You will get to know Steps to Start Local Rice Production in Nigeria. Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima.
Rice is the most largely consumed staple food for a large number of the world’s population. It is a cereal belonging to the Gramineae family, a large monocotyledonous family of some 600 genera and around 10,000 species.
As at now, rice is valued as the most important staple food for over half of the world population and ranks third (rice, 741.5 million tonnes in 2014) after sugarcane (1.9 billion tonnes) and maize (1.0 billion tonnes) in production on world basis.
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According to an International Rice Commission Newsletter (Special Edition) vol. 52, presented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), More than half of the world’s population depends on rice as the major source of calories.
The amount consumed by all these people ranged from 100 kg to 240 kg per annum in the year 2000 alone. Two species have emerged as our most popular cultivated rice, Oryza sativa and Oryza glaberrima; of these two species the more widely produced is Oryza sativa.
Rice has a consumption per capita of 32kg. In the past decade, consumption has increased 4.7 per cent, almost four times the global consumption growth, and reached 6.4 million tonnes in 2017 – accounting for about 20 per cent of Africa’s consumption.
As at 2011, rice accounted for 10 per cent of household food spending, and 6.6 per cent of total household spending.
Judging from the statistics stated above, the profitability of local rice production is obvious. Starting a local rice production business in Nigeria is highly lucrative and profitable because there is an already established customer waiting for it to be produced and offered for sale.
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Steps on Starting a Local Rice Production Business
Starting a local rice production business in Nigeria will be divided into four steps
- Capital acquisition
- Rice Cultivation
- Rice harvesting and processing
- Rice packaging, marketing and distribution
1. Capital Acquisition
Capital is anything one uses to start a business. It includes: land, money, tractors, irrigators, rice seedlings, farm implements, agrochemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, rodenticides etc.
Before going into rice farming, all these capitals must be put in place. Land must be available and in the right size to carter for commercial rice production. An average farmland intended for commercial rice farming should be at least 1-2 hectares in size.
Money is required to employ labour and run the affairs of the farm. Money can be obtained via bank loans, loans from rich individuals and government support. Also, putting up a good business plan will help attract investors who will help share in some of the liabilities of the business.
2. Rice Cultivation
One of the most original features of rice is the fact that it can be grown under very different environment conditions particularly from the point of view of its water supply. The average rice farm holding in the country is 1-2 hectares.
In cultivating rice, first of all, you have to get the seeds. The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) can help you get healthy seeds.
After getting the seeds, you plant them in beds. Rice is ideally first planted in the nursery before being transferred to the main farmland. This helps to improve the quality of the rice.
About five types of rice cultivation is identified in Nigeria. They are:
i. Rainfed Upland Rice
This is predominant in the southern part of country but can also be found in the north. Bulk of cultivation is in Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Edo and Delta States. Upland rice is typically intercropped with various crops such as vegetables, maize, cassava, yams, and sorghum.
FARO -45 (ITA 257), FARO-46 (ITA 150), FARO 55 (NERICA I) FARO-56(NERICA 2), FARO- 25 are some of the upland improved seed varieties. Major problems of upland rice are weeds, insects, rodents, birds and rice blast which may results due to mid-season drought.
ii. Rain Fed Lowland Rice
Rain Fed Lowland Rice accounts for more than half of the total rice land area in Nigeria. Found mainly along the flooded River Valleys such as Niger, Benue, Kaduna Basins also found in Abakaliki and Ogoja areas of Ebonyi and Cross Rivers respectively.
River banks or Fadama are usually flooded during the rainy season. Average yield per hectare is high (2.2tons) as sole crop with fertilizers/improve seeds with no water control. FAROS – 15, 27,35, 36, 37, 44, 52, 57, 60, 61 are some of the lowland improved seed varieties.
iii. Irrigated Rice
Irrigated Rice account for 16% of total rice land area in Nigeria. They enjoy good water control and two crops/annum Average yield per hectare (3.5 tons). FAROS – 44, 52, 57, 60, 61 are some of the irrigated rice improved seed varieties.
iv. Deepwater/Floating Mangrove
Here, rice are planted on farmlands where flooding achieves a depth of 60-100cm. It represents an increasing marginalized production system. It can be found in Sokoto Rima Valleys and Kebbi. FAROS – 6, 7, are some of the deepwater improved seed varieties.
v. Mangrove Swamp Rice
This is found where the ocean’s tidal action causes inundation at high tide and drainage at low tide. Soils are generally more fertile due to the regular deposit of silt during annual floods.
Major constraints are high salinity of sulphate, acidity, High labour cost, and potential negative environmental impacts due to oil exploration.
3. Rice Harvesting and Processing
After harvesting, rice paddy can be processed in two ways
a. Traditional Methods of Processing Rice Paddy
The traditional methods of processing rice paddy involve soaking of the paddy in water for 2 to 3 days to soften the kernel, followed by steaming of the soaked paddy for 5– 10 minutes, after which it is then dried in the sun, followed by pounding the dried paddy in a mortar and pestle device to remove the husk or use of simple machines for dehulling/milling; then the grain is cleaned using a winnowing basket.
Though the traditional method of processing rice is simple, but tedious, it has very low outturn and results in breakages of rice kernels and incomplete removal of husks. More so, it has a short storage life as the fat in the bran develops rancidity.
b. Modern Methods of Processing Rice Paddy
In modern methods, the rough rice or paddy is first cleaned to remove contaminants, and the husks are then removed by the so called shellers; these are most commonly horizontally spaced rotating abrasive stones, but increasing use is being made of rubber roll or rubber belt made shellers.
The rice and hulls are separated by aspiration and any paddy remaining with the rice is removed in a paddy separator.
It is discovered that the main problem of Nigerian rice is the presence of stone in the rice grains. And for this reason, a locally produced destoner was made in Kano, Nigeria. The machine costs N65,000 and was fabricated using angle iron and sheet metals.
Another improvement in rice processing in Nigeria is the drying process. The traditional sun drying has been replaced by mechanical dryer or improved sun drying method.
This type of dryer is found scattered all over the country. It can process about 3000 kg and remove 50% moisture of rice in 6 hrs.
Apart from this mechanical dryer which uses diesel or electricity, other dryers have been developed such as solar dryer for drying rice paddy.
The development of this is a result of incessant power outage all over the country. This type of solar dryer is equipped with fan to enhance hot air distribution over the rice paddy.
4. Rice Packaging, Marketing and Distribution
After processing, rice grains are packed in branded or non-branded bags for storage and distribution.Click here to see the latest Jobs opportunities in Nigeria.
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