Rice is the most consumed staple food in Nigeria. Nearly every family includes rice in their daily food quota. However, even with the high consumption rate of rice in Nigeria, which is estimated to be about 5.5 million tons, only 3.6 million tons of these 5.5 million tons are locally produced. This shows that there is a high demand for rice that has not still been met within the country.
Rice Business in Nigeria: How to Get Started
Reasons why you should engage in Rice business in Nigeria
- Rice is not a perishable food. As long as you do not let water get to it, it can take more than three years to get spoilt.
- Rice has a ready market in any locality in Nigeria.
- Rice is an essential commodity
Therefore, any rice related business you choose to invest in has high prospects of yielding huge returns. You can engage in rice business via the following:
This article teaches you how to get started on a rice business and benefit from the huge potentials for wealth embedded in this venture.
In order to start and run a smooth distributor business, below are the things you need to put in place:
Getting a Supplier
It is best you have a reliable supplier such as a rice farm. Buying from a rice farm is best for you as a wholesale distributor. You will be able to get the rice in very large quantity and at the cheapest possible price. This will help you make more profits after the cost involved in getting the rice from the supplier to the retailers.
Have a warehouse
In many cases, you do not get to sell all of the rice you are supplied with at once to the retailers. Circumstances that might cause this include: low demand at some time of the year etc. Therefore, you will need a warehouse to store the rice until it is time to take it to the retailers.
Buying in bulk from rice farmers is what earns profit in the wholesale distributing business. To buy in very large quantity from the rice farmers, you will need to have much capital. However, based on agreement, some are able to buy on credits and pay rice farmers at a later time.
For transportation, you will need to purchase trucks so as to move the rice from the rice farm to the warehouse and from there to your retailer, when the orders are placed. If you do not want to get trucks of your own, you can also make an agreement with a logistics company to take care of the transportation process.
Once the above steps are in place, you are on your way to starting a rice distribution business.
Choosing the right land for rice farming
In order to have a successful rice production business in Nigeria, the selection of the land you will use in planting the rice is of paramount importance. If you are looking at staying in the rice farming business for a long time, it is best you select a site in places where rice is grown traditionally. These includes: Kebbi, Borno, Kano and Kaduna states in the North; Enugu, Ebonyi state and Cross River states in the South; Taraba and Benue states for the middle belt zone.
Ensure you make a soil survey your land to avoid any risk. Choose lands that contain organic matter like loamy soil and that have high in water retention capacity.
Prepare the land for the rice production
You should prepare your land for rice farming between the months of November to February. There is less rain at this time and your land will be ready for farming at February when the raining season starts to approach. Preparing the land for rice production involves clearing and packing bushes, hoeing and weeding. Level the land to avoid erosion and apply fertilizer.
Choose the right variety of rice
There are different varieties of rice in Nigeria. Choosing the right variety of rice results in more productive rice harvest.
Plant your rice at the right time
In a forest area, plant rice from the middle of March to the middle of April after the rain has fallen three times. In the savannah area (extreme northeast), plant rice middle of May to middle of June
Use an appropriate method of planting
You can plant directly on the farm or plant first in the nursery then transplant it to the farm. If you choose to plant directly, ensure you watch out for weeds and spray herbicides to control it.
Apply fertilizer appropriately
Apply fertilizers appropriately, if you need help with this, visit an agro store for advice.
Control weed on your rice farm
Weeding is important in rice farming. The sooner it is done the better. The first weeding should be done within 2 to 3 weeks after appearance. When weeding, use a hoe instead of a cutlass. You can also control weed using chemicals. The second weeding should be done about 6 to 7 weeks after appearance.
Control the pest in your rice farm
Pests include Birds, rodents, termites, and worms.
To control birds, employ people to watch over the farm in the first two weeks after planting, and from heading to harvesting You can kill rodents with snap traps. Control termites by destroying all dead woods and plant deposits by burning.
Harvest your rice
Harvesting of rice could start after 4 months when the rice has turned from green to brown (straw colour). The process of doing this called threshing and you can do this using mechanical devices or wacking frames.
Do not thresh on a bare floor. Thresh on a mat or tarpaulin over the concrete floor by beating rice against the floor, or against a stick or drum.
After harvesting rice, you should put in residues of rice back into the soil and also grow leguminous plants like beans, peas, lentils, soya, etc so as to help maintain soil nutrients for another planting season.