Benue State is acclaimed as the nation’s “food basket” because of its rich and diverse agricultural produce. The state is blessed with fertile soil that produces a wide range of vegetables, fruits and pasture for livestock.
The state also accounts for over 70 per cent of the nation’s Soya bean production.
It boasts of one of the longest stretches of river systems in the country with potential for a viable fishing industry, dry season farming through irrigation and for an inland water way through irrigation and for an inland water way. It has a variety of crops grown in irrigated and rain areas.
These include yams, rice, beans, cassava, potato, maize, Soya beans, sorghum, millet, beniseed(sesame), groundnuts, fruits, and coco-yam.
There are also important plantation crops. The agricultural production systems also include a wide range of horticulture crops. Benue is a producer of fresh fruits and vegetables such as cashew, cabbage, cotton seed, garlic, cardamom, onions, tomatoes, potatoes and inland fish.
The government has supported farmers through acquiring and clearing of demonstration farm lands.
Sensitisation has also been carried out with Local Governments and Traditional Rulers on the need to make land available for preparation for agricultural development.
The government is introducing fresh initiatives to boost post-harvest and processing technologies so that farmers can get good returns.
Agricultural practice has undergone series of modernisation for production of improved varieties.
The Divisional Agricultural Officers in the 23 Local Government Areas have been carrying out demonstration on tree nursery activities to the tree crops farmers in their Local Government.
Furthermore, demonstration farming which is carried out by the Accelerated Food Production Pro-gramme in the production of mandate crops such as rice, sesame, and cassava.
Agriculture and the agro-industry have provided most of the investment opportunities in the state. Yam, cassava, rice, maize, sorghum, soya bean, beniseed (sesame), and groundnuts for use in food processing industries have made Benue State a major source of economic activity nationwide.
The government is now offering special incentives to investors who show genuine interest in processing, preservation, and export of local produce.
Raw materials exist in abundance for agro-industry, as potato, sugar cane, millet, ginger and beans are produced in huge volumes, and the farmers who produce these crops have become so adept at at their task that, with a little spur from investors, they will be able to expand their output even more.
The agriculture sector has vast opportunity for employment generation and trade. There is need to have a long-term sustainable policy which will attract more investments and increase private sector’s participation in remote rural areas.
Government has a liberal policy of encouraging investors through incentives and industrial layout, especially in the capital Makurdi, which is served with paved roads, water, electricity and telephone.
The government has taken agriculture and agro-industry to a higher level through the Benue Advance Plan.
The government’s strategy is to enhance this potential by providing infrastructure and extension services to ensure that the quality of raw material produced locally meets the highest standards. This will ensure that investors have a good supply of quality produce for processing.
The government has, therefore, identified a number of priority sectors for investment focuses. These include large scale mechanised farming, vegetable oil processing, sugar manufacturing, livestock farming and feed production, meat processing, fruit juice production, starch and glue production, and the production of organic and inorganic fertilisers.
Investors who target these areas will find a willing and very attentive listener in the state government.
In its attempt to make Benue a haven for agricultural investment, the government has embarked on a large-scale land clearing across the state. These farmlands are suitable for mechanised farming of grains, and other food products.
In addition, the government has established a mechanism to facilitate the distribution of new seeds and seedlings, fertilisers, and other vital inputs.
For example, tractors and other implements can be hired from the state extension services. The government is also co-operating with international agencies, such as the UNDP, to help small-scale agricultural investors to improve their yields and get better prices for their products.
In sum, Benue is an investor-friendly state, and more efforts are being made by the state government to make investors feel even more welcome.
10 Small Business Investment Opportunities in Benue State
Starting A Business In Benue – 10 Small Business Investment Opportunities in Benue State
Benue state is one of the 36 states in Nigeria and it is founded on the 3rd of February, 1976. The state is located in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the capital city is Makurdi. The generally spoken languages in Benue state are English, Idoma and Tiv. Benue is nicked name the food basket of the nation.
