How to start a rice farming business in Nigeria, with the current situation of the country’s economy, most Nigerians are now looking for an investment opportunity. And what better way to invest if not in a natural and daily consumption product such as rice, as of this day, a bag of rice is being sold for N19, 500 and it can only get worse because I don’t see the foreign exchange rate of dollar to Naira coming down any time soon nor the fuel price coming back to its normal price. All of which prompted me to dig deep just so I can give millions of Nigerians an eye opener of the potential in the rice farming business.
After making up your mind to go into rice farming business, the next step is to;
Choose healthy rice seeds
It is advisable to go for healthier seeds, because the healthier they are, the higher your chances when it comes to yielding, harvesting and sales. Rice seed varies from one another and only the best variety should be selected based on the cultivation environment. Seeds are not meant to be planted in an indiscriminate manner. You need to choose the seeds manually for a good rice production.
Selecting good quality seed will help to:
1. Increase yield by 10 – 20%
2. Increase germination by 80%
3. Improve resistance to disease and pest attacks
4. Produce steady plant size
5. Decrease weed complications
Produce rice seedlings in a nursery
A seedbed needs to be prepared and cultivated in a nursery, rice is very sensitive and needs to kept on a stable warm temperature so the soil in the nursery needs to be covered with a transparent polythene sheet, this technique also helps to prevent soil borne disease. Your yielding process can decline if transplanted rice is attacked by nematodes and soil borne pathogens.
Choose a land
Rice farming needs land space for its operation to run smoothly depending on the size and scale at which you want to produce, notwithstanding the area of land needed to cultivate rice is pretty much and its worth tends to vary on the basis of the drainage facilities, type of soil and location. Rice is generally the crop of a small farmer and on an average, 6 acres of land needed. You need a large space to set your project up and dry the paddy rice prior to harvesting.
- It is advisable to choose a site in a natural and organic zone where rice farming is customary.
- For rice to yield, you need a fertile land with good water retention capacity, if you aim to grow rice for a long period of time, then it is advisable to consult a soil-testing agency.
- Grow legumes after rice, and plough rice residues into the soil as organic matter and fertilizer.
Some farmers use swampy land to grow farm rice so as to save money and keep the capital required to set up to the barest minimum, when you have your farm on a swampy land, irrigation becomes one task to worry less about. The most common techniques adopted by farmers is that they get swampy land, get it cleared and use tractors to till the soil until it is ready for transplanting the rice seedlings. However, it has been found that rice production is most productive on irrigated soil. But they come at a high cost.
Manage the Soil Nutrients and Weeds
Weeds are not healthy in a farm land where rice is cultivated because it restrains them from space needed for proper growth. After transplanting, the weeds need to be cleared out on a consistent basis through the use of herbicide; herbicide destroys the weed before they emerge.
To enhance the growth of rice seedlings, fertilizer is often applied. You should carry out extensive soil test before any fertilizer is applied. Use organic fertilizer and spray only the amount needed, this will vary depending on soil, environment and the type of rice you are harvesting.
Each growth stage of the rice plant has a different nutrient need. Keeping this in mind, farmers must ensure that the rice plant gets the proper nutrients at the right time.
It takes 4 to 5 for the rice to be harvested. Matured rice has a green colour which is a significant change from its initial light brown.
The capital required for rice farming business tends to vary based on its nature, as established earlier, the capital needed is high and you definitely need a sufficient amount of land, machinery and workforce for rice farming .Rice retailing requires the lowest amount of capital investment. For a rice business, the initial expenses consist of supplies, equipment, delivery, operating fee, packaging and transportation.
Storage is also another necessary cost so as to keep the rice in healthy condition. Due to the land requirement, rice farming requires significant capital to launch and there are many sources of financing a business. But costs can be reduced if you own land, or if you can go in to partnership with someone who owns land.
Just like any other business, in rice farming the revenue derived depends on the capital that invested. The bigger the capital investment, the bigger the profit. If you start with huge capital, the rate of turnover will be greater. Starting with huge capital helps to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the process, hence giving you an edge and more chances to exploit opportunities.
Despite this, due to Nigeria’s agricultural transformation agenda there is a rapid growth and competitive edge that is emerging in smaller mills. This can be linked to the increase in the amount of rice paddies being produced. Nigerian entrepreneurs and rice farmers are no longer in doubt that rice farming is a profitable business.
HOW TO START A RICE FARMING BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
There you have it, questions on how to start a rice farming business in Nigeria. Most newbie farmers are not well acquainted with the harvesting process, so I’ll be spelling it out for you below.
POST-HARVESTING PROCESS OF RICE
- Sun Drying:
After harvesting, the nest step is to dry the paddy under the sun, reason why is because it helps quicken the hulling process, it also makes the grain come out neater after the hulling process.
This involves separating the edible parts from the hull; it is advisable to use a hulling machine because it makes it faster and safer than adopting a manual method and it also helps to reduce the loss of rice grain.
After the rice has been sun dried and hulled, the next step is to package it, reason why is because it gives your rice a brand in the market especially if it is packaged in a well-designed bag with a logo, farm name and contact information conspicuously inscribed on it.
What is the process of producing rice if no one knows about it? That is why marketing is needed because it creates awareness of the availability of your farm product.
That is all there us on how to start a rice farming business in Nigeria, be one today! Take the first step.