The agricultural food processing industry is one of the largest and most promising industries worldwide with an estimated growth to $1.4 trillion by 2024 at a CGAR of 4.3%. The large market size of the industry is based on its multifacetedness and because foods are an essential factor for daily survival everywhere on the planet.
More so, thanks to the tight schedules of most 9 – 5 jobs, a lot of people in the working class group are rather too engaged to spend so much time cooking. Hence, they prefer already-processed meals that are much easier and faster to cook, leaving a business opportunity for savvy entrepreneurs.
If you’re looking to start a business in the agro-food processing industry, here are 25+ lucrative agricultural food processing business ideas and opportunities you can start in Nigeria, Africa, or anywhere around the world.
1). Meat Processing:
Meat processing involves preparing and packaging meat and meat products for consumption. This might require chemical treatment to extend the shelf life of the meat even though the meats don’t spend a long time in stores because it has a large market.
Besides vegetarians, almost everyone alive prefers meat to other food types. With a suitable market strategy, you’ll never run out of demands.
2). Juice Production:
The juice production industry enjoys a large market across all customer segments. It is considered the ‘good life’ drink and is always used in celebrations and for everyday consumption.
You can build a successful juice production business by using the right recipes, good branding, a great market strategy and a strong distribution channel.
3). Ice Cream Production:
Ice cream production is one of the most lucrative food processing business ideas in Nigeria, Africa, or anywhere around the world. The yummy taste and chill sensation in the mouth makes this snack highly irresistible both for adults and kids.
Although the ice cream market is saturated, it has enough room for new investors and businesspersons. You can choose to vary the flavours to suit peoples’ different tastes.
4). Biscuits And Cookies Production:
Confectionaries are gold mines across the world, and biscuits and cookies are great for business everywhere because they span diverse markets. Kids and adults alike are great consumers of biscuits and cookies because they are tasty snacks that keep hunger at bay.
In Nigeria, for example, manufacturers of biscuits produce over 550,000 tons of biscuits every year. You could contribute to the growth of the industry! For a start, brand your company and target a particular section of the market in terms of age and geography.
5). Bread Bakery Business:
Bread is a common meal in most African homes and, of course, across the globe. Although there are a lot of bread bakeries across major towns and cities, they still find it difficult to keep up with the daily bread demand due to distribution challenges.
To make your mark in the bread bakery business, it is important to identify and focus on a particular market section and ensure that your distribution channel is efficient.
6). Milk Production:
Milk production encompasses the process of extracting, chilling, conserving and distributing milk and other dairy products. Thanks to its high nutrient components, milk makes a good business everywhere in the world.
If you’re in an area where cattle rearing is predominant, you can consider milk production. It is one of the agricultural food processing business ideas that enjoy great patronage all year round in Nigeria, Africa, or anywhere around the world.
7). Ginger Oil Production:
Thanks to its multiple health benefits, ginger oil is used across several industries, ranging from the food and beverage production industry to cosmetics production and medicinal use. Each of these industries makes up a ripe market for ginger oil production.
Although ginger production is heavily industrialized, you can start with sufficient capital and a trusted procurement source.
8). Palm Oil Production:
Palm oil is an everyday food item in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. In 2019, about 1.56 million metric tonnes of palm oil were consumed in Nigeria alone. Besides food processing, palm oil has several other uses across several industries, which makes it a highly marketable product.
Palm oil production requires a lot of manual labour but it has high profitability, which makes it a valuable business for anyone to venture into in Nigeria, Africa, or anywhere around the world.
9). Frozen Foods Business:
Across the globe, frozen foods are everyday food items. Frozen turkey, chicken, pork, beef and seafood are food items common to all homes. The frozen food business is always on a steady rise, and projections reveal that it will reach its prime in the current decades, especially in riverine regions.
Nigeria is a rich and growing market for frozen foods, which makes the frozen foods business a very lucrative one for investors and entrepreneurs.
10). Noodles Production:
Noodles have been an important meal for most Nigerians, Africans and people around the world for over two decades since they became popular. A lot of brands have made their marks in the industry but there’s still enough room for new investors.
Starting a noodles production business requires a great market strategy and a trusted distribution network. You’ll also need to create unique-flavors and tastes to stand out from the competition.
11). Fish Hatchery:
Fish hatchery involves breeding fish from the larval stage to the harvest stage. Sometimes, they are transferred to larger fish farms for better growth and development before they are harvested. As people become increasingly conscious of the dangers of excessive red meat consumption, they seek an alternative in fish. This creates the need to support the natural growth of fish.
Fish hatcheries are an important business for health safety, and it enjoys great patronage in Nigeria, Africa, or anywhere around the world.
12). Shrimps And Prawns Production:
Shrimps and prawns production is a lucrative food processing business opportunity for agro investors and entrepreneurs worldwide. Although Nigeria produces about 12,000 metric tonnes of shrimp and prawns annually, the demand still outweighs the production rate.
This implies that there’s enough room for new producers of shrimp and prawns in Nigeria. In addition to local distribution, you could also network with exporters and deliver to foreign markets.
13). Ginger Cake Production:
In the quest for better food materials with fewer side effects, health experts recommend ginger flour — a blend of flour with ginger — rather than regular wheat flour to bake cakes.
