Agriculture [n.]: The art or science of cultivating the ground, including the harvesting of crops, and the rearing and management of live stock; tillage; husbandry; farming.
Agriculture also involves the management and utilization of forest and forest products. Agriculture in Nigeria serves as the power of the economy before the advent/discovery of crude oil.
Nigeria was the second largest producer of cocoa in the world in the early 50’s and 60’s. Furthermore, Nigeria was the largest exporter of Oil palm until Malaysia took over. Groundnut pyramids were built in northern Nigeria in the city of Kano where groundnut production was key part of the economy..
These Pyramids were built as both a tourist Attraction and also a symbol of wealth. Agriculture was once Nigeria’s oil.
Major crops include: Beans, Sesame, Cashew, Nuts, Cassava, Cocoa beans, groundnuts, kola nuts, Maize corn, Melon, Millet, Palm kernel, Palm oil, Plantains, Rice, Sorghum, Soybeans, Yam etc. Also Live stock Production, Fish Farming, Forest Management and Utilization. The Agricultural sector is divided into small, medium and large scale enterprise levels. Unlike the oil sector, The Agricultural sector accommodate little capital investment for a start. Agriculture is the largest employer of labour anywhere in the world.
Opportunities in Agribusiness part 1 Over the last 2 decades, Nigeria government had initiated a plethora of policies and programs to foster the restoration of the Agricultural sector to its pride of place in the economy. Though these policies have not yielded appreciable results; However the recent gigantic recession that befell this nation has been calling for *diversification*
And the most noised option for this diversification is *Agribusiness*
This placed great opportunities for those involved in Agribusinesses and those intending to invest. Clouds of opportunities are very much available as we look into few of them.
1. *Opportunities in RICE CULTIVATION*
Nigeria has been a major consumer and importer of rice in Africa. Nigeria spends about *#350 billion* yearly importing rice. About #1billion per day is spent to finance this importation. We import rice from Thailand and India, when we can grow rice here. And also since the government is looking inwards now,This is great opportunity for us. If you go to Sokoto or Kebbi, Kastina, rice investment is on the increase. Ofada rice in Ogun State down to Abakalikia, we have up-land rice, low-land rice that can be grown here yet we are still importing rice. As the government policy is tending towards encouraging local production, we can invest in Rice production. Have you heard or Rice Pyramids in Kebbi*? Lagos State is partnering with Kebbi State in investment to increase rice production.
We can also invest in this opportunity and take our share in the #1billion spent on importing rice daily. I ate local rice this morning and wow it tasted nice. And the cost is lesser than imported rice. The nutritional values is also higher.
We sure can invest in rice production.
2. *POTENTIAL in MORINGA Oleifera*
Moringa is one of the world most useful tree. Moringa Oleifera is a highly valued plant distributed in many countries of the tropics and subtropics. Moringa oleifera is a commercial tree which is presently on high demand, because of its wide range of health benefits. Extract from it has been processed in great products for Medicinal, Foods and Culinary Purposes
Some call Moringa *tree for life*. For it can be used to cure 100s of diseases. Demand for moringa is so high, As lots of processing companies are into its processing. You can plant moringa oleifera seed and harvest in a year. Every part of it is so useful and market for it is so large, especially the seeds. I know a business man who plant moringa oleifera in 10 hectares of lands. I plant and sell moringa too. Someone called some weeks ago and asked if I could supply him 50 tonnes(50000kg), But my farm can’t meet that; The demand for moringa is very high. 1kg of seeds is less than #1000. You have more than 1000seeds in 1kg. 1 seed within a year can grow into a plant tree that can produce about 2 to3 kg of seeds. 1000seeds within 1 year can grow into plants that can earn you 2000 to 3000kg of seeds. That can earn you about 1million in profit and cultivation cost is very minimal. Also it produces more each year and the profit is unbelievable.
3. BELL APPLES (is the Newest Opportunity in Nigeria) *
They say that an apple a day keeps one free from chronic illness and diseases and our mind usually go straight to the *Foreign Apple* which is almost everywhere in Nigeria. Tropically grown Bell Apples is equally as potent even more valuable. Bell Apple which most people don’t regard as anything before has been discovered to be highly nutritious and could compete favorably with the foreign apples that we all know.
This is where wise entrepreneurs are seeing great opportunities. Nigeria soil is so favourable especially the Southern Nigeria. It can grow on most soil except in sandy soil. People are already making fortune with Bell Apple farming in Nigeria because of the rising demand from Fruit Juice Processing Company.
Bell Apple farming is a Money Spinner. #100 per 1seed and a seed can produce a minimum of 2 plants. You can start with 100 seedlings and It takes 3weeks to germinate and up to 10weeks for it to be ready for sales at the rate of #750 per seedlings. It takes about 3years to start fruiting. This bell apple is highly nutritious, medicinal, very attractive and It is very juicy and has high water content. Do u know that we can get a small juice extractor and start processing bell juice?
The demand is so high. A Lady processing fruits demanded from a Bell Apple consultant 10,000 Bell Apples per weeks. Wonder what she wants to do with it, No one can meet that demand for now. The Market is very bright but there are only few trees in Nigeria.
4 *OPPORTUNITIES in CAT FISH*
I have a top politician friend who has a link with the National Assembly. Recently I saw oven dried cat fish on his display pictures and I was tempted to ask him about it, he said “My brother there is great potential in this business”🤓. I have a friend that I advised to invest in Cat fish business. He didn’t know anything about it. So I took him to my uncle that is into that and in few months he has started his only brand of cat fish, recently he called me that he got some links to export his products he is now living big. He now has a large pound and also some oven drying device. Funny enough he started with an investment of #100, 000.
As this group is a value adding group I will talk on one more product so that we can add value to safe lives and make fortunes. The best way to over ride competitors is to be more valuable.
5 *GARRI PRODUCTION *
I see great opportunity in gari production. One of the greatest attributes of an entrepreneur is ability to sight a problem and proffer a branded solution. Cassava ( Manihot esculenta) has lots of potentials. It can be utilized in:
1. Production of flour
2.Production of Noddles
3. Production of bread
4. Production of animal feeds and chicken feeds
5. Production of Gari. And lots more.
I would like to pick Gari production because I see some opportunities. Gari is largely consumed in West Africa and other parts of the World. That makes it very enterprising.
1.Most of us go to the market to buy gari and its exposed in dirty markets with lots of contamination due to it’s exposure.
2. Most of us buy this gari, come home utilize it as food either by drinking directly or making it into Eba. We tend to discover many impurities.
3. Most of the gari we eat has high cyanide content and deficiency in Vitamin A.
4. Also most gari in Nigeria are not dry enough and does not meet up with standard.
All of this boils down to its production
Lately, have been thinking of enhancing the product value and improve the quality. Have researched into all these issues and have written a proposal on Gari production, which eliminate all these problems and soon we are going to launch a new brand of Gari into the market. Though we still have some constraints. But we aew getting over it. We need partnership to achieve this goal.
Lastly before I wrap up this lecture, In the definition of Agriculture I mentioned the management and utilization of forest products. I viewed a documentary recently where a former President of Nigeria was lamenting seriously, that we still import toothpick into Nigeria. What a shame. But that’s very thoughtful. How much would it cost to start its production? Have not seen any toothpick industry in Ibadan where I reside.
That’s a food for thought; You can start with what you have. That piece of land that is available/accessible can be utilized; You don’t need to have large capital to start. You can start small and expand. Opportunities are short lived, Make a move and grab it. Be the next rated Entrepreneur.
FACILITATOR: The Poet (Valuex Member)
COMPILED BY: Information Management Team, Explanetworks