Rice Value Chain Investment And Business Opportunities


 Nigeria, being the world’s second largest rice importer year’s back, the narrative appears to have changed as the country continues to take steps to ramp up domestic production. 

According to a recent report, Nigeria has overtaken Egypt as the largest rice producer in Africa. 

Dr Harold Roy-Macauley, the Director-General, Africa Rice Center, Benin Republic, who disclosed this, said Nigeria is now the largest rice producer at four million tonnes a year. 

Egypt was producing 4.3 tonnes annually but the country’s production had reduced by almost 40 per cent this year. Africa produces an average of 14.6 million tonnes of rough rice annually, he explained. 

Indeed, the remarkable achievement recorded by the country in the area of rice production, as disclosed by Roy-Macauley, was the outcome of robust collaboration between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, that focused on areas in the agriculture sector where the country has comparative advantage, in their quest to drastically reduce the country’s huge import bill. 

However, a report by Lagos-based CSL Stockbrokers Limited showed that the central bank and the Federal Government have been making substantial efforts to encourage domestic cultivation of rice and to eliminate imports using incentives such as subsidised loans, cheap fertilizers, free farmland, and tax rebates. 

Despite this improvement, comparatively, Nigeria’s rice statistics suggest there is an enormous potential to raise productivity and increase production. 

Yields have remained at 2 tons per hectare, which is about half of the average achieved in Asia. 

In addition, as population increases, along with rural to urban migration, ensuring food security in key staples becomes critical. 

Meanwhile, sustaining the growth in rice production cannot be achieved by a system that depends almost entirely on human muscle power/other manual methods, unimproved seedling and government policy somersaulting. This is where the opportunities are and investors be taken advantage of it. 

Change of narrative from being the world second largest rice importer to the largest rice producer in Africa, this means an improvement on the Nigerian economy. 

Rice value chain in Nigeria witnessed tremendous progress from improved seedling, farming of rice to processing and packaging. 

The mechanisation gap both in farming and processing/packaging has been closed and this has led to increase yields, labour productivity, reduce post-harvest losses, increase income generated by farmers and deepen import substitution. 

I can stand to say some of our local rice can compete with the foreign both in quality and in finishing. Business and investment opportunities are now available within the value chain in the following areas:- 

Farming Inputs: The resources that are used in farm production, such as chemicals, equipment, feed, seed, Irrigations and energy for a good yield farm inputs improve most such as seedlings and mechanised equipments such as tractors and Low credit facilities. 

Improved farm input is key to high yield rice production; as a result, return on investment is sure. 

Farming rice: Seed is a living product that must be grown, harvested, and processed correctly in order to realise the yield potential of any rice variety. Farming rice is one the opportunities in the rice value Chain. 

Before rice can be planted, the soil should be in the best physical condition for crop growth and the soil surface is level. Land preparation involves plowing and harrowing to ‘till’ or dig-up, mix and level the soil. 

Tillage allows the seeds to be planted at the right depth, and helps with weed control. 

Farmers can till the land themselves using hoes and draft animals, such as buffalo, or tractors and other machinery, can assist other equipment or them. 

The two main practices of establishing rice plants are transplanting and direct seeding. This is a very crucial part of the value chain and it can accommodate as many people as possible no matter your financial capacity. 

Rice Processing and Packaging Machineries: Rice processing involves several steps, removal of the husks, milling the shelled rice to remove the bran layer, and an additional whitening step to meet market expectations for appearance of the rice kernels. 

Some of them are: – Seed cleaners and destoners, rice huller and milling machines, rice grader, rice polisher, bag closer, digital weighing scale, boiler, dryer. 

Processing and Packaging: Healthy competitions among rice millers lead to introduction of advanced milling machines in most rice mills in Nigeria today, small millers are not left out. 

TG rice milling Rido Kaduna and host of others in kano, Abakiliki ,kebbi are good example of fast improving rice mill in Nigeria within 2019 has introduced different types of improved machineries. Nigerian no longer prints packaging sacks from china, but within the country, they are colorful and durable. 

This means job for Nigerians and improved economy. 

Distribution: Distribution is the process of making a product or service available for the consumer or business user who needs it. 

This can be done directly by the producer or service provider, or using indirect channels with distributors or intermediaries. This brings in transporters into the value chains. 

Transportation is another business opportunity within the rice value chain. 

If you are interested in Nigerian growing rice processing and packaging business, you can contact us for a Bankable and Comprehensive rice business plan. 

Source: Daily Independent

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