Nigeria is a nation blessed with abundant agricultural resources coupled with a large expanse of land. Most parts of the country are embedded with rich soil, stable rainfall as well as the warm year-round temperatures.
Agriculture occupies a major position in the history of the nation; this is evident in the ‘green’ colour in the flag, and also plays a prominent role which serves as the major source of livelihood to majority of the population. The agricultural history of Nigeria is similar to its political history. This can be evaluated from the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial eras.
The pre-colonial and colonial farming period
Long before the colonization of Nigeria, our forefathers depend solely on farming as their major source of income with the use of crude implements. Despite these challenges, they were able to produce abundant food crops to sustain themselves and also produced cash crops for trading activities.
At the period of the colonial era in Nigeria, there was more focus on the development of agriculture. During this period, considerable emphasis was placed on extension and research services. Research centres such as the department of botanical research, unified department of agriculture, Nigeria veterinary department, Niger agricultural project and a host of others were created.
The post-colonial farming period
During the post-independence era, new policies were formulated to propel the growth of agriculture. At this time, Nigeria was fragmented into 4 regions which produce several crops. Eastern region was famous for the production of oil palm, for the western region, they specialize in the production of cocoa, while the northern region was able to produce groundnut in large quantities. Several programs initiated during this period include Operation feed the nation, Green Revolution program, River Basin and Rural Development Authorities, etc.
Nigeria farming facts in this present day
In 2011, Nigeria government established the Agricultural Transformation Agenda to change the perspective of people about agriculture.
The vision of the project is to achieve a hunger-free Nigeria through the transformation of the agricultural sector that accelerates the achievement of nutritional and food security to drive income growth and generates employment.
In order to actualize this vision, the value chain method has been applied. Fertilizer distribution and procurement, financial value chains, marketing institutions, and agricultural investment framework will be revived using this approach.
List of lucrative farming in Nigeria
Farming requires skills and knowledge to excel. You may not necessarily need to be a graduate to do well. You just need to read and write and adhere to instructions. Below is a list of profitable farming you can start off with:
Plantain is a staple food that is commonly cultivated in tropical regions. Plantain is similar to potatoes in the sense that it comes with similar texture and natural flavour when the unripe fruit is cooked by boiling, steaming or frying and it can also be processed into flour and plantain chips.
Plantain produces fruits all year round, which implies that the crop is a reliable stable food, especially in developing nations like Nigeria with inefficient transportation, inadequate preservation technology, and food storage. In Africa, this crop provides at least 25 per cent of the carbohydrate needed for over 700 million people.
The fact is that plantain farming is a profitable agri-business venture. You can purchase plantain sucker at the rate of #150 per sucker. An exciting fact is that you only have to do the planting once and expect harvest for the rest of the season.
Pineapple is one of the most valuable fruit among Nigerians and is also considered as a lucrative farming business because it is sold for both commercial consumption (i.e. production of juice) and domestic consumption. Anybody who intends to start this business must select a good farm with fertile sandy loamy soil, but can also be cultivated on other soil types provided that it contains organic matter and is free of waterlogging contents.
One pineapple costs #200 in the local market and can even go for #300+ in the fruit shops. Let us assume you harvested 100,000 pineapples and decided to set the wholesale price at #50 per head. You will make a whopping #5 million. Let us say you spent #1.5 million as the cost of transportation, production, and labour. You will be left with #3.5 million as net profit. The interesting thing is that once the crop starts producing, they can fruit for the next ten years if properly managed and maintained.
According to genuine research, it has been established that rice is the second most popular crop in the world. There is a massive demand for rice in Nigeria, so, it is a lucrative business that promises huge returns. Every year, Nigerians consume around six millions tons of rice and the exciting fact is that around 70% of this rice quantity is manufactured locally.
In fact, local production is unable to make up for the high demand for rice which creates a way for the importation of the product. This simply means that there are endless business opportunities for rice production in Nigeria. Since local production cannot satisfy the entire population, it implies that if you even decide to concentrate solely on the local market, you will still end up winning. The price of a 50kg bag of rice ranges from #10000 – #12000. Note that this price is unstable due to the volatility of the market.
Poultry farming is regarded as the act of raising domesticated birds such as ducks, chickens, turkey, etc. for the purpose of getting eggs or meat for food. This involves brooding, vaccination, and building poultry pens, raising the chicks from tender age and selling of meat and eggs to the consumers.
There are lots of advantages of poultry farming; first, poultry birds provide us with meat and eggs that is a major source of nutritious food. Since there is a high demand for eggs and meat, you should expect that this business will never run dry. It is a business that guarantees returns as long as you follow the right procedures. In this business, you can get your profit in two ways; that is, meat and eggs production. A crate of the egg goes for #700 while broiler breed of chicken costs #3500
Catfish belongs to the group of ray-finned fish. The act of raising them for a commercial purpose is referred to as Catfish farming. This involves stocking the juveniles or fingernails, building concrete, earthen or tarpaulin ponds, and raising the fish till market size. In the most hospitality industry, catfish is prepared as pepper soup which inked that this business will be profitable in the long run.
