Techniques for a High Profit and Successful Rice Farming Business; The position attained by rice in the market is as a result of its great demand. Agriculture is rated the third-best valuable business sector in the world. Technology and Oil & Gas sectors cannot take care of the population in terms of feeding, while crops can do that. Therefore, the production of rice, which is one of the highest known products in the world – is promised to be successful and high-profit yielding.
After the Oil and Gas sector – Agriculture is recognized as the second highest profitable segment of the business world. Rice is basically one of the top recognized products in Nigeria and beyond! Its recognition of being part of the diet for almost every Nigeria cannot be separated. Citizens of Nigeria consume about six million tons of rice annually. About 70% of the quantity of rice consumed is produced locally.
Local farming of rice in scale lacks the capacity to satisfy its high demand, thus, the Nigerian Government is triggered to import about 1.8 million tons of rice annually and spends about 365 billion Naira on the importation. It simply signifies that the business opportunities for the rice farming in Nigeria have no limit. Local production of rice cannot take care of even local demands of the market. Thus, even if you pay your attention to the local market alone, you will still remain in a win-win situation which is the ultimate.
Benefits of Rice Farming Business
- There is great demand for rice. In Nigeria, all household consumes rice on regular basis thereby leading to the demand for product growing up high!
- Rice yields at early times. A lot of crops require a period of six months to one year to get to the harvest stage. At the same time, rice takes a period of only four-five months to mature and be ready for harvesting.
- Rice brings about high yield. The expectation from an acre of land is at least 100 bags of rice.
- Being an expert in the rice farming business is not required for one to be able to start the business.
- Rice farming business provides market stability and high return on investments.
Challenges of Rice Farming Business
- Acquiring the right species of rice. If you are a newbie in the business of rice farming, then you ought to put your attention on the right species of rice to acquire, otherwise, you may lose your rice business venture.
- Rice farming business can encompass potential diseases for your rice. Consult people who are experts to find out the basis for the diseases and bring solutions to it.
- Birds are known as the greatest threat to every crop business in Nigeria.
- Rice Importation. Foreign rice is usually cheaper than local rice, thus you may be required to work harder so people would purchase your rice.
Techniques for a High Profit and Successful Rice Farming Business
Steps Required To Commence Rice Farming
1. Business Plan
Like I always advise you, the first requirement to succeed in any business venture is a bankable and realistic business plan.
This should be done after conducting thorough market research and rigorous feasibility study to ascertain the viability of the business.
This would enable you to identify the market size, capital requirement, your competitors, threats to your survival in the market, and so on.
A good business plan will also serve as a guide to keeping to the vision of the business and striving to achieve the stated goals. Any professional business plan should include:
- Capital investments – how much money you need and where you get this money!
- Client base – where you can find clients for your business!
- Site and location of your farm.
- Type of rice you want to cultivate.
- Equipment for rice farming.
- Goals for the first years
2. Capital in rice farming
Rice farming is a capital-intensive business. Try to think about partners in your business. Even if you don`t want to share your profit with others – think about sharing the challenges of the market. In the Agricultural business, you can`t expect high profits without major investments.
You can also look for an angel investor who also works in the business. If you manage to create a successful business plan, where you have included all variables of the market, then you may ask for a loan in a bank.
3. Choose a right Land
The land itself is the most essential capital asset for nay rice farming business in Nigeria, 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 the average holding size is around 6 acres. You need a large space to set your project up and dry the paddy rice prior to harvesting.
- Select a site in ecological zones where rice is grown traditionally
2. Choose fertile land with good water retention capacity (contain some clay and/or organic matter i.e. loamy soil).
3. If you have to grow rice for one or more consecutive years on the same land, get the advice of a reputable soil-testing agency.
4. Grow legumes after rice, and plough rice residues into the soil as organic matter and fertilizer.
In rice farming, you have the option of planting rice in lowlands and uplands, and also in irrigated or swampy conditions. You can significantly reduce capital and the hassles of irrigation by choosing swampy land for rice farming. The most common technique is to get swampy land and have it fully cleared. Use tractors to till the soil in a proper manner until the soil is prepared for actually transplanting your rice seedling.
However, it has been found that rice production is most productive on irrigated soil of lowland swamps. But this type of environment comes at a higher cost.
4. Land Preparation
Rice cultivation in Nigeria demands land preparation. The climate conditions give you a possibility to prepare your land for rice production from November to February. It`s dry season in Nigeria, so you should prepare your land before raining season comes.
Remove bushes and other weeds that can`t help your rice to grow. You can also apply fertilizer for better rice production. Fertilizers should be only organic and applied in right quantities. You may also consult an agriculture specialist for the matter of fertilizers.
