and maintenance. As little space is needed, most rabbits could be kept in the backyard or in the abandoned sheds.
3. Start Selling Fresh Fruits
Without any doubt, this is a business that should be checked out. With a little professionalism and good public appearance or hygiene, you can make money in this business because a lot of people who live in most of our highbrow area, like to eat fresh fruits especially if it is neat. Some people even prefer it served chilled.
So if you have blenders and an extractor, then you are bound to make a lot of money. A lot of people are tired of all these artificial juices in the market and I bet, they will pay and still thank you for giving them the natural source of vitamins which is needed in this age of fast foods and artificial flavors.
4. Foodstuff Retailing or Grocery Service
In today’s busy and sophisticated world, convenience has become a real business opportunity. Foodstuff like rice, beans yams plantain, potatoes, onions, pepper, oil etc. These items can bought in bulk, cleaned and packaged in specific portions and sold direct to end users. Many people who are unable to find time to shop will be relieved to know that they can just make a phone call and the groceries are delivered. Get a list of people you know who may patronize you. If you can get them to pay up-front, then you are better up with cash flow.
5. Fish Farming
Over the years, quite a few people have made fortunes from fish farming, as the population is swelling and protein needs are far outstripping the available supply. Food is always a winner in any country or environment if done well. Fish farming is a sure bet business if you put the right structures in place. More and more people are turning to fish for its low cholesterol protein.
All you need to do is to get a space, buy or construct tanks, buy finger links for between N10 to N20 and feed them for 4 to 6 months, then sell from between N500 to N1,500 depending on weight and size. The breed of fish to train is your choice to make. You can choose to specialize on Catfish, Tilapia, etc.
6. Herbs, Flowers Framing and Gardening
Walking through a grocery store, a herb store, a health food store and even in gardening sections of home centers, you will find herbs in their dry forms to be used by consumers. Using the right equipment in your home garage or shed or by building a green house, you can start and raise both herbs and plants to resell to larger outlets and to the consumer as well.
Plants are the basis for all landscapes, homes, gardens and even for brightening offices. You will pay pennies for packets of seeds and make way more when selling starter plants. The more space you have, the better you are going to do. If you really have the space in your landscape and outdoor garden, creating gardens where you will grow plants and drying them out will add so much to your inventory and you can make great amounts of money selling dried flowers to retailers, wholesalers and even to flower shops themselves.
7. Livestock Feed Production
The production process is not so difficult. The ingredients required are mainly, maize, soya beans, fish bone, sorghum, groundnut, blood meal, wheat, rice shaft, additives etc. All these can be sourced from the market, any animal consult outlet, or any agricultural product shop around.
8. Setup a Small Poultry Farm
Technology has enabled many to operate profitable poultry, yet make it free of odor that a neighbor next door will not know you operate a poultry farm. This is a business you can start from one room, car park or from that abandoned property near you with 50 to 500 birds, which cost between N100,000 to N500,000 depending on the cash at hand.
9. Mushroom Farming
Mushrooms are natural phenomenon that can give you much money. The untapped potential of these fungi is so much that if you invest on the venture, your room can no longer be your bank. Mushrooms are rich in vitamins, protein and minerals; they are favored over meat or even fish by some people, considering the nutritional value and superior health implications. There are two main broad categories of mushrooms; the edible and the non-edible (which is poisonous).
The deliberate mushroom cultivation is therefore essential to eliminate the imminent threat of mistakenly gathering the dangerous type. The start-up requirement are mushroom shed or house, sawdust, Polythene bags, Spawns/mushrooms seeds, Urea/nitrogen fertilizer, Lime, water, ceiling machine, weighing scale, extra hands, Refrigerator.
10. Frozen Chicken Production
Many Nigerians have come to depend on imported frozen chicken for quite a while now and this is in detriment of local poultry industry and the subsequent health implication because of the long voyage from Europe or wherever, the imported product are usually preserved with chemicals, some of which are said to be injurious to health.
A lot of people prefer not to go through the stress of slaughtering and preparing live birds because frozen chicken can easily be stored and used at will, thereby saving time; and many people think it is cheap too. Start-up requirement are space, knives, tables, basins, heat source, stove heater, soap, hand towel, extra hands, freezer and generator .You need to go directly to the chicken farms to source for your live birds cheaply You can also position yourself to supply small hotels, restaurants and eateries.
