Most Lucrative Farming Ideas And Business Opportunities in Nigeria

I bet that you are searching for the most lucrative farming business ideas in Nigeria. Most economic experts are in unanimous agreement that agriculture holds the key to solving the economic quagmire Nigeria has found herself in. As a matter of fact, Agriculture was the foundation of every other economic venture Nigeria engages in today.

According to history and in fact as stated on Wikipedia, Nigeria was famous for the export of groundnut and palm kernel oil. But over the years the rate of export of these products has reduced. Nigeria neglected agriculture when it discovered oil, due to the neglect, only subsistence farmers remained in agriculture, it was no longer business; her youthful population that did not witness the boom days now believe it is strictly for the poor and uneducated.

READ ALSO: 4 Hard-Hitting Soft Skills for Career Success That Should be On Every Resume

However, because of the idea that farming is for uneducated folks, most graduates shun the sector and wait for white-collar jobs instead. This article seeks to change that.

It is my hope that you would find reasons to go into Agriculture as you read this article.

Acquiring land for the purpose of agriculture has been made very easy. You do not need to know anyone to get land, especially for rice farming. All you need do is take a walk into any ministry of agriculture, state or federal and make your intentions known.

This article can help you understand the potentials in Agribusiness; it gives an expose on the Most Lucrative Farming Business Ideas and Opportunities In Nigeria that you can engage in today.

The huge arable landmass we have in Nigeria coupled with the favorable weather conditions that we enjoy makes agriculture a choice of investment. The government has put in place several options to help fund agriculture.

Both Nigerians and foreigners who have taken the bold step of venturing into agriculture have found the sector to be the real goldmine, and they have paved a path to the bank for themselves.

Happily, more and more Nigerians are beginning to see agriculture as the opportunity that it is and are making inroads to the farms. Currently, the agricultural sector contributes about 20% of our GDP.

Still in doubt?

Here are some quick reasons why you should give farming business serious consideration as a Nigerian.

Teeming Population

Nigeria is blessed with more than 200 million citizens, which makes her the most populous nation in Africa and 7th most populous in the world. Two direct advantages accrue from these huge population figures:

Human Resources: There is no shortage of hands to work the farms, and considering the unemployment situation in the country, you will not have to pay too much to hire both skilled and unskilled workers for your farm.
Large Market: The large population also guarantees a ready market for your farm-produce as agriculture answers to the most basic human need – food.

A large mass of arable farmland

Take a trip across Nigeria any day and you would be amazed at the vast spread of arable farmlands that are lying fallow. At 910, 770 square kilometers, Nigeria has the 32nd largest landmass in the world. Those are production fields waiting to be exploited using agriculture.

Now that we have established how timely investment in farming would be, what are the lucrative farming business ideas that you may want to invest in? Let us consider a few.

Examples of Lucrative Farming Business Ideas

Poultry Farming

You see, poultry farming is by far the most established and lucrative animal farming business idea in Nigeria. I use the word established deliberately, in the sense that the interest and consumption of poultry products continue to increase, making it the most common source of protein besides fish, pork, and beef.

This growth has been unhindered by culture and religion as virtually all cultural and religious groups in the country do not forbid poultry consumption. This increasing demand resulted in a significant increase in the number of birds that are being reared for meat and eggs.

Catfish Farming

You cannot talk about farming business opportunities in Nigeria without mentioning fish farming. Over 60% of Nigerian families eat meals that contain fish today. Beyond eating of catfish at the home front, there is a whole social ecosystem that revolves around catfish. Hardly a weekend without tons of catfish being killed in Nigeria at social events – Thank God it’s Friday we call it.

However, environmental degradation and uncontrolled fishing activities have resulted in a drastic shortage of fish in the marketplace. This situation has been worsened by our rapid population growth. Today, fish that used to be the cheapest source of protein command prices that compete with beef and poultry.

Despite advances in fish farming operations, statistics released by The Food and Agricultural Organization reveals that Africa as a whole contributes only 2 percent to fish supply emanating from fish farming. Shocking, right? Let me shock you more – we have not been able to meet the demand for fish in our local markets, so why export?