The major income generator for Benue state is agriculture hence the nick name ‘the food basket of the nation’. The state is notable for the cultivation of yam, cassava maize, fruits, rice, soy – beans, tomatoes, palm oil, melon and a host of other crops. As a matter of fact agric produce are transported from Benue state to other parts of the nation. Benue state remains the choicest destination for food merchants because they are sure to get agric produce at a cheaper rate there.
Fishing is also another source of income for people in Benue state. River Benue is the major spot where fishermen go fishing. Despite the fact that Benue state is considered to be the food basket of the nation, the state still operates far below its capacity because over 90 percent of the farmers in the state are yet to adopt mechanized farming.
Let us quickly consider the top 10 business opportunities available for investors to start in Benue state;
1. Yam and Cassava Farming Business
Benue state has one of the most fertile farm lands in Nigeria that is most suitable for the cultivation of yam and cassava. Yam and cassava are generally consumed in most homes in Nigeria hence it is a very lucrative farming business to start in Benue state. One good thing about farm land in Benue state is that they are very cheap to buy or lease and little effort is needed to prepare the land for the purpose you would want to use it for.
2. Food Processing Business
If you are looking for a futuristic business to setup in Benue state, then you should consider starting your own food processing business. One thing about setting up a food processing business in Benue state is that it is cost effective because of the availability of large quantities of raw materials and cheap labor. So, if you have the financial capacity to setup a food processing and packaging plant, then you should look towards establishing the business in any of the major cities in Benue start.
3. Sale and Service of Agriculture Tools and Machines
Another futuristic business that an investor can start in Benue state is the sale and servicing of agricultural tools and machines. Although most farmers in Benue state have not embraced mechanizing farming, but they are sure going to adopt it in the nearest future because that is just the way to go if they want to increase their productivity on a geometric rate. So as a smart businessman, you should quickly position your sale and servicing of agriculture tools and machine business in Benue state. This type of business has a bright future in Benue state.
Fishing business is another viable business that an entrepreneur can setup in Benue state, besides going to River Benue to fish; you can as well setup a shop where tools used for fishing are sold. The location you choose to set up this type of shop will go a long way to determine the success of the business; ensure that you choose a location that is close to River Benue.
5. Air – conditions Sale and Repair Shop
If you have been to Benue state, especially Makurdi, you would realize that it is one of the hottest places in Nigeria. As an entrepreneur, you can make cool money from the heat challenge in Benue state, by simply opening an Air conditions sale, installation and repair shop. This type of business is indeed a very lucrative business in Benue state because of the high demand of air conditions.
If you are looking for a business that won’t stress you to setup in Benue state, then you should think towards opening a boutique in one of the commercial areas of the state. If your boutique is well positioned and well stocked, then you won’t struggle to make daily sales.
7. Unisex Saloon and Beauty Shop
Another viable but yet very thriving business an entrepreneur can start in Benue state is a unisex saloon and beauty shop. Both men and women visit salon regularly to cut their hair or to make their hair. In other to do well in this line of business, you must be good at what you do, and also your shop must be well positioned in a location that is easily accessible.
8. Consignment Shop
Consignment shop is another thriving business that an entrepreneur can successfully start in Benue state. The truth is that many indigenes of the state are not financially empowered hence the indigenes result to buying second – hand stuffs. Stuffs like clothes, shoes, Belts, bags, and electronics are in high demand in most part of the rural areas in Benue state.
9. Pharmacy Store
Pharmacy business is one business that can thrive in any part of the world including rural settlements. So, if you are a licensed pharmacist and are looking for a business to start in Benue state, you need not look further. You can just go ahead to raise capital and setup your own pharmacy store. You can start with one shop and then grow the business to multiple outlets in different parts of Benue state.
10. Sports Shop
Benue state is amongst the states in Nigeria where youths embrace sports. If you love sports and you are looking for a business to setup in Benue state, then you can consider opening your own sport shop where everything about sports will be sold.
There you have it; the top 10 business opportunities available for investors in Benue state.