Steps To Start Rice Farming Business In Nigeria

The rice farming business is among the 8 lucrative agricultural and farming business ideas in Nigeria for entrepreneurs. This article will discuss the steps to start rice farming business in Nigeria. Rice is one of the most popular staple foods acceptable and consumed by many countries, especially in Asia, and Africa. In Nigeria, many families consume rice. Due to the increase in the population of Nigeria, the consumption of rice as a food of different types has also increased.

Records show that up to 7 million tonnes of finished rice are consumed in Nigeria yearly. Rice is the most popular food that can be served in events, homes, restaurants and other public places. It is unfortunate that it is only some percentage of the rice consumption that is produced in Nigeria. The majority of the rice consumed in Nigeria is imported.

The federal government of Nigeria has recently banned the importation of rice into the country by closing its land borders for food security purposes. The World Bank and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other government agencies are trying their best to increase the level of participation in Agriculture in Nigeria. The CBN through its anchor borrowers scheme also provides financial support to smallholder rice farmers and groups of cooperatives of rice farmers at different levels.

Are you an entrepreneur looking for a lucrative agricultural and farming business you can venture into? Look no further, rice farming has become profitable and you can try it. Here are some steps to start rice farming business in Nigeria.

Although rice farming is capital intensive, it is a very lucrative business. The yield is very high when compared to other agricultural products. A hectare of land used for a rice farming business can produce between 2 to 3 tonnes of rice in each farming season. The Rice farming process takes about four months.

List Of States Where Rice Farming Business Is High

There are some states in Nigeria where the rice farming business is more lucrative because of the high yield of products. Rice needs special conditions and certain types of soil for it to grow and flourish. The following are lists of states in Nigeria where rice can be planted and produced on a larger scale than in other states. Also, the common name rice from those states is known.
Anambra State – Anambra Rice .
Ebonyi State – Ebony Rice.
Ekiti State – Igbemo Rice.
Gombe State – Mas Rice Mill.
Kano State – UMZA Rice.
Kebbi State – Labana Rice.
Nasarawa State – Olam Rice..
Niger State – Mama Happy Rice.
Ogun State – Ofada Rice.

If attention is given to the rice farming business, with no pest or disease attacks, the yield from the harvest will be huge. You don’t require formal education in the agric sector to start your rice farm.

Steps To Set Up A Rice Farming Business

The following are prior steps to start rice farming business in Nigeria.

Draft A Business Plan For Rice Farming Business

There is a need to carry out a feasibility study and proper planning before starting your rice farming business. When carrying out a feasibility study, all aspects of the business needs to be considered, thus the need for a business plan to be drafted. A well-drafted business plan will serve as one of the steps to start a rice farming business, seeking funding from investors and also help you to access loans from financial institutions. Some important factors like funding, location and marketing should be considered when drafting the business plan.

Register Your Business Name

Once you have drafted a business plan, the next step is to register your business name with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). There are still some other agencies like the Rice Farmers Association (RIFAN) and National Agency for food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) that you need to register your business with.

To register your business with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), you can either go directly to their official website to fill in the forms and register your business, or use the services of some consulting firms that serve as registration agents to the Commission.

For NAFDAC registration, you visit their website to enable you to start the registration process and from there proceed to do all other activities involved like submitting samples of the product.

Source For Funding

One of the steps to start rice farming business, there is a need to have enough funds. The funds you can raise on a personal note or source from banks, investors or from groups that are interested in partnering with the business. The Rice farming business is capital intensive and requires investments from human resources and funds.

The federal government has made it possible for agro allied businesses to get funds for their agribusinesses through loans and grants from banks’ These loans approved for agribusiness are always with a low-interest rates to encourage farmers.

Steps To Start Rice Farming Business

Select Quality Seed

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Rice Seeds

One of the steps to start rice farming business and beome successful is to select good quality seeds. If you don’t use good seeds, your yield will be very low. There are different varieties of seeds used in rice farming based on the location of your farm. There are special or specific seeds for the swamp, lowland, mangrove, upland, and deep water farm areas. Choose the seed that is adequate.

Ensure you use the improved or hybrid rice seeds. Don’t just use any seed. The quality of seed used for planting in turn determines the quality of your harvest. A good quality seed can resist diseases that can attack rice farms.

Choose The Right Land

This is one of the steps to start rice farming business in Nigeria, and the next step after selecting quality seed is to choose the right land that is suitable for rice farming in your area. Rice farming requires land that is swampy, and waterlogged to do well. Even if the land you are choosing for rice farming is not waterlogged or swampy, it must have high water retention capacity or loamy soil with some organic matters.

Prepare Land For Cultivation

Land preparation is the process of clearing weeds, cutting trees and uprooting the root and one of the steps to start rice farming business. Other tiny weeds are exposed to the sun and burnt in preparation for the next planting season. The land will be ploughed, and tilled to level it for planting.

Land preparation is very important and one of the steps to start rice farming business, it can be done manually with the hoe or mechanically with tractors or other machines. It will make the soil loose to enable rice seeds to be planted at the right depth. Tilling the soil is a way of weed control. Land preparation is better done during the dry season, between November and February each year before the rain starts.