5. Choose the right rice for your state
Nigeria is one of the biggest rice exporter countries in the world. Still, in the same time, it`s a country with the highest demand of rice in Africa. Every State in the country has chosen an optimal variety of rice according to the soil and weather conditions. Take a close look at top 8 states with rice farming preferences and their choice of rice!
- Ekiti State – Igbemo Rice
- Nasarawa State – Olam Rice
- Ebonyi State – Ebonyi Rice
- Niger State – Mama Happy Rice
- Kano State – UMZA Rice
- Ogun State – Ofada Rice
- Anambra State – Anambra Rice
- Kebbi State – Labana Rice
6. Good Rice Seed
The healthier rice seeds you get, the better yield you achieve from its further selling. You should choose an improved variety of rice according to your cultivation environment. If you are about to start your rice farming business in Nigeria, then you need your money not spent in vain. The first harvest can show your future potential in the business. Try to buy seeds from a company licensed by The National Agricultural Seeds Council.
If you choose high-quality seeds you might get other bonuses, like:
- Decrease weed problems.
- Improve yield by 10-20%.
- Increase rice resistance to pest attacks and diseases.
- Improve germination by more than 50%.
- Produce consistent rice seeds size.
7. Methods Required in Planting Rice
7.1. Preparation of the Nursery Bed: This the first step in rice farming. Before the stage, you must have selected the right variety of rice to be planted. These seeds are planted in the nursery bed. And they germinate and are ready to be transplanted between 3 to 4 weeks.
7.2. Transplanting: This is the second step in the planting process. Before this stage, the land must have been tilled. So, all that is required at this stage is to transfer the seedlings from the nursery bed to the tilled soil. At a space of one foot between each plant. This is to give them enough space to grow well.
7.3. Application of Fertilizer: After 3 weeks of transplanting, it is necessary that you apply organic fertilizer to improve the soil nutrient.
7.4. Manage Challenges: The first challenge to manage after transplanting is weed control. The first weed control is usually done in the second month after transplanting. And could be done again in the third month. This is done using herbicide.
Another challenge to manage is pest attack. Especially birds. This is done by erecting scarecrows all over the farm to scare the birds away. You may also employ one or two young men to do this job.
8. Weed and Pest Control
Weed control is essential for rice cultivation in Nigeria. You should apply the first weeding within 2-3 weeks after appearance, use a cutlass for that. The second weeding is needed to be done within 6-7 weeks after the appearance.
The most problems for rice cultivating come from armyworms, termites, rodents and birds.
- Birds can be easily removed manually if you hire people to scare them 6 am to 7 pm. You can also try to place a scarecrow in the field.
- For rodent control, you can place snap traps in the field.
- Termites can be killed by spraying Nogos 50 combining with water at the rate of 30 ml per one gallon.
- Armyworms can be killed with Carbaryl or Gammalin 20 mixed with water at the rate of 1.7 kg in 230 liters per one hectare.
9. Hulling Mill and other machinery
If you are starting your rice farming business on a large scale, then you will surely need to set up a hulling mill. This will save you the cost, time and stress of hulling your Paddy in another hulling mill.
However, if you are starting out small, you can start without setting up this facility. But ensure that your farm is located near to a hulling mill so as to give you easy access to their service whenever you need it.
Other machinery like tractors, sprayers, and so on are also necessary, especially in large-scale rice farming.
10. Storage Facility
A rice farm is supposed to have a store department inside or outside the farm. This is where your rice is kept during the sun drying process. Or before hulling. The store is also necessary to store your commodity in times of glut and low price. And bring them out when the market is favourable. This way you won’t be in a hurry to dispose your product at unfavourable periods.
11. Harvesting Methods in Rice Farming
Rice mature within 4 months. At maturity, the plant changes colour. From green to light brown. And when matured, it is better harvested immediately. So as to avoid pests from feeding on your rice field. Especially birds.
POST-HARVESTING PROCESSES IN RICE FARMING
Harvesting the rice alone does not make it eatable or marketable. So, in order to prepare the rice for sales, the following process is important:
11.1. Sun Drying: After harvesting, the next thing to do is to spread the paddy under the sun for about 5 days so as to dry. Drying the paddy helps quicken the hulling process, and also makes the grain come out neater after hulling.
11.2. Hulling: This process involves separating the edible part from the hull. This is better done using a hulling machine to reduce the time and stress involved in the process. And most importantly to avoid loss of rice grains usually encountered through manual hulling.
11.3. Packaging: This is very important before sales. It improves the overall appearance of the product. And enhances the marketability of the product. Thus, you are supposed to package your rice in a well-designed bag. With your product name, logo, farm name and contact information conspicuously inscribed on the bag.
11.4. Marketing: Before starting the rice farming business, you must have identified with your potential customers. So, at this period, you are to contact them and inform them of the availability of your product. Ensure that the road leading to your farm is Motorable. This would reduce the transport cost of moving your product to the market. As well as make it easy for intending customers to visit your farm.
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