11. Grass cutter Farming
Grass cutter is the second largest rodent in Nigeria and it is endemic to Africa. It breeds successfully in captivity and is capable of reproducing twice a year with litter size varying from two to six. They are primarily vegetarian and can be raised to maturity entirely on fresh grasses. They prefer plants with high moisture content and soluble carbohydrate. Field studies reveal that they do not burrow so they may be caged or reared in a fenced pen on the ground.
Grass cutter is worth considering for use in husbandry in the humid forest where poor grazing and harsh environment limits the performance of conventional livestock. Ranching of grass cutter as a backyard mini livestock would therefore improve the lot of the peasant farmers, provide an alternative source of animal protein, create job opportunities for urban dwellers.
12. Buy Charcoal from the rural areas and resell in the cities
Do you know that you can make 100% profit if you buy your charcoal from the farm or production site and sell to the retailers; a bag of charcoal (32 to 35kg bag) is being sold for N450 to N550 from the farm, while the retailers sell to the final consumer at N1000 to N1,5000 per bag. All you need to do is to buy the charcoal from the farmers and bring it down to the major cities like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt and resell to the retailers.
But it is advisable to find out if they have an association in your vicinity, joining the association will allow you to operate with peace of mind. Alternatively you can sell to exporters as a large market exists in EU, USA and ASIA with prices ranging from $170 to $300 per ton (FOB Nigerian Port), depending on mode of packaging. The charcoal industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and a money spinner for interested investors.
13. Snail Farming
Snail meat has been severally affirmed as a most safe and nutritious delicacy. In these days of increased coronary implications and other health implications, snail producers are certain to hit it big because many people are shunning away from beef or red meat. It is also pleasing to note that snail production venture could be kick-started with a little initial capital.
The best period to commence snail farming is the rainy season, you can start about 50 to 60 snails to have a good knowledge of how snail breeding works. Make sure you go for a fully matured and big nails as they are sold in bunches of 20 pieces and the prices ranges from N1,800 and N3,000 per bunch. It is better to buy the big ones so that you can expect them to hatch after about 35 days on location. About N10,000 should get a new entrant started in the business
14. Coconut Juice Production
From fresh chunks of meat to milk, creams, and powders, the flavor of coconut is a distinctive addition to hundreds of sweet and savory recipes. If properly packaged roasted and sliced to pieces with sugar, you can sell for between N20 to N100 depending on the quantity and the level of packaging.
You can make good money buy selling in wholesale to retail outlets and supermarket, but make sure your product is well branded, with your company’s name and contact. With a good marketing plan, you are sure to make a lot of money with this business.
15. Production of Weed Killer
Another major problem confronting every farmer in Africa, especially in Nigeria, is the problem of getting rid all the unwanted crops (weeds) from the farm, which successfully compete with crops and exhaust the soil nutrients. The cost of weeding takes between 50 –60% of the total cost of farming but the good new here is that, there is a formulation of chemicals which is crop and environment friendly.
Herbicides market is a virgin in Nigeria- meaning that if an investor produces 20-30 tonnes daily, he will still sell all. No single investor can meet the herbicide demand in Northern Nigeria alone, not to talk of other zones.
16. BeeKeeping and Honey Production
Honey is manufactured in one of the world’s most efficient factories, the Beehive. Bees may travel as far as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey. A litre of pure honey now goes for between N1000 to N2000.
You can sell your Honey to high net-worth individual, busy executives who prefer to take pure honey than sugar, I know some honey dealers who are ready to give out their honey at a ridiculously low prices, all you need to do is to package it for the local or international market.
17. Roasted and Toasted Plantain (Dodo and Boli)
Only few Nigerian have realized the money-spinning prowess of this delicious delicacy, and if properly packaged, with a good marketing strategy put in place, you are sure to make a lot of money. It is popular among the working class as a quick mid-day meal.
18. Plantain Chips Production
After removing skin, unripe fruit can be sliced (1 or 2 mm thick) and fried in boiling oil, to produce chips. Plantain Chips’ if they are made of green plantains that taste starchy like potato chips. Just make sure you put your label, the more you produce, the more money you make, because majority of Nigerian love plantain chips.
19. Custard Manufacturing
In Africa, almost every ethnic group makes a different variety of food out of corn. In Nigerian cities, people are used to what is called Ogi, Akamu (pap); this is cornstarch. When the Europeans came, they came with what they called Custard. But it was later found out that the only difference is the coloring and flavor that was added to the corn. It is very easy to produce custards. You can package it in sachets. It is very easy to market also, particularly in big towns and cities where people are used to modern life.
