Step By Step Guide On How To Start Rice Farming In Nigeria

Step By Step Guide On How To Start Rice Farming In Nigeria
Rice is currently the most consumed food in Nigeria and the most common source of carbohydrate.
It is eaten in different forms:- boiled (with stew), fried rice, jollof rice, coconut rice and more. Rice is also one of the most commonly consumed foods in Nigerian events. These has further lead many into believing that the Nigerian jollof rice is the best in the continent though and has further lead to the popular #JollofWars.

Is Rice farming Lucrative?

The profit prospects of rice farming in Nigeria is very huge and it can bring you enough wealth in a matter of months if done very well. Like I said earlier, it is widely consumed in Nigeria and many Nigerians are now more interested in locally produced rice.
The federal government has discouraged many from importing rice from the Asian countries thereby increasing the demands of ours. Inasmuch as the ban on the importation of rice lead to an increase in the price of rice in the markets, it has also helps to increase local production of rice.

Benefits of Rice Farming In Nigeria

Venturing into rice farming will be doing the economy a great deal. It won't only help you in generating income, but also has a lot of impact in the Nigerian economy and citizens a whole.
Some amazing benefits of rice farming in Nigeria include:

• Provision of food

Since rice is the most commonly consumed food in Nigeria, it's demand is so much and supply is not really appreciative. Venturing into rice farming will be a great contribution towards helping the growing Nigerian population in terms of food.

• Provision of employment

Have you ever thought of ways of combating unemployment in Nigeria? The rate of unemployment in the 'Giant of Africa' is alarming and you too can help fight it by starting a rice farm.

• Source of income

Your major purpose of venturing into any business is to create a source of income and rice farming will help you achieve that.

How To Start Rice Farming In Nigeria

Starting a rice farm in Nigeria would be involving  a series of steps ranging from land preparation to the soil requirement and more.
Let's go through all you need to know as a potential rice farmer:

• Land preparation

Land preparation can be done manually or mechanically depending on the size of the farm. It involves removing the stumps and making of ridges and mounds.

• Rice varieties

Diffrent available cultivars of rice include swamp rice (BG 79. Toma and GFB24) and the upland rice (Agbede).
• Climatic and soil requirement
For the rice to yield well, it'll need a temperature of over 20◦C, over 250cm of rainfall for swamp rice and 75cm- 120cm for upland rice.

• Planting

Rice undergoes seed propagation which can either be manually or mechanically. It requires 65kg/ha at two to three seed per hole. It can either be planted by broadcasting, drilling of seeds at 2-4cm deep or sowing.
In the southern Nigeria, rice can be planted around April and May while in the north, August and September are the best.

• Nursery practices

The swamp varieties of rice require nursery which should be done in a fertile and water-soaked soil. The seeds should be broadcasted around four to five days after germination begins.
Transplanting of seeds should be done between  seven to eight weeks of growth to the field. Sowing of seeds in the nursery should be around May-June while transplanting to the field should be in July- August. Spacing depends on variety and should be around 25cm-30cm apart.

Other Important Practices

The above are necessary for sowing of the seeds but for plentiful harvest, you also need thee following:

• Fertilizer application

This is by broadcasting and around 150kg (or three bags) of NPK fertilizer should be applied per hectare.
• Weeding
Weeding can either be done manually or with chemicals and it helps in ensuring the rapid growth of the rice.

• Pest and diseases

Pest and diseases can be controlled or prevented by applying the appropriate chemicals. Pests can also be controlled by biological method, ie introduction of predators that feed on the pests.

• Thinning

This involves the removal of some rice plants to halt over-crowding and the standard thinning distance of the seedlings should be not less than 4 inches apart in rice rows that range from 9 to 12 inches apart.

More On Rice Planting

Maturity period: Depending on the variety, maturity of rice can range from four to seven months.
• Harvesting: Harvesting can be with done manually with a knife or sickle or mechanically with a combined harvester.

Processing Of Rice

The steps involved in the processing of rice include:
Sun drying: Sun drying should be done immediately after harvesting and can range from three to four days.
Threshing: Threshing involves the separation of the grains from the stalks. It can be done either by treading with feet, beating with a stick or mechanically with the use of a thresher.
Winnowing: The next step after the threshing is the winnowing and it involves the removal of unwanted dust, chaff and stalk remains from the rice grains.
This is usually done by by throwing the grains in the air and blowing the dust and other residues away. The rice grains should after winnowing remain enclosed in the husk to form. This is called padding.
Parboiling: Parboiling involves heating the paddy rice by putting it into boiling water for around 12-15 hours. 
It has many uses which include:
  - Reducing of the breakage of grains during pounding
  - Bringing of some vitamins to the outer layer of the rice grains
  - It also helps in reducing the labour involved in removing the husks
Hulling: Hulling is the separation of the husks from the grains and can be done by gently pounding of the rice. After the pounding, the husks can then be removed by winnowing.
Storage: Storage of rice is either in silos or jute bags.

Thanks for reading along, if you need any further help you can drop them as questions in the comment section below. We'd try our best to attend to all!
Don't forget to share to your friends. Before you go, also check out our previous article on 10+ top agribusinesses that can make you a millionaire in a year. Number 3 and 4 are hot cakes.
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