With the economy in recession, there have been diverse opinions from various quarters that the solution lies in the diversification of the economy from oil, which had for decades remained the main income generating source for the country. The most important sector that can make the country achieve that feat is agriculture, which used to be the main stay of the economy, before the discovery of oil.
However, investing in agriculture does not have to be a moneygulping exercise, as there are several prudent ways by which one can invest and reap bountifully, especially when it involves farming on a low scale. The fact remains that agricultural businesses are the most lucrative businesses in the world; coupled with the low-cost of start up and running the ventures, they turn out huge profit of up to 100 per cent.
With increase in unemployment rate, it is very important that people, especially the youths, embrace agriculture, which was once considered a dirty business reserved only for the poor and rural dwellers.
Agricultural businesses can be started with little or no training. One does not need a special degree to start, though one may need to spend some time learning about the intricacies of the business.
An agricultural consultant and coordinator of Global Forum on Agricultural Research, Mr. Akintunde Akinmolayan, advises that no matter how big or small one’s agric business is, one must first carry out some research on the kind of farming you want to invest in, then link up with markets that you can sell your produce to.
Akinmolayan noted that whichever scale one is operating one’s business on, he or she must use innovation to generate your income growth, which will contribute to greater food and nutrition security.
Another expert, the CEO of Eddy Flow Farms in Ogun State, Deacon Ayodeji Fashoro, advises that subsistence low-scale farming involves low capital, adding that all that is required is constant monitoring and also maintaining proper cleanliness of the location of the farm, because dirt and clutter can give rise to pests, rodents and even ants, which may cause some damage to your business.
He says that vaccines should be administered to livestock at the appropriate time, asserting that the more one invests in the farm, the better and higher the gain.
Fashoro says there are so many lucrative agricultural business ideas and opportunities one can engage in to make extra money, rather than remaining unemployed or surviving on one source of income. These, according to him include:
Vegetable farming is one of the easiest agricultural business one can venture into; all one needs is to find a small portion in one’s compound or backyard having good soil and plant the seeds or better still, construct a wooden bed for the vegetables to grow on.
All that is needed is to make sure one channels the water tap towards the cultivation area or in the alternative, manually wet the vegetables so that they can flourish well.
One also has to ensure the weed around the vegetable plants is cleared regularly to prevent pests. This kind of farming can be referred to as urban agriculture, which is the practice of cultivating, processing and distributing food in, or around a town or city.
This kind of micro scale farming contributes to food security and food safety in the sense that it increases the amount of food available for consumption. Secondly, it allows fresh vegetables and products to be made available to urban consumers.
LIVESTOCK FEED PRODUCTION
As lots of people are going into livestock farming, like fish farming, piggery, poultry farming and a whole lot of others, all a smart investor needs to do is to start producing feed for the farmers to feed their animals.
However, there is the need to carry out a lot of research and come up with products that are rich in nutrients that can and would promote quick growth and good health of the animals.
The production process is not that difficult. The ingredients required are mainly, maize, soya beans, fish bone, sorghum, groundnut, blood meal, wheat, rice shaft, additives that will be ground together. All these can be sourced from the market, any animal consult outlet or any agricultural product shop around.
MICRO POULTRY FARMING
Technology has enabled many to operate profitable poultry farming, yet make it free of odour, such that a neighbor next door will not know one operates a poultry farm. This is a business you can start in a room, car park or from that abandoned property near you with 10 to 100 birds, which cost between N50,000 to N100,000, depending on the cash at hand.
Snail meat has been severally affirmed as one of the safest and nutritious delicacy. In these days of increased coronary implications and other health implications, snail producers are certain to hit it big because many people are shunning beef or red meat. It is also pleasing to note that snail production venture could be kickstarted with so little initial capital.
The best period to commence snail farming is the rainy season; you can start with about 50 to 60 snails, to have a good knowledge of how snail breeding works. Make sure you go for fully matured and big snails, as they are sold in bunches of 20 pieces and the prices range from N1,800 to N3,000 per bunch. It is better to buy the big ones, so that you can expect them to hatch after about 35 days on location. About N10,000 should get a new entrant started in the business.