20. Local drinks or Dry Gin Production
A lot of villagers has come to the city and still love to take local drinks, if well packaged, and accessible, you can start making money by selling to some beer palour, while Ogogoro can be supplied to some companies that uses this product as one of their raw materials
21. Basket and Broom Production
Baskets are used for packaging agricultural product such as Okra, bitter kola, tomatoes, pepper, onions, oranges etc. Since baskets are produced in various sizes, they help the farmers to grade his brands of product for easy pricing.. Our concern here is how to convert palm front and leaves to finished product for economic and commercial gains.
22. Export Agricultural product from the rural area
Agricultural Export trading guarantees good returns on Capital on almost monthly basis. Exporting Wood charcoal, Palm kernel shell, Cow horns, Gallstones, Bitter Kola, Cashew, Ginger, Gum Arabic Chilli pepper, bitter kola, coconut, okro, yam, etc and earn good returns on investment. It might interest you to know that the gap between you and the millions of naira or dollar waiting for you in this business is nothing but the “basic understanding of an export business process.”
Understanding the fundamentals of an export business process especially as it concerns securing a genuine export order or contract with a well secured method of payment is the basic requirement in this business, and then you are on your way to making unimaginable loads of money.
You can also become an export broker which is one of the easiest and most rewarding ways any prospecting exporter can raise money to go into full time export business. Starting from a little or no capital, an export broker could earn large “finders fee” with absolutely unlimited income.
23. Source for agro raw materials for urban manufacturing companies
Despite the apparent growth in the number of indigenous players in the industry, there still remains the fact that no company has set up a basic active raw material manufacturing plant in Nigeria. Most of the raw materials being used by the industry in our urban centers are sourced from the rural areas, you too can be part of this opportunity by locating a manufacturing companies and start supplying them with raw materials based on their specification and quality. Approach the personnel in charge to provide you with appropriate information on how to be their supplier.
24. Help the Nigeria rural farmers who deal in foodstuffs to export it to the foreign Countries
Our foodstuffs are very cheap in the rural areas, you can bring this food stuff to the cites and tap into the local and the international market. Foodstuffs like Smoked fish, Garri, Beans Flour, Melon seed (Egusi Ground), Ogbono, Cassava Flour, Bitterleaf, Dried Ugu leaf, Pepper,Tomato paste, Hibiscus flower and Ukazi leaf. Others are, Hot Chilli Pepper, Ground nut , Kolanut, Potato, Ginger, Kilishi, Soybean Groundnut, Okra, Cassava, Yam, Bitter Kola, Ofada rice, Catfish, Shrimps, Pounded Yam Flour.
You can bring some of these food items to the markets in the urban centers, you can also sell to some food stuff exporters who are looking forwards to buy at ridiculously low prices.
25. Start connecting rural farmers with exporters using the internet
Can you browse the internet very well , can you chat online? If yes, then I want to congratulate you because you can connect the agro farmers in the rural areas with Nigeria exporters and earn a commission. A lot of exporters find it very difficult to get their desired agro product at the right quality and quantity, you can do this for them and name your price.
You can also join some online trade portals, secure a contract, sell the contract and charge an appropriate commission. A lot of Nigeria including my humble self earns commission by connecting the rural farmers to local exporters and I also help Nigeria secure good contract.
26. Help the rural farmers to load Agro- Exportable Product From The Hinterland and Villages to Towns
A lot of our readers have already tap into this opportunity by providing supportive services to Nigeria exporters. You can help source for agro product for Nigerian exporters and earn finders fee. You can travel to Jigawa, kano Kaduna, Plateau states, go to their commodity markets and meets any of the sellers of these commodities, tell them that you need a large quantity.
At least 30 tons which is a trailer load. Your commission is between N5,000 to N20,000 per ton depending on you negotiating power, since you are loading a Trailer which is 30 Tons, multiply your commission by 30, which can be N150,000 to N600,0000 finder fee.
It is very important to know the product profile because exporters will always ask you to submit samples and the product specification. They will come to the market to pick the product from the market and pay you the commission because you are adding value to the export value chain and a lot of exporters will be ready to work with you.
In conclusion, take the first step towards making money and living the life you want. Pick an idea now, execute your plan, and earn some money with any of these Nigerian urban and rural agribusiness opportunities.