Of all the fish varieties farmed in Nigeria, Catfish and tilapias have proven to be the most successful due to their high adaptability to the peculiar climate of Nigeria. Interestingly, these fish also happen to have the highest demand from Nigerians.

You would have noticed that fresh catfish pepper soup and barbequed tilapias have become a constant across Nigeria, and smoked fish is used in the preparation of many local delicacies. The growing demand for these fishes by households, restaurants, drinking joints, hotels, and even exporters has far outstripped local production volumes.

There is clearly an opportunity here for a savvy investor ready to do a brisk business in the fish farming sector.

Depending on the nature of the site for your fish farm operations, you could choose to use either earth ponds or concrete ponds. However, if your farm is located close to a natural water source, constructing earth ponds would be a cost-effective option as that would save you from the need of having to pump water in and out, besides the fact that your fishes grow faster and taste better as they were grown in a habitat that closely resembles their natural habitat.

One tip to keep in mind is that depending on the scale of your venture, selling directly to consumers would be a sure way to increase your profit potential. This could mean that you could set up a stall and sell your fish in local markets, keeping most of the profits that should have gone to the middleman.

Rice Farming

Did you know that rice is second in popularity and production volumes only to maize in the world?

However, going by the consumption volumes in Nigeria, 7 million Tonnes annually, I would not blame you if you thought that rice was the most popular, in fact, we can’t talk about the most profitable farming business ideas in Nigeria without mentioning Rice. I believe it falls just below poultry.

When you balance that by the fact that the Nigerian government has curtailed rice importation and is actively working to block weak points in the borders through which smugglers bring the produce in, it becomes clear that rice farming presents a big opportunity for the Nigerian agro-preneur.

Besides the huge profit potential in farming rice, the Federal government has made rice such a big priority that farmers can be assured that they will get plenty of government grants, NGO grants, low-interest bank loans and even funding from the world bank.

If you have access to suitable flat land, and you are wondering what you could use it for, I would advise that you consider rice farming. Statistics show that while Nigeria has the capacity for production of up to 5 million hectares of rice annually, current production volumes stand at 2 million hectares.

If one is not directly interested in farming rice, then it is wise to consider the viability of setting up a processing mill that can process long grains and completely de-stone them.

That is a value that would enhance the whole rice value chain if made available to rice farmers in any rice planting hub in the country, as one of the biggest marketers of locally produced rice is the fact that chaff and stones can still be found inside processed bags.

Pig Farming

Which is the most widely consumed meat in the world? Chicken?

Wrong. Pork is the most widely consumed meat in the world, despite the fact that almost 2 billion Muslims do not eat it.

Annual trade in pork runs into billions of dollars, and Africa sadly commands only 5 percent of that figure. Interestingly, China is both the largest producer and net importer of pork products globally.

Does this mean that if you want to start a piggery business you have to target China for export?

The demand for pork is ever on the increase across Africa, and Nigeria is no exception.

Let me shock you with a little profit analysis. If you buy a piglet at N5000, that piglet would be full-grown in 8 months and can command a profit of more than 2000%!

Here are some interesting reasons why it makes so much sense to get into pig farming.

Pigs have a very fast reproductive cycle, averaging as much as twelve live-births every 6 months. Have you heard the expression: “breeding like pigs”? Well, now you know.
Pigs have the undisputed rating as the livestock with the highest feed to meat ratio. This simply means that it grows fastest and produces more meat per gram of feed consumed than any other livestock in the world.
Pigs are high resilience, low mortality animals, which means that your risk is very low.
There are so many success stories in pig farming that you can be confident that your investment will be safe. Don’t sit on this one for too long, timing is everything.

Waterleaf Farming

I can bet that you did not see this one coming!

Depending on the scale at which you get into waterleaf business, you could set your self for weekly incomes ranging between one hundred thousand all the way into millions.

Waterleaf happens to be a multipurpose vegetable that is used in the preparation of a variety of indigenous Nigerian soups, including Afang, EdikangIkong, Bitterleaf soups. Waterleaf grows so easily during the raining season that it is not uncommon to find them growing untended around the house.

It is not surprising, then, that they are one of the easiest vegetables to farm. It requires little or no experience – with little research on best farming practices, you can well on your way to becoming a waterleaf farmer. Planting is simply a matter of sticking the stems into tended beds and you water for two weeks and you are ready to harvest your first crop.