The cost for 1kg of catfish goes for #800 and it is quite possible to make a gross margin profit of 22.58%.
The act of breeding and raising goats is referred to as Goat rearing. Goats are raised to produce milk, fiber, meat, and skin. The interesting fact about goat rearing is that it doesn’t require much stress. Anyone can venture into this business and will eventually make a profit. Asides from cow meat, goat meat is loved by many people in Nigeria. The reason is due to the unique aroma or taste.
A goat costs around #50000 or even more, and you can make a profit of 40% by venturing into goat rearing business.
Snail farming is popular due to its delicious taste. Snail contains lots of amino acids required by the body system and most of its by-products are used for medicines and cosmetics. Snails have been always been a popular item on the menus of restaurant, hotels, and bars where they feature as fried, boiled and spiced kebabs.
Snails are scarce during the dry season, so, that implies that you should target this period for your sale. It guarantees over 100% profit return.
Maize also referred to as corn in some countries is one of the most popular and consumed food crops across Africa. It is widely consumed in various forms and a lot of people depend on this crop every year because it is cheaper compared to wheat and rice, two of the other most popular cereals.
Maize can be consumed in diverse forms such as maize flour, feed mill, corn beef, etc. It can also be roasted or boiled and served as snacks. Maize is an incredibly amazing crop, you will get at least 500 kernels at harvest by planting just one seed. This is an incredible profit return. However, the price of maize varies from one place to another and is seasonal.
Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world which depicts the importance of the commodity to the economy of Nigeria. The crop is produced in the majority of the states in the country. It has well-established processing and multiplication techniques for cattle feed and food products. There are at least 40 cassava varieties in use. Cassava is processed in numerous fabricating enterprises and processing facilities set-up in the country.
Cassava can be processed into various products such as chips, flour, starch, bread, ethanol, and glucose syrup, etc. These products are widely consumed locally and can also be exported to other countries. This guarantees a huge profit return by investing in this product.
Beans belong to the legumes family and there are numerous varieties of beans but the particular type used in Nigeria are the brown beans and the kidney-shaped black eyed beans. There is a high demand for beans in the Nigeria market due to the fact that they can be cooked to prepare a variety of recipes. Sometimes, it requires the removal of beans coat to prepare various recipes such as Moi-Moi, akara, beans porridge, fried beans, etc.
Beans farming are untapped business opportunities that guarantee huge profit return because it is just a few people that are engaged in the business. The price of a bag of beans (100kg) today is around #35000.
States known for farming in Nigeria
Nigeria is a blessed nation because virtually all states produce crops. Let us look at the crops produced by different states as highlighted below.
|1||Oil Palm||Ogun, Anambra, Cross River, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Abia, Oyo, Imo, Rivers, Edo and Enugu.|
|2||Rice||Kano, Kebbi, Anambra, Ebonyi, Taraba, and Niger|
|3||Cotton||Kano, Ondo, Kwara, Oyo, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, and Jigawa|
|4||Garlic||Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto, Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Katsina, and Zamfara|
|5||Ginger||Kaduna, Bauchi, Benue, Nassarawa, and Gombe|
|6||Groundnut||Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna, Niger, Kano, Jigawa, Adamawa, Yobe, Borno, Taraba, Plateau, Nasarawa, Bauchi, and Gombe|
|7||Yam||Benue, Taraba, Nassarawa and Niger|
|8||Cassava||Enugu, Ogun, Benue, Delta, Edo, Kogi, Taraba, Cross River, Imo, Ondo and Anambra.|
|9||Maize||Kaduna, Niger, Taraba, Adamawa, and Plateau|
|10||Pepper||Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, and Bauchi|
|11||Timber||Ogun, Edo, Delta, Ekiti, Ondo, Cross River, Osun and Oyo|
|12||Tomato||Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Gombe, and Taraba|
|13||Wheat||Kebbi, Sokoto, Adamawa, Katsina, Zamfara, Kano, Jigawa, Yobe, and Borno.
|14||Cocoa||Osun, Oyo, Edo, Ekiti, Cross River, and Ondo|
|15||Plantain||Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Bayelsa, Abia, Ebonyi, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti, Edo, Delta and Cross River|
How to become a farmer in Nigeria
If you intend to venture into farming business in Nigeria, it is advisable to follow the steps highlighted below for a successful business.
Identify a farming problem
The first step is to identify a farming problem that you can solve in your society. You must source for a market that will purchase your crops or livestock before venturing into the business.
Close the knowledge gap
Once you have identified a particular problem that you want to solve with your farming business, the next step to take is to seek knowledge on how to effectively solve this farming-related problem. You can do this via two avenues; by seeking agricultural education or by consulting with experts. Regardless of the type of farming business you want to engage in, you also have to know the following basic things which are; the right input, proper management, site selection, and security.