For those using farmland in the forest area, after cutting the big trees and uprooting the roots. You need to plough and disc harrow two times. With the start of the first rain, harrowing should be done from late February to early March to make a tableland slopy. It is advisable that before the final harrowing, basal fertilizers should be applied to the land before planting.

Choose The Planting Method To Use

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Rice Nursery

There are two planting methods used in rice planting, The first one is using direct seeding while the second is to do nursery rice planting which will be transplanted to the main farmland subsequently.

Direct seeding is a process where you broadcast your rice seeds on the farmland. Before broadcasting, divide your land into portions of 50 or 100 m2 and construct bunds. You can do 60kg of rice seeds to a hectare by dibbling, 50 to 65kg per hectare by drilling in rows spaced 30 cm apart, and 80 to 100 kg per hectare by broadcasting.

For Nursery raising, put the rice seeds in gunny bags and soaked in water for up to 24 hours. Place the soaked rice seed under shade and covered it. Always sprinkle water over it at intervals up to three times a day to avoid heat damage and aeration. Leave it for up to 48 hours for the seeds to sprout and be ready for sowing. Broadcast them in the seedbed on a purple nursery field. Construct drainages and canals for proper drainage where there is a need. Also, add inorganic fertilizer as basal and decomposed organic manures.

You can start transplanting your nursery seedlings after 21 days. You uproot the seedlings by holding the same times between thumb and forefinger at the base of the culms and pull sideways. In transplanting, take 2 to 3 seedlings per hill and space by 20 cm between rows, The early maturing seedlings should be transplanted 15cm apart, and late maturing varieties 20 cm apart. The beds should be flooded with water before uprooting.

Water Management

Rice needs plenty of water at different stages of growth. The level of water in the rice farm will depend on the ecological area. The water level of the farm should be maintained at up to 5cm after one week of transplanting until maturity.

Also Read: Top Agribusiness Companies In Nigeria | List Of 10 Top Agribusiness In Nigeria

Apply Fertilizer

As one of the steps to start rice farming business, if you don’t apply your fertilizer well, it will damage your nursery. There are fertilizers that should be applied at different stages. It means some specific nutrients need to be applied at different times or intervals. Fertilizers help in boosting the yield. It is advised that the right quantities of fertilizer should be applied at the right time.

You can broadcast fertilizers evenly on your farmland to supply the nutrients needed for the rice to survive at the early stage. The next step to take is to top dress which is usually done between 35 to 55 days after planting. It provides, Calcium, Sulphur, Nitrogen, Chlorine and Potassium.

Weed And Pest Control

Weed and pet control is one of the steps to start rice farming business. Armyworms, Birds, termites and rodents are the types of pests faced by rice farmers. Rodents can be controlled using traps, birds are controlled by employing people to scare them away. Termites can be controlled by destroying dead woods and plants through burning. The termite moulds can be located and sprayed with chemicals like Nogo 50 mixed with water at the rate of 30ml per 4,5l. You can spray Gammalin 20 or carbaryl(Vetox 85) mixed with water at the rate of 1.68kg with 225 litres gallon of water per hectare.

Weeds can destroy rice plants quickly, especially if the farmland was not well tilled. You can weed your rice farm either using chemicals or manually. The first weeding should be done early enough within 2 to 3 weeks after transplanting or appearance using a hoe. The second round of weeding should be done between 6 to 7 weeks of transplanting or appearance. The chemicals or herbicides you can use to control weed are Tamarice TMPL, GramoxeTM, Ronstar TMPL or RisaneTMat etc, Ensure you choose the one that will give you maximum results.

The factors that expose rice plant to diseases are improper irrigation, climatic factors, overuse of insecticides, high rate of nitrogen fertiliser application and weather conditions. When you start treatment on your farm early, the better for you because you can fight these elements early as they start coming up.

Harvest And TrashRice can be mature and ready for harvest between 4 months or between 105 to 150 days after planting. Alternatively, check when the straw turns from green to brown or yellow. You harvest by cutting, stacking, handling, cleaning and hauling.

Immediately after harvesting, thresh carefully to avoid losses. You can harvest your rice paddy manually or mechanically. Manual harvest involves using cutting the rice crops with knives and sickles while mechanical harvesting means using machines like reapers to cut the rice down.

Threshing is the process where the paddy grain is separated from the crop using tarpaulin or mat over a concrete floor and heating it with sticks. threshing should not be done on a bare floor to avoid staining the damaged grains. Plants leguminous crops like Chickpea, lentils, beans, soya etc can be planted on the farm after harvesting.

Post Harvest Activities

The next step after harvesting is to dry the paddy before further processing it for milling. The first step is to dry your paddy by spreading them on a mat, clean concrete floor or tarpaulin under the sun for up to 3 days. This process will help to bring down the moisture content of the paddy to 30% before milling.

Milling is the next step and it is the process of removing the husk and the brown layer of the rice paddy to make it edible. After milling by using a good machine, you can get up to 72% of finished rice from the rice paddy.


Rice farming business is very lucrative business. In order to succeed, you follow the steps to start rice farming business in Nigeria which has been enumerated above. Rice has a very low record of losses when compared to other crops cultivated in Nigeria.

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