With a small startup fee of N20, 000 (excluding the cost of land) you can start a small-scale water leaf farm.

As I said above, waterleaf farming is highly profitable. With a plot of land and 20large beds, you can make up N200, 000 every two weeks from your waterleaf farm since a large bed typically produces waterleaf of up N10, 000.

Are you wondering why I said every two weeks? Remember, water leaves are harvested every two weeks, so once you have established a market, you are sure of bi-monthly sales for a long time to come.

Snail Farming

The largest snail species in the world – the Giant African land sail (Achatina species) grows up to 30cm in length and can be found in the dense tropical rain forests of West Africa.

For centuries, the only way to have these snails on the dinner tables was to handpick them from the forest (likely in the dead of the night).

However, as our forests have continued to be depleted by growing cities, and as the demand for snail meat has continued to soar as a result of the health benefits it presents over substitutes like beef and poultry, relying on handpicked snails have proven unsustainable.

Additionally, most snails gathered from the bush can mainly be found during the rainy season (between December and March), as they are dormant during dry seasons. This results in seasonality in that makes the price much higher during the dry season.

This has created an opportunity for snail breeders to grow snails in farms for a handsome profit during dry seasons.

As an entrepreneur, your primary objective should be to grow your snails during the rainy season and sell them during the dry season when bush supply has ceased. You could even buy up bush supplies during the rainy season to beef up the growth of your farm stock.

Target large clients like restaurants, supermarkets, and hotels that can make large orders on an ongoing basis.

Keep in mind that for you to be able to command an impressive market price for your snails, you must grow the right ones – that is, the Giant African variety. Additionally, ensure that you apply proper breeding, stocking and feeding practices needed to sustain sizes that high-value clients would be seeking.

Tomato Farming

This vegetable holds a very important place in the hearts of Nigerians. Whether in the preparation of our world-famous jollof rice, or in making stews, or even Gbegiri, we love our tomatoes. The average Nigerian does not go a day without eating a meal that was prepared with tomatoes.

While more than 200,000 farmers are currently farming the crop and producing 1.5 million metric tonnes every year, an uninformed person may conclude that tomato farming is no longer lucrative agribusiness opportunity for Nigerians.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Despite a large number of farmers growing tomatoes and the impressive volumes grown annually, about half of the harvest is lost due to spoilage every year, even before products get to the markets.

But let us for the sake of argument imagine that all 1.5 million tonnes of tomatoes that are grown each year in Nigeria make it to the market in good condition – we would still be short of about 500, 000 metric tonnes considering that the demand for tomatoes stands at 2 million metric tonnes annually.

Currently, that deficit is being imported to the country at the rate of about $600, 000 per annum.

Even if you do not want to get involved in the farming of tomatoes, could you consider adding value to the product by setting up a processing plant?

With the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of tomatoes that get wasted every year due to supply chain peculiarities in the tomato value-chain, there is obviously a strong need for tomatoes processing factories that are close to farms.

Tomato farmers that operate in the same area can come together to form cooperatives so that they can jointly set up and run a tomato processing plant to serve their farms. This way, only the freshest tomatoes would be sold as fruit, while bruised or ripening tomatoes would be processed into a paste to preserve their value.


Watermelon farming involves four significant steps –

  1. Seeds selection and preparation
  2. Land Preparation
  3. Irrigation
  4. Fertilization
  5. Harvest

Watermelon is a short-term farming product that spans the duration of 65-90 days; it requires a clear land plantation with no trees, shrubs, or any tall plants or weeds that could obstruct its access to sunlight. A solid pH level and temperature of 6 to 6.8 and 70°-90° F respectively are needed for optimum yield.



The agro sector in Nigeria is full of lucrative agriculture business ideas and business opportunities for Nigerians who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. Reflect on these opportunities and decide on where best to venture.

Keep in mind that Nigerians who have gone into agro-businesses have had no regrets as they have smiled to bank harvest after harvest. This is besides the joy and satisfaction that comes from knowing that one is producing food for others to eat.

If you have any experience in the areas suggested here, we’re sure our readers will be delighted to read from you. Please leave a comment in the section or share this post with a friend.







Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top
%d bloggers like this: