Nigeria is very rich in natural resources even though she is yet to make efficient use of them. One of the natural resources is wood.
The rainforest geographical zone of Nigeria has much forests which is a source of wood. Woods can be processed into planks for construction and carpentry purposes.
Wood is used in making furniture and for buildings. This article tells you how to start wood processing business in Nigeria.
Mahogany is the strongest and the most durable kind of hardwood. The colour is reddish brown and it is the best wood for furnishing.
One category of softwood is cedarwood. It can repel making it suitable for drawers. Wood processing business is capital intensive and it has much turnover rate and demand.
Steps To Start Wood Processing In Nigeria
Step one: get the knowledge
Woods are of different categories. 2 categories of woods exist which are softwood and hardwood. You have to know which one is which.
Hardwood is normally heavier and denser while softwood is lighter. Another name for softwood is whitewood and this is common in sub Saharan African markets. You can go to the market and study available samples.
It is not a must that the size has to be above 10 * 10 inches. Store the samples to enable you compare the other supplies.
Woodworkers and carpenters can confirm the sample. Hardwoods are costlier than softwoods and they last longer than soft wood. Different types of woods are used in carpentry and construction.
Study these woods and know their types. Getting the knowledge is the first stage. You may study online too since this is the Computer Age. Here you will study different types of woods and their properties and the ones suitable for the market.
Step two: Business plan
Now you have the knowledge. It is time for action. Write a good business plan which should guide you on starting the business. Your business plan should tell you all need to start the business. The machines, capital etc should all be part of the business plan.
a) Cost of the operator refers to the cost of the personnel operating the machines.
b) Maintenance costs to promote the operation of the machines.
c) Cost of the wood
d) Transportation costs of lubricants.
e) Cost of fuel for running the machines.
Step three: choose a suitable location
Choose a location near construction sites so that you move them to those sites immediately they are ready. Planks are needed from the foundation of a house, lintels, beams, columns and roofing. These planks are used in making form work. Your location should protect the machines from water. Use tarpaulin to cover them.
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Step four: get the machine
You will need different machines for this business. The machines you need are:
- Circular and band mills
- Chainsaw millsChainsaw mills are less costly and they are able to meet the needs associated with a sawmill. You can use it to cut larger and wider lumbar than that of circular mills or bands.
Your machines need power and you will need a generator in this country. Despite having the largest dam in West Africa, Nigeria is yet to generate enough electricity for its own citizens. A generator will help you when there is power cut which will not be good for your business. A diesel generator can serve.
Marketing your wood
Go to construction sites and meet the engineer. You will market your wood there for construction purposes. Move to carpentry shops to sell your wood after processing.
Investing your capital
a) Purchase a truck ( 6-tyre) for moving these logs from the place where they are cut down to the sawmill. This truck may cost about N1.5m.
b) Buy tractors to move the logs away from the bush.
c) Get a sawmill operating machine for cutting the wood to various sizes.
d) Get a generator having up to 30kva and this costs about N75000.
e) Hire operators who you pay.
f) It can cost up to N1m to get the Ministry of Forestry to give a portion of land to cut down trees. Know the rules.
g) Transporting wood costs
This refers to the cost of transporting the wood from the place they are cut to the processing plant. You can reduce this cost by citing your sawmill close to the place the woods are cut down.
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Things To Do In A Wood Processing Business
1. Get some license
The government has laws that regulate the rate of cutting down trees in various states in Nigeria. However when you get the license you will be able to cut down trees legally in the country.
Promote your business
You are into wood processing and you need to let people know what you do.You can do this using the words of mouth, advertising media or online. This will help you reach people.
Maintain your equipment
Your machines and equipment need maintenance. This will help the machines to last longer. Do not keep your machines where rainwater will keep pouring on it to avoid rusting. Keep them under a suitable roof. Lubricate the moving parts of the machine to reduce friction and unnecessary noise during rotation.
This will reduce wears and tears too.
Store the wood properly
Wood can deteriorate when not stored well. There are certain chemicals for preserving wood which will help the the wood last longer. If you do not use these chemicals in your business, your wood will spoil easily due to termites or other factors. Ensure that you buy high quality chemicals.
Sometime you have to treat your wood and this can involve parboiling it for some minutes with these chemicals. The preservation of wood in Nigeria is still low and is one of the reasons why there is loss of revenue that would have come if the woods are preserved well.
Nigeria is yet to preserve her vast wood resources and is yet to tap from its available potentials as a wood processing giant.
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Wood processing is one of the businesses you can do in Nigeria. Nigeria is yet to discover and tap on what they have. This article guides you on how to start.
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