How to start rice farming in Nigeria
Rice farming is one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria that anyone can start and make good money.. The way people eat rice at events and ceremonies such as birthdays, weddings, and many more has made rice farming a very big and profitable business in Nigeria for any who ventures into it.
In Nigeria and Africa, rice is the most consumed food by people of all ages. Despite these glaring and undeniable facts, it is saddening that the agriculture sector still suffers a high degree of neglect from the governments and citizens.
This is despicable as the same sector contributed all the nation has today, prior to the discovery of crude oil in the country. This is because, oil has more value in the international market or probably because, rice seems to be a tedious and back breaking activity.
Why Rive farming is lucrative
Rive is the most popular food in Nigeria, in the most populous country of Africa. Nigeria’s rice consumption has been steady on the increase. Rive remains one of the major types of food which almost every Nigerian eat every day.
Nigerians consume as average of 6 million tons of rice every year but, only 4 million tons of these 6 million tons are locally produced while the rest is usually important from other countries. The local farmers, who produce rice, do it for their own consumption.
Since it has been proven that the demand of rice is very high, it shows that there exists an untapped goldmine in its commercial growth and it comes as no surprise that the richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote has decided to invest in the industry and would launch his rice products to the Nigerian market.
Places where rice is grown in Nigeria
It is known that rice is one crop that requires special geographical and atmospheric condition to grow. As a result, it is not everywhere rice is planted that will grow and survive. It is known to survive following states in Nigeria.
- Ekiti State
- Kano state
- Gombe state
- Niger state
- Nasarawa state
- Anambra state
- Ebonyi state
- Kebbi state
- Ogun state
In all the above listed states, it is very certain that is good attention is given to the rice farmers, and there is no pest or diseases breakout, there will be a rich harvest. Rice production requires no formal knowledge in Agriculture science so, anyone can start rice farming business.
- Choose the right land
Rice is a popular crop and it requires certain soils. Rice should be planted in areas where is traditionally cultivated. The soils in these areas are known to have water retention capacity and are mixture of loamy soil and clay soil and also swampy. Planting rice on a sandy soil is an effort in futility.
- Prepare the land for rice cultivation
This is the process whereby the piece of land to be used is made ready for the planting season. It is at this state that the land is cleared of all weed and all the trees are uprooted.
- Choose the right rice species
There are many rice species and it is paramount that an intending farmer picks one he wants to cultivate. The choice made by the rice farmer will determine the outcome of the harvest.
- Timing of planting.
The period when the rice is sowed is very important because, it varies from the region to region. In the Northern part of Nigeria, rice is planted around middle of May to Middle of June while it is planted earlier in the southern part of Nigeria where it is planted any time between middle of March to middle of April.
- Planting Methodology
Rice can be planted directly into the rice field or planted in the nursery and later transplanted to the field. It should be noted that these methods have varying surrounding modalities and systems surrounding them. The spacing system for the two types of planting. Any little mistake can affect the yield.
- Fertilizer Application
It is not a new thing that soil supplement will be added to the field to boost the yield. A rice farmer must know the appropriate fertilizer to apply. The right quantity and the right time to apply it to the field in order to optimize the output. To avoid confusion, It is advisable to visit any Farm agro store.
- Weeding the field
Weeding is simple, the elimination of plants that are not planted and posses’ threats to the growth of the originally planted crops. Farmers must from time to time eliminate weeds from the field.
- Pest Control
Pests would always invade any thriving farm with intent to reduce it to nothing. The farmer must always be at alert and never lose sight of potential pest attacks.
After 1-8 above is successfully seen, the planted rice would after 3 months turn from white to brown. This shows that the rice us ready for harvesting.
- Marketing your rice
You should have a marketing strategy for your rice. If you have a large farm that produce very large quantity of rice. You may require hiring a marketer to help in marketing. Marketing is very important.