Ginger cake has been around for some time and it enjoys large patronage, especially from people who understand the health value of ginger. Although most people prefer regular flour cake, ginger cake production is a lucrative agricultural food processing business to start in Nigeria, Africa, or anywhere around the world
14). Soybean Meal Production:
Whether as animal feed or human consumption, soybean meal has a wide variety of uses. Africa is home to soybean production, with South Africa and Nigeria taking the forefront.
To start soybean meal production anywhere in Africa, you need some experienced hands because it involves quite a number of processing stages. To ease the process, you could invest in de-hulling machines.
15). Honey Production:
Honey processing can be started on a small scale and doesn’t need a lot of labour. You could start right from your home. But if you intend to go large-scale, you’d need to set up on a wider expanse of land.
You can start the honey production business in in Nigeria, Africa, or anywhere around the world and ship to global destinations.
16). Cashew Nut Processing:
Cashew is a multipurpose plant with several uses across many industries. Like the fruit itself, the cashew kernel or cashew nuts can be eaten but only after it has been processed.
Cashew can be roasted, dried or ground into powder. The nuts can also be processed into curries or eaten as salted cashew nuts, among other uses.
17). Salt Production:
Salt production remains one of the most universally known food processing business ideas ever and this is because salt is used as the main additive to foods worldwide
Processing salt involves a long process but it is a profitable business in Nigeria, Africa, or anywhere around the world.
18). Candy And Chocolate Production:
Chocolates are some of the by-products of cocoa, which is predominantly found across Africa. The candy and chocolates production industry enjoy a massive market all over the globe.
With enough capital, sufficient machinery, a suitable market strategy and a standard distribution network, you can make a lot of profits from candy production in Nigeria, Africa, or anywhere around the world.
19). Ketchup Production:
Made from tomatoes, ketchup is a household food item in several parts of the globe and can be eaten with different meals.
Ketchup production is one of the most lucrative agricultural food processing business ideas and opportunities for interested entrepreneurs but it requires a good knowledge of the market because of existing competition.
20). Flour Milling:
Flour is made mainly from grains and they are used in the production of many snacks and food items, including cake, buns, doughnuts, chin chin, burgers and pizza, amongst many others.
The snack production industry depends heavily on flour milling, and this makes it a very profitable business in the agro-food processing industry.
21). Sesame Oil Production:
Sesame oil is an edible oil derived from sesame seeds. Producing sesame oil involves cleaning the seeds, dry roasting, pressing and filtering, among others.
Sesame oil is useful for food production and also serves medicinal purposes. All you need to get started is to network with sesame farmers who can regularly supply sesame seeds to you and you can start processing it to oils.
22). Tiger Nut Drink Production:
The tiger nut drink is commonly known in West African countries as a highly nutritional drink. It is milk derived from tiger nut seeds known by different local names.
Tiger nut drink production is one of the agricultural food processing business ideas that are very easy to start and require little capital. As a result, it is a common business on the streets. Most people prefer their tiger nut drinks chilled. You can start by branding and producing on a large-scale, and distributing to grocery stores, restaurants, and much more in Nigeria, Africa, or anywhere around the world.
23). Hibiscus Drink Production:
Popularly known as ‘zobo’, the hibiscus drink is another common drink in most parts of Africa. It is derived from the hibiscus flower. Also preferred cold, the hibiscus drink business is easy to start, although the process could be a little demanding.
The hibiscus drink market comprises schools, roadside shops, mechanic shops, small groceries and supermarkets. You can start producing the hibiscus drink in Nigeria, Africa, or anywhere around the world.
24). Peanut Butter Production:
Peanut butter is a food item with a global market. All across the world, people use peanut butter for several purposes, including baking, making hair and skin care products and as a spread for bread. As of 2019, the global peanut butter production industry was valued at $3.5 billion, owing to its large market.
To start a peanut butter production business, you need a regular source farm of peanut seeds. You also need to invest in machinery to make production easier. And you can start this business from Nigeria, Africa, or anywhere around the world
25). Plantain Chips Production:
Plantain chips production is an important sector of the agricultural food processing industry. Thanks to the multiple health benefits of plantain, people prefer plantain chips to other types of chips. It is good for the heart and rich in fibre, as well as antioxidants.
Everywhere across the globe, plantain chips are produced and packaged in different appealing forms. You could start a plantain chips production business anywhere you find yourself, either as a full large-scale business or a side business.
26). Palm Oil & Palm Kernel Oil Production:
Palm oil and palm kernel oil are used in the production of processed food items around the world. They are also used in homes as vegetable oils for cooking meals on a daily basis. Because of the extremely large global demand for vegetable oils, palm oil and palm kernel oil production never runs out of a an available market and you can start the business in Nigeria. Africa or anywhere around the world.
To Sum It Up
The agro-food processing industry is a wide one, with a lot of business opportunities for both new entrepreneurs and veteran entrepreneurs who are looking to expand their businesses. The industry enjoys a regular market and minimal risks. You can select from any of the 25+ lucrative agricultural food processing business ideas and opportunities discussed above and get started wherever you are.
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