Agriculture is a major industry in Ebonyi State. An estimated eightyfive per cent of the population earn their living from one form of agricultural activity or another. If the phrase ‘Salt of the Nation’ had not been adopted to describe the uniqueness of Ebonyi State among other states in Nigeria, another choice would have been: Agriculture, Forestry and Other Basic Activities:
‘Food basket of the Nation’.
This is because Ebonyi State’s agricultural productivity is one of the highest in Nigeria. The popular Abakaliki brand of rice is cultivated throughout the state.
Other food crops grown in large quantities include yam, cassava, maize, cocoyam, cowpea and groundnut. Cash crops such as oil palm, cashew, cocoa and rubber are also vigorously cultivated. The presence of large arable land, rivers and streams has made farming very attractive.
Fishing is also carried out on commercial scale, particularly along the Aboine River which crosses the northcentral parts of the state and the Cross River which passes the southern part of the state.
Livestock farming is also popular in Ebonyi State. This includes the traditional rearing of animals such as goats, pigs, chicken, cows, horses and pets. There is cattle ranching in Onicha, Ohaozara and Ishielu LGAs.
10 Small Business Investment Opportunities in Ebonyi State
1. Food Farming Business
You may have noted earlier that Ebonyi state is one of the largest producers of foods like rice, yam, potatoes, amongst others. It is for that reason that a lot of folks have continued to embrace the agricultural sector. This is also a type of business that you may be willing to invest in. There would be nothing wrong if you decided to invest a lot in this venture. This is because of the high need for food in all parts of the country. You can start your food production in Ebonyi and then look to taking them to other parts of the country.
2. Business Centre
This is one business that readily thrives in Ebonyi state. This means that you must be to some extent computer literate to be able to start this type of business. You would need to locate your business in a strategic place- especially where you would get ample customers. You may want to consider locating your business near a higher institution of learning so that you can serve students who may be need to type and photocopy diverse documents.
3. Consignment Business
Second hand goods business is one venture that has continued to soar. As a matter of fact, no amount of ban by the government has been able to deter some die hard business people from it. It is for that reason that the business continues to thrive. You too can key into this by first determining what area to deal in. It could be clothes, accessories or electronics.
4. Fast Food Business
There are times when there is the craving to eat something fast and junky. In Ebonyi, there are a number of fast food restaurants. You too can tap into this. There is ample opportunity to make good profit in this type of business.
5. Raw Food Business
The raw food line of business is one very viable business that you can tap into. One of the great things about this venture is the fact that a whole lot of folks do not joke with their belly. Therefore there is always the need to stock up the home with food stuff. Venturing into this kind of business; means that you would be on your way to making good sales all the time.
6. Viewing Centre
There are loads of people in Ebonyi who are ardent followers of the various football leagues around the globe. It is for that reason that you can look to set up a viewing centre. If you have made up your mind to do this, then you must make sure you furnish your viewing place so well so that you may attract lots of people.
7. Frozen Foods
The frozen food business is such that thrives well in Ebonyi. If you are really looking for a business to invest in, then you can really look into investing in this. Although this business may appear to be capital intensive, but you can be sure that it does yield good profit.
8. Tailoring Business
If you have a penchant for fashion, then starting a tailoring business might be ideal for you. There are lots of people who are always all out to look good. You can get the desired training you might require before you start this venture. Be sure to be able to market your business to all and sundry so that you get lots of clients.
9. Restaurant Business
If you have great culinary skills, then you may want to start to cook various favorite dishes so that people can patronize you. Be sure that you spread your tentacles by learning how to prepare meals that aren’t in your culture. This is so that you can attract some customers who might like to eat other types of meals.
10. Auto Repair Business
If you look at the types of cars that ply Ebonyi roads, then you may have realized that they are such that need constant maintenance. Therefore, if you have knowledge about automobiles, then you may want to consider starting an automobile repair business.
These are good businesses that can guarantee great success. However, you have got to make it a point of duty to see that you do the needful things before setting it up.
Ebonyi State government’s agricultural development programme is three pronged:
1. Direct public participation through the establishment of agrobased indus tries, tree crop plantations, irrigation and the provision of fertilizers and seeds;
2. Public participation in commercial private agricultural production, operated as joint ventures in large scale crop, livestock and fish farming with farmers and other private entrepreneurs, both local and foreign; and c. Smallholder agricultural production, in which government seeks to emphasise the role of the smallholder.
3. Ebonyi State has eleven officially gazetted forest reserves and many sacred grooves which protect the rich biodiversity in the state. The Akanto game reserve (with an area of about 450 hectares) is a protected area where endemic wildlife species are conserved.
The Ebonyi State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources has planted over 2,000 seedlings of teak at Effrum and Ovuum Ozizza reserve. The state is also participating in the forest reserve study of the Federal Government of Nigeria aimed at the development of a forestry management plan.
The agricultural lands in Ebonyi State offer enormous potentials for profitable investment by local and foreign interests especially in the area of food processing.