INVESTMENT POTENTIAL OF AGRICULTURE “UNTAPPED” IN NIGERIA

I can think of no better asset to own during any kind of financial crisis than a farmland or investing in agriculture stocks. In a whole lot of ways farmlands are even better than gold or silver, owing to their intrinsic value, providing tangible yield in the form of good things from the earth. In essence, agricultural investments are as good as green gold.

The growth of the Nigerian population means that the agricultural sector has compelling long-term growth potential as there are increasingly more mouths to feed, as we all have to eat.

Agriculture is not a way of life, neither is it a social sector or development activity, despite what people may claim. Agriculture is a business. And the more we treat it as a business, as a way to create wealth, the more i

t will promote development and improve people’s lives to boot.

 

As government strive to create agricultural transformation by putting the right policies and regulations in place, One way to treat agriculture as a business is getting the private sector involved. Investing in agriculture is becoming increasingly interesting for investment funds, considering the uncertainty and volatility found in many financial instruments.

For decades, people viewed farming as a subsistence activity whose loftiest goal was food security for individual households. But life is about more than having just enough food to survive. Farmers want to eat nutritious food that helps them thrive. Beyond food, they want education, health, housing in a nutshell comfort and a promising future – and they will invest on those things if given the opportunity.If the development sector starts to view farming in the perspective of a business, then the hundreds of millions of small business owners operating farms will certainly have better options from which to choose.

Agriculture, once a burgeoning venture in Nigeria, laced with prospects and providing employment for about 70% of its population occasioned by the vast 91 million hectares of Nigeria’s total land area in which 82 million hectares have been found to be arable and having two of Africa’s biggest rivers. A period Nigeria can be said to have attained self-sufficiency in food production, relative stability, politically and economically. Then came a paradigm shift in the country’s economic outlook at the advent of oil. We abandoned our farmers, yields stagnated, investments in infrastructure were redirected, rural communities slid to poverty, and we became a food importing country, spending an average of $11billion a year on wheat, rice, sugar and fish imports alone.

With a large and young workforce to support agricultural intensification coupled with about 189million consumers (as estimated by the United Nations on Monday, January 16, 2017) to support increased food production and processing, the economic potentials inherent within these remarkable statistics cannot be over emphasized

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Having said all of these, it is also worthy of note “The whole life of man revolves around nature and agriculture”.  If that is the case, why do most people look down on this noble investment, preferring to invest in products and services that are less sustainable to the human race?

The world’s drama has turned the country’s focus to its original source of income (Agriculture). Agriculture in Nigeria as a revenue stream is still highly profitable for the nation and it is difficult to run dry.

 REASONS YOU MUST INVEST IN AGRICULTURE IN NIGERIA

A Green-Gold Mine For Smart Entrepreneurs:

Agricultural researches as well as market survey to unravel what is selling fast at the moment, meeting government and individual needs places lots of money in your hands before the identified segment gets populated. Agricultural produce are items the world needs. Many Industries cannot function without them, some governments can’t grow and people can’t feed. Identifying a niche agricultural segment to drive high revenues would certainly bring about smart entrepreneurs becoming millionaires before others come to terms with what’s already happening.

Land Appreciation

The purchase of a plot, or two plots or even several acres of land, for agricultural business purposes would on the long-run translate into several times the original value. In the end, you don’t just make only revenue from your products, but your net worth also greatly increases as the years pass by. This is a perfect win!

The Nigerian Government Desperately Needs Your Help

With food stored in government reserves not sufficient to feed the teeming population as well as service industrial needs, the Nigerian government is desperately calling on individuals and corporate organizations to get involved in Agricultural businesses on the event of the crashing oil prices. This would in no doubt ensure a steady flow of income when the oil is totally non-existent.

With the economic recession and urgent need for diversification as in our previous blog posts, the government is making access to agricultural loans/funds a lot easier than it used to be. Intending agricultural investors can now access loans for fertilizers, machinery, land, seeds and a lot more. It is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of what the Nigerian Government is bringing to the table, before competition becomes stiff, due to a steady growing large and interested business population.

Plethora of Food

Did you say Plethora? Yes, Owning acres or hectares of highly mechanized diversified farm will always ensure you don’t have to worry about what to eat, even when you have limited cash at hand. There is a teeming population of Nigerians who buy food on a daily basis; you could also factor them in. Since the market will forever be hungry, this face explains why the agriculture industry spells “opportunity” for opportunistic investors.

Employment Opportunity

Agriculture offers a soaring industry in the fiscal market, your investment in this sector would ensure that a great reduction in the unemployment rate in Nigeria. With the sustainable food on the agenda of many large organizations who are increasingly demanding organic products, while currently turning to small farm holders for raw materials. Individuals working as staffs in large farms will result in more crops being sold in the local and international markets. Consequently, the unemployment rate will continue to drop and the standard of living is sure to rise in Nigeria.

Other reasons why you must tap into the investment potential begging for attention in Nigeria could include:-

  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Purest of Environment
  • Support for the Ecosystem amongst others

Allow me walk you through some of the opportunities that abound in the agricultural sector.  In this blog post we shall be considering the poultry production potential and other untapped potential agricultural investment potential will follow in subsequent blog posts.

Opportunity to invest in an integrated Poultry Production Process

We all are aware of how ‘cashy’ this one is. It doesn’t need much introduction and yet it’s still not fully tapped. What we currently have are few badly managed, scantily equipped poultry houses. Nigeria’s appetite for poultry products is huge and still growing. The market is experiencing a boom as a result of rapid population and economic growth. Households, restaurants, processed food producers, fast food businesses, bakeries and confectioners constitute a large chunk of Nigeria’s demand and are very good potential targets for the small scale egg supplier.

For a small starter, the profit potentials of this business will best be achieved if you are directly involved in actual poultry farming. At the moment, there appears to be a glimmer of hope! Of the two major poultry products (meat and eggs), egg production holds a lot of promise for Nigeria entrepreneurs. With relative ease of poultry meat smuggle same cannot be said about egg with its sensitive shelf life

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In view if the sensitive nature of the nutritional requirements of birds, it is imperative that the purpose of breeding (meat or eggs) be well understood as well as the selection of the right breed of layers (for eggs) and Broilers (for meat). The ability of the birds to convert more feed may mean the difference between profit and loss in this business. You must ensure your chicks are from very credible and well referenced hatcheries before you start.

The layer birds start egg production at about 19-21weeks of age and continue to produce eggs until they are about 76weeks of age. Some birds are the molted (shed old feathers) and can lay eggs for another six months and more.

At 60 – 70% laying capacity, 1,000 layers will lay 19-23crates of eggs per day, 70% in the first quarter, 89% in the second quarter and 80% in the last two quarters respectively.

A single layer of the right breed can produce up to 300-400 eggs in her productive lifetime if the proper management, feeding and disease prevention practices are undertaken. With excellent sales service and egg quality as long as prices remain competitive, you may have to increase the capacity of your farm to meet the ever increasing demand of your market.

In Conclusion

I implore you today to tap into this huge investment potential begging for attention today. The gospel of economic salvation cannot be preached without due regard for this aspect of agricultural development. Agriculture is truly the hen that lays the golden egg of any economy. As Nigerians we ought to give it a priority by developing and exploiting this sector.

The long list of untapped agricultural potential will be examined by a lot of global investors in the coming days, so the sooner you get going, the better and the bigger difference you’ll make to the Nigerian economy.