Top 40 agriculture business ideas for aspiring entrepreneurs
There are unlimited opportunities in the agricultural sector; this post will highlight 40 agriculture business ideas to give you a sense of what I mean.
With the downturn of our much relied-on oil and gas sector, Agriculture has taken a position of prominence in Nigeria’s economy making up about 20.49% of our total GDP in the last quarter of 2020 (National Bureau of Statistics).
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. There are endless opportunities in agriculture and more people are starting to realize that, especially young people.
This article is a highlight of agriculture business ideas in Nigeria and Africa at large.
That said, the best way to get started in agriculture is to find and learn from people who are already involved in it.
The first hand, hands-on knowledge far outweighs anything you will read from any book. The prices quoted in this article are relative; they vary with time and place but should give you a general idea of what to expect.
Top 40 agriculture business ideas for aspiring entrepreneurs
1. Fresh vegetables business
The fresh vegetables business is a small- scale business that you can start with little or no capital base. One benefit of this business is that it requires no cost of maintenance to run the business. Also, there is always demand for fresh leafy vegetables like; the Waterleaf, Scent Leaf, Ugu leaf and Green.
To run this business, you need a small space in your compound or nearby farm where you can cultivate the vegetables. For cultivation, you only need to plant the stem of the vegetable. It takes six weeks or less for the vegetables to mature for harvest. You cut the leaves and sell to consumers and marketers.
2. Cucumber Farming Business
Cucumbers are the 14th most planted vegetable in the world. They are juicy, nutritious and favored by many people for their many health benefits.
Cucumber farming is a very lucrative business as entrepreneurs who are already in the business will testify. The right time to start is now!
3. Catfish Farming
Catfish is a unique type of fish rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids 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 I explained earlier, the best training you can get is by visiting a successful catfish farm and seeing things firsthand.
4. 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.
5. Snail Farming
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.
6. Cassava Farming
With increasingly diverse use of cassava products in Nigeria, cassava farming is getting more lucrative with 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. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to start your own cassava farming and processing business in Nigeria.
7. Cassava Processing Business
Garri which is also known as cassava flakes (eba) 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. This is an article on how to successfully start cassava processing business in Nigeria.
8. Flower Business
Flower is used for decoration. You can start a flower business in a nursery, and then you sell to house owners and hotel owners. You may charge an extra cost to the buyer to help transplant the flower from the nursery to a permanent soil.
9. Rice Farming Business
Rice farming is a very practical business in Nigeria. With over 180 million Nigerians that consume rice at least once every week, you have a market hungry and willing to pay for your product. There are government grants put in place to encourage rice farmers.
10. Agro-Produce Exportation
Agro-produce exportation is one of the most lucrative agriculture business ideas one can invest in currently. Nigeria is major exporter of some highly sought agriculture produce like cocoa, cashew, sesame seeds, bitter kola, etc.
The commodities sell in Europe, Asia and America. While importers are crying because of the situation of FOREX, exporters are laughing their way to the bank.
11. Mushroom Business
The high demand for mushrooms both within and outside Nigeria has made the mushroom business a viable one. The good thing is that mushrooms take just few weeks to mature, so you can get returns from this business in a matter of weeks.
12. Yam Flour Production
Most people prefer to prepare their pounded yam meal from yam flour instead of pounding cooked yams. The era where African men required their wives to pound yam every night for dinner is 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. After that, you take it to a grinding engine where it will be ground into flour. The next step is to package and sale for N200 per small pack.
13. 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. Here is a detailed guide on how to start your own bean flour production company.
14. 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 into flour. You can sell a custard bucket of the flour for N800.
15. Quail Farming Business
Ever since Nigerians got to know the health benefits of eating quail eggs, the demand for quail meat and eggs has skyrocketed. You can start a quail farm business with as little as N20,000. You can earn passive income from selling the quail birds and supplying quail eggs to foodstuff sellers.
16. Pig Farming Business
If you have enough capital at your disposal, you can venture into a pig farming business. You can start with as little as 10 pigs and grow your farm into a big farm because pigs are known to multiply rapidly.
It takes about 4-6 months for a pig to become matured, and can be sold for as high as N30,000.
17. Corn Farming
There is always a high demand for corn all year round. You can start a large scale corn farm. It takes about 3 to 4 month for corn to mature for harvest. You can opt for supply corn to companies that use it as raw materials.
