How To Start Coffee Bean Farming Business In Nigeria Or Africa: The Guide

How To Start A Lucrative Coffee Bean Farming Business In Nigeria Or Africa: The Complete Guide | Image: Pixabay

A coffee bean is a seed of the Coffea plant (Coffea liberica and Coffea racemosa) which can be processed into the popular brewed drink called coffee. Coffee is the second most popular and traded commodity in the world, after oil, and has seen rapid growth in local and international markets. Small scale farmers and large scale farmers contribute to the rapid growth of the Coffee market, earning progressively from the outcome.

The coffee market has grown quite indispensable in the global market. As of 2019, it was recorded to have an estimated value of $28.6 billion. Although coffee is believed to have originated from Ethiopia in Africa, Africa contributes only about 10% of annual global export of coffee. At the moment, Brazil is the leading producer of coffee with about 25% of annual global exports (2.6m MT). Brazil is trailed by Vietnam (1.6m MT), Colombia (810,000 MT), Indonesia (660,000 MT) and Ethiopia (384,000 MT). On the contrast, the top importing countries of coffee are the US, EU, and Japan. Europe and North America account for a combined market share of 67%. Coffee continues to grow in popularity in major markets like China, the UK, Japan and some African countries.

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The popular plant has also been successfully adapted to different cultures, soils and land. Nigeria has been one of the countries blessed with these adaptations. The country exported 2,100 MT of coffee beans in 2019. Nigeria’s coffee market has suffered nothing short of 2.5% since 2018. The decline is due to insufficient funding and the overall poor attitude towards the coffee sector. With the right production factors in place, Nigeria could contest with the biggest producers and exporters of coffee beans in the continent.

Notwithstanding, the coffee bean farming sector holds lots of promise both for farmers and agro-businesspersons. If you