HOW TO START A LIVESTOCK FARMING BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
If there’s a sector or industry with a wide variety of business prospects, then it is Agriculture. The concept needs no introduction at all. Agriculture has always been one of the most significant business option for many individuals right from time. It provides individuals with a number of business sources that can be explored to start a successful and lucrative entrepreneurship venture. And the thing about Agriculture is that it needs no particular level of education or experience to be able to set up and become a professional in no time though the education will serve as an added advantage.
In the past, Agriculture served as the most favorable and reasonable business idea for many people. Individuals used a piece of land and cultivated different things there to be able to cater for their families and also in a bid to exchange their farm supplies for something else they needed in a system called trade by barter. Soon came specialization and individuals started to decide against killing animals randomly but rather to domesticate them and watch them grow and reproduce in order to sell them. This form of agriculture is what is known as livestock farming.
Simply put, Livestock farming is the reading of animals either for consumption or sale. It is also known as Animal Husbandry and is one of the most popular agricultural business in the country today with many entrepreneurs exploring the different opportunities in the industry. Livestock Farming is also one of the major sources of income to the agriculture industry as it reportedly accounts for about one third of the country’s agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is one of the sources of government revenue and provides opportunities for employment, food, and income.
Starting a livestock farming business is a really big deal. While it might be easy to put on paper, getting the work done is not always easy. It takes time for the business to be properly established and to start operating properly. It also requires a high level of commitment and dedication because of its difficult nature. Entrepreneurs might need to put in an increased level of hardwork for the business to be successful. All these might make the business look hard and not worthwhile but no business comes without its challenges and at the end, you’ll find out that this particular business is highly profitable provided you work hard and do all the neccesary things required to achieve the desired goal.
Just like Agriculture which is divided into the cultivation aspect where individuals plant crops and send them to the market for sale, and the rearing aspect also known as livestock farming which involves breeding animals and selling them or products gotten from them to get profits, Livestock farming comes in different forms. There is a wide range of options that entrepreneurs can select from. All of these options still involves rearing animals and are all highly profitable though levels of profits can be different.
The first is Poultry Farming. I’ve put this first because it is one of the most common livestock farming businesses in Nigeria. The poultry birds are reared with the sole aim of getting eggs or meat from them. The birds come in different species and individuals might need to select a particular specie to work with. The business also comes in different forms. You might decide to rear the birds for eggs or you can also decide to rear them and watch them reproduce after which the adult ones can be sold. This form of livestock farming is widely practiced and it has a well pronounced market for its products. Also, the profits from this business are always massive due to the demand for the products.
Another form is Goat Farming. In Nigeria, one of the most consumed product is Goat meat. Unlike poultry farming, the products from this business is the goat which can then be killed for its meat unless you’ll be involved in other aspects of the business which might involve processing. Cattle farming is yet another form of animal husbandry and it involves rearing and raising a cattle from birth till it is ready to produce milk or meat. Just like goat farming, the cattle are mostly preferred for meat though milk can also be gotten from it. As a cattle farmer, you can either decide to do the one that involves milk or the one with meat or even do both based on capital.
Another livestock farming option is the every popular fish farming. Fish Farming is definitely one of the most popular businesses, not just agricultural but generally, in Nigeria today. The market for fishes is very well known and the product is also consumed by many. There are different species of fishes and it is up to individuals to select one and begin operations or start to run the farm based on the specie selected. In Nigeria, catfish farming is the most ventured into business for this form and it is highly lucrative. Just like every other livestock business, it is not easy to start and you might require large amounts of capital and a high level of hardwork and commitment to set the ball rolling.
The last form of livestock farming to be discussed is the emerging pig farming business. The business is not too popular but it is actually one of the biggest forms of animal husbandry. It is profitable and also brings in a lot of revenue to the economy. Pigs are known for their main product which is pork. The product is well consumed in many parts of the country. Pigs are known to reproduce in large numbers and it’s only a matter of time before a farm is filled up with pigs. Asides pig farming and the other forms mentioned above, there is also snail farming business, which is yet another good business option. Snails are nutritious and are consumed by many. The market is also not well pronounced but it is a business that could yield high amounts of profit.
As an entrepreneur who wants to start any of these businesses, it is important to do some important things and also follow neccesary procedures to have a bigger chance of succeeding and enjoying the business. In the next sub heads, I’ll briefly discuss the different steps involved in starting a livestock or animal husbandry business venture.
1. Select a speciality. This is very important as most of the above stated business forms either have different species or something else that can be gotten from the business. Entrepreneurs need to select one which they’ll focus on. Most start ups like to start small and as such selecting one rather than going in on everything is recommended.
2. Do thorough research on your speciality. At this stage, you’ve selected a branch or form that you’ll engage in, so it’s now up to you to make enquiries about everything the business entails. Have a good knowledge about the animals, their feeding, how to take care of them and every other information needed to properly be informed about the business.
3. Write a business plan
4. Source for Capital
5. Secure a location. One common thing about animal husbandry is that the animals need to be in a particular place or location. It is from this place that they’ll be taken care of and they’ll be properly raised. You can’t just leave them to wander around. However, the cattle farming might prove different. Traditionally, the cows are allowed to roam around and move from one location to another but ranches can be built now to accommodate them. This might incur extra cost but it is the safest option for the cattle.
5. Get their food, vaccines, and all other resources or supplies needed. This is determined based on the form of business selected. At this stage, equipments and machinery are also gotten. This usually depends on the capacity scale of the business.
6. Employ labor. This might not be neccesarily needed but it is recommended to make things easier and if you’re running a large scale farm.
7. Start Operations
8. Market and Sell the product.
Yes, the livestock farming industry is filled with a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs to dive into. It is not a simple or easy form of business as it requires a considerable level of hardwork, skill and commitment to succeed. It might be hard to set up but all that won’t matter at the when you start counting your profit.