18. Fodder Growing Business
Most livestock farmers especially those that rear pigs, sheep, and goats have a need for the daily supply of fodders. Fodders are mostly grasses like clover, alfalfa, grass and wheat. You can grow these plants in commercial measure and sell to livestock farmers for a small fee.
19. Foodstuff Distribution Business
You can buy Foodstuffs in bulk quantities from the one part of the country and resell in other parts where such commodity is required. For example, you can buy palm oil from Nsukka and resell in Abuja or you can buy yam from Benue and resell in Sokoto.
It requires knowing what is available where and taking the goods to that place at the right time. A lot of people make their money this way. You can too.
20. Charcoal Supply Business
Most industries use charcoals in large quantities. You can buy charcoal in large quantities from villages and supply to bakeries and other industries that make use of it. A bag of charcoal can be purchased for N1,400 and resold for N2,000 or more. Not just for local supplies, you can also export the charcoal outside the country for a higher price.
21. Plantain and Potato Chips Business
You can purchase raw plantains and potatoes in large quantities, fry and package it, and supply in bulk quantities to stores and supermarkets.
The success of this business depends, to a large extent on your packaging. A lot of people are starting to realize how profitable this business is. It’s nowhere near saturation yet. And you can also start a plantain plantation which is very good business too.
22. 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. You can monetize your blog through adverts, selling of Information Products and Online Consulting.
23. Agro-Based E-commerce Site
Also, 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. It will connect farmers directly with buyers.
24. Agro-Export Agent
Agro-produce exporters need agents who procure agriculture commodities from farmers. These agents know where the farmers and the process for exportation. Read this comprehensive step-by-step article on agro export to know how this benefits you.
25. 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 producing on a small, medium and on a larger 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 feel 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
26. 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 tractor and harvesting machines.
27. Spice Cultivating Business
There is a high demand for spices like curry, thyme, scent leave, nutmeg. You can cultivate these spices, dry and package them for sell.
28. Soy Beans and Zobo Business
You can purchase soy beans and Zobo in bulk quantity from farmers and either sale directly in smaller quantities or process into soy milk or Zobo drink and supply to store owners and supermarkets.
29. Yam Business
Yam is another staple food that is in high demand in Nigeria. You can start a large scale yam farming business or you can purchase the yams at a cheaper price from places like Benue State and sell at a higher quantity to retail sellers.
30. Meat Processing Business
Nigeria is yet to have a company that focuses on process meats. Most of the meats sold in the country are kept in an unhygienic environment. You can build a meat process company where meats are processed and preserved in a hygienic environment safe for human consumption. You may not need to rear the animals processed from the scratch, you can buy these animals from livestock farmers in the country.
31. 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.
32. Local Food Restaurant
Most of the fast foods and restaurants serve only intercontinental dishes. You can start a restaurant that serves only free local dishes like yam and oil, breadfruit, nkwobi and isi-ewu.
33. Grass cutter Farming
Nigerians love Grass cutter meats (nchi). You can start a grass cutter farming business where you rear grass cutters for supply to restaurants, joints and hotels.
34. Banana and Plantain Plantation
There is a high demand for ripe banana and ripe and unripe plantain both within and outside Nigeria. You can convert any unused land at your disposal into a banana or plantain farm. Here is our article on starting a plantain plantation business in Nigeria.
35. Breadfruit Business
A cup of breadfruit is sold for N120 or more depending on the place, and there is an ever high demand for breadfruit despite its high cost. This shows you that the breadfruit business is a practical and profitable business.
You can source for breadfruits from villages in high quantity. The unpeeled ones can be bought for as low as N60 per cup. All you need do is to process it (remove the back) and sell for N120 per cup.
36. 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.
37. Sugar Cane Business
Most industries that produce edible products prefer to make use of sugarcane instead of the white granulated sugar. You can start a sugarcane farm (especially in Northern Nigeria), and supply the matured sugarcane to industries for profit.
38. 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.
39. Bamboo Stick Business
If you look around, you will notice that most of the football viewing centres and drinking joints are built with bamboos, thus there is a sizable demand for bamboo sticks.
The good thing about this business is that it takes just 2 months for a bamboo plant to mature, and a matured bamboo stick is sold for as much as N500. Thus, in less than 3 months; you can start reaping some returns on your investment.
40. 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.
There you have it; 40 agriculture business ideas. The list is not exhaustive, there’s more. If you need help starting any of these businesses, I’m happy to point you in the right direction. If I missed anything, let me know in the comment. cheers to your success!