Agribusiness Opportunities in Nigeria
By definition, Agribusiness is only agricultural entrepreneurship, farming, and any commercial farm-related activity from primary production (crop and livestock production), processing, marketing, logistics (distribution of raw and processed food).
Davis and Goldberg first introduced the term agribusiness in 1957 – Wikipedia
Agribusiness opportunities have since seen massive growth over the last decade due to its food security campaign. Most investors focus on growing the non-oil sector of the economy.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Nigeria Agriculture sector contributed 21.91% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019.
Before we go deep on this topic, I have a little tip. When you finally decide to jump on the agribusiness career opportunities because I'm 100% sure you will, it is essential to note that farmland appreciates crop yield every year.
I always advise that, as a newcomer and probably a young fellow in agriculture like myself, farmland should not be part of your expense right from the onset of your attempt in farming because it's a significant expense.
Also, farmland is often slow to appreciate because of the distance to the town, and you know every city has its farm area, which is always on the outskirt of the city. Anyway, my advice is, you should farm to buy land, not buy land to farm.
The most significant investment a nation and an individual can make is Agriculture. Agribusiness opportunities to the country are for food security, job creation, and economic diversification.
Agriculture the Backbone of Agribusiness Opportunities
There are two major types of Agriculture; Crop production and Animal Husbandry.
So, Agribusiness consists of four major sectors
 Agricultural input
 Agricultural production
 Agricultural processing
 Agricultural marketing
These sectors are interrelated. The success of one is solely dependent on the success of the other. As an entrepreneur in Agriculture, you need to be in all sectors for easy food security for the Nation and your pocket.
Agribusiness is a business that has several opportunities. You can start the business at your pace. All you need is to be in the realm to relate and get the full scope of the sectors you want to focus on.
The opportunities are not just in owning a farm but in businesses that involve transactions with farmers. That's what makes agriculture a vast and complete venture.
Nevertheless, just like any other business, Agribusiness has its challenges known as agribusiness management opportunities and challenges. These challenges range from human-made to natural.
Agribusiness is a low-risk business though one of the significant challenges of Agribusiness is financing.
Let's emphasize the risk here. That's a big topic on its own.
Moreover, there are tons of opportunities in Agribusiness. We have to refer to the Agriculture sectors we listed before: input, production, processing, and marketing. I will be stating opportunities on crops because I'm specialized in that aspect, I know significantly less about livestock production.
Allow me to break down the sectors:
The Pre-production Sector in Agribusiness
The pre-production sector involves:
Farm types of machinery: in modern farming, you can't do without machines from the land preparation to harvesting. This particular opportunity in Agribusiness is for the rich.
- Seed and seedlings operation: Seed/seedlings are one of the essential parts of Agriculture. Like the adage says, "what you sow, you will reap." You can start selling seeds and seedlings for farmers that will plant or transplant.
- Agrochemicals Industry: both for herbicides, pesticides, or any other necessary agrochemicals. This is an ideal aspect you can venture into because of the rise in tech agribusiness opportunities
- Planting service: If you're yet to set up your farm, you can build a business around planting seeds or seedlings for other farmers in your area. But that's a stressful work with less income.
- Fertilizer Production: fertilizer is one of the essential inputs in farming because it is used most frequently in modern agriculture. There are two types, Organic and Inorganic Fertilizers. However, I use manure most times instead.
- Equipment rental: you can start an equipment rental service since most small scales farmers can't afford the proper equipment to use on their farm, but they will be happy to rent it at a cheap rate. This system doesn't pay the farmers, but it's building your own business. So enjoy 😀
The Production Sector
The production sector is the area with the most opportunities in Agribusiness because there are 100s of food to produce, likewise, tens of animals to rear.
1. Vegetable farming: you can plant different varieties of vegetables like green pepper, okra, cucumber, red pepper (chilly, habanero, that's rodo) and the likes. Vegetables are one of the crops that attract buyers because we all eat them almost every day, if not every day.
2. Fruit farming: fruits are used for immediate consumption and further processing for juice, jams, or other fruit drinks. Fruits are game-changing farming, very lucrative.
3. Fishery or aquaculture is a lucrative livestock farming, and Rabbit raising is one of the proliferating livestock farming.
4. Livestock feed manufacturing: Even if you don't have enough space to farm livestock, you can still contribute to the industry by manufacturing feed for livestock and make even more than the farmers.
The Post-Production Sector
The processing sector is the biggest in agribusiness. Converting of produces in production sectors, fruits, grains, meat, vegetables, etc.
All sectors are vital like I said at the beginning of this write-up that "the success of one sector depends on another." Still, these sectors are significant because of the most farm produce for immediate consumption.
Some of the agribusiness opportunities in processing sectors are; juice processing, meat processing, etc.
The processing sector of agribusiness is very lucrative and almost zero risks because you are the only factor that can define your success, unlike the production sector, where anything can happen even with good farm management and techniques.
However, this sector is for the rich because it requires a lot of money to compare to other industries. Proper branding is one of the significant challenges.
- Marketing sector: this sector is in all other agribusiness sectors because it involves all negotiating and conversion parts. However, these sectors can as well be treated in a significant way on its own.
There are many opportunities in the agribusiness marketing sector, such as buying from the farmers to the processing companies.
This is one of the problems smallholder farmers face because the majority of intermediaries buy at a ridiculous price to gain more than the farmers that went through all the stress, and risks.
As an agribusiness entrepreneur, it's essential to be fair to these farmers while biding because they face many challenges.
- Logistics is the only challenge you can have in this sector. The marketing of processed foods is also a great opportunity.
Logistics is the most underdeveloped sector of the agribusiness industry, even though it has many potentials. One of the factors undermining this sector is the state of roads and other government policies.
Investing in the logistics sector is advisable, but with a couple of risks at the moment.
In conclusion, agribusiness is very wide. You can treat all the highlighted points with thousands of lines.
Every way is a way in Agribusiness, but it is essential to focus on a field and be an expert.
The only way to explore all agriculture sectors are by collaboration, just as agribusiness companies in Nigeria like Trado Global Limited are doing by connecting the low-income farmers with investors.
You can't know it all. It would help if you connected with people. The Nation's food security and your financial security depends on it.