The primary factor which limits lots of farming businesses is lack of capital. The fact is that there are various means of raising capital and they include; personal finances, loans, and equity funding.
The final step is to launch your farming business. Start small, nurture the business and ensure that you follow the right procedures.
Benefits of farming in Nigeria
- Food security
- Source of saving
- Source of economic development
- Great employment opportunities
- Foreign Exchange resources
- Source of raw material
- Source of livelihood
- Contribution to National Revenue
- Supply of Food as well as fodder
- Marketable surplus
- Significance to transport
- Significance to International Trade
Factors affecting farming in Nigeria
In Nigeria, several factors influence farming in Nigeria. Some of the factors are highlighted below;
Climatic condition: This includes temperature, growing season, altitude, rainfall, and wind. The fact is that these factors cannot be controlled as it is a natural phenomenon.
Soil: Soil type also influences crop cultivation because different crops usually thrive on different soils. For instance, clay soils have good water retention and are well suited for rice cultivation whereas Sandy soils are good for root vegetables.
Slope: The angle of the slope will affect the depth, type and moisture content of the soil. It also affects the rate of soil erosion.
The human factor: This includes technology, Government policies, Capital, Transport, Market, and Land Tenure
Nigeria sustainable farming (agriculture) practices
Agriculture in Nigeria needs to be transformed to promote the economy of Nigeria. Due to the vast agricultural resources prevalent in Nigeria, it needs to operate an economy that is diversified and not solely dependent on petroleum.
In view of this, various methods and techniques have to be incorporated into the farming system to make it more sustainable or profitable.
- The use of advanced implements and tools: It is time to use modern farming tools and implements. Using crude tools make the farming process tedious, slower and less productive. Tractors, combined harvesters, and the likes are typical machines that can boost productivity and overall performance.
- Modern irrigation techniques: Advanced irrigation control techniques have made it possible to improve the productivity of farming operations. Several irrigation appliances such as dams, sprinklers, and pumps are now used. The River Basin and Rural Technology Development Authority should be motivated and financed by the Nigerian government to reignite agricultural production in Nigeria.
- Maintaining Good Animal Health: Another farming method is the maintenance of the health of the animals by supplying quality drugs for them. In view of this, veterinary medicine and quality drugs for animals should be taken as a priority by the Nigerian government.
- Soil improvement: For some crops to thrive, it requires specific soil conditions to boost productivity. For instance, soil that is suitable for rice may not offer the same condition for groundnut. It is important to introduce and implement more measures to improve the soil.
- Crop and animal Improvement: There are certain breeds of animals and plants that are improved. For instance, a new breed of cows has been created by cross-breeding the Friesian breed with the White Fulani Cow. The product from these two species gives rise to highly resistant to adverse weather conditions.
- Crop protection: Certain herbicides and pesticides protect the crops from pests and weeds that reduce yield. Better herbicides and pesticides should be introduced to the marketplace. Examples of pesticides that can be used are; Gamelin 20, Simazine, and Roundup.
- Better processing, storage, and transportation methods: Due to the advancement of technology, farm products can be easily transported from one part of the country to another. Examples are the transportation of meat and fish using refrigerated trucks. Chemicals can also be used as a means of preserving agricultural products.
- Use of agro-standards: In order to improve the economy of the country, it is important to always advocate the use of standards. Nigerian government should encourage the standard processing and storage of agricultural goods so as to promote the exportation of these goods to other countries.
- Standardized price control: Another innovation is the standardized price control. This is simply to stabilize the price of agricultural products. Everyone tends to benefits from this policy. Both the farmer and the consumer will be on the same page. Ultimately, this will boost agriculture in Nigeria.
- The quality of products: By boosting the quality of products, it influences several factors. To curb this effect, government agencies have started to implement several programs and policies to sensitize the general public on the need to purchase quality products.
- Land availability for agriculture: Land availability should be taken as a priority in Nigeria. Farmers have to be given an undue advantage when in need of land. By doing this, it boosts productivity, generates employment and ultimately, revives the economy.
- Packaging and preservation standards: The use of advanced preservation and packaging standards will promote the market both in Nigeria and abroad. This improves yield as a result of the participation of farmers in the exchange of information on advanced methods of practising agriculture.
- Use of agro-based loans and other incentives by the government to motivate farmers: The provision of loans to farmers has helped to cater for the inadequate capital which limits the development of agriculture. This helps the farmers to meet their financial needs in terms of hiring machines, purchasing seeds and other miscellaneous items.
- More government programs to boost agriculture: More programs should be introduced and implemented to boost agricultural production in the country. Other projects like Operation Feed the Nation, Agricultural development project should be revived and make functional. This will have a huge impact on the growth of this sector.
- Local awareness creation: The creation of local awareness is another method of farming practice in Nigeria. This is usually carried out by the government using several communication patterns. The public should be aware of these programs to enable them to make good use of the knowledge.