Wheat is arguably one of the most important grains in the Nigerian economy. This is because, asides from consuming it as a meal in itself, wheat is used in the manufacture of several economically important foods. Bread and noodles are among the most-consumed foods in this part of the world. It is interesting to note that both are products manufactured from wheat.
From the information above, you can guess how important wheat farming in Nigeria is to the economy. How do you start wheat farming in Nigeria? This post will provide an answer to this question by presenting you with all the relevant information for this business. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Introducing Wheat and Wheat Farming
Wheat falls into the cereal family. This grain has been extensively cultivated for the nutrients present in its seeds. It is one of the most economically important sources of carbohydrates as well as dietary fiber.
Wheat farming involves planting this cereal and harvesting this crop before marketing. This involves land preparation, picking healthy seeds, planting the seeds, farm management, and harvesting. Over the last few decades, the economic importance of wheat has increased massively. Today, it is among the top three most important foods in the world.
How to Start Wheat Farming in Nigeria
Did you know that the current local demand for wheat is about 6 million metric tons? Interestingly, the production of wheat within the country falls short by several thousand metric tons. This means that there is so much room for investors in this sector of the economy. Would you like to start wheat farming in Nigeria? Continue reading this section to find out how:
Study the market
A feasibility study is a very important process that every entrepreneur should engage in before starting any business. Many entrepreneurs in this part of the world leave a lot to chance when starting their businesses. Because of this, they hit the rocks very early and conclude that the business is not viable.
Don’t fall for the same trap. Dedicate some time to studying the wheat market before you dive in. Find out essential pieces of information such as:
The best type of soil for wheat farming.
Where to get healthy wheat seeds for propagation.
Important farm management practices to engage in when running a wheat farm.
The best type of fertilizers for wheat production.
How to harvest and store your wheat.
Where to market your products.
More than anything else, you should figure out how much you need to set up and run your wheat farm in Nigeria. Use this information to write a detailed business plan and raise capital for your wheat farm. You can raise capital in several ways depending on how much money you need for the business.
Site selection and land preparation
Now that you have gotten all the information you need to set up your wheat farm, it is time to get to work. Your first line of action is to choose a piece of land for your farm. One of the things you must first understand is that wheat doesn’t grow everywhere. Your farmland needs to fulfill certain requirements to produce optimal wheat yield.
For starters, your best bet is to set up your wheat farm in the Northern part of Nigeria. This part of the country has the climate and soil to support wheat production. Some of the States with the highest wheat production in Nigeria include Borno, Kano, Jigawa, Kebbi, Yobe, Kaduna, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, and Zamfara.
The land should be situated in a location that has an average yearly rainfall of between 500 mm and 12oo mm. If the rain is below this, then you might consider investing in irrigation, especially when running a large commercial wheat farm.
Once you have chosen your land, it is time to prepare the land for cultivation. From your feasibility study, you should already know the important land preparation steps to take.
Source for seeds
The quality of your wheat seeds is important to the yield of your farm. This is why you must choose healthy and disease-resistant seeds. Find out the different varieties of wheat seeds in your location. Ensure that you choose the one that is best suited for the climate and soil in your region.
Before paying for seeds, ensure that your source is very reliable. You can inquire from existing wheat farmers to know where they get their seeds for planting. Doing this saves you from buying unhealthy seeds.
Planting and farm management
With your land ready and your seeds available, it is time to plant your wheat. According to experts, wheat is planted mostly in November. This period is perfect because it is the beginning of the harmattan season so the likelihood of weeds overtaking your crops is low.
You can either plant your wheat manually or mechanically. Your choice will depend on the size of the farm and the pieces of equipment at your disposal. Once you are done planting, you should carry out the essential farm management practices. Doing this ensures that you have healthy crops that will produce maximally during harvest. Some of the important farm management practices include:
Application of fertilizer.
Continuous observation of the plants to ensure they are safe from pests and diseases.
Harvesting and marketing
You can harvest your wheat once they are ready. The easiest way to know is by rubbing the wheat head between the fingers and chewing the grain. You know it is ready for harvest if it cracks and becomes soft in the mouth. Follow the important harvesting practices that you must have discovered in your feasibility study.
You can market your wheat to food industries or sell it at the local markets. Ensure that you find your buyers before your wheat is harvested. This way, you don’t keep the wheat in the storehouse for too long.
There you have it for how to start wheat farming in Nigeria. Do you have any questions? Kindly drop them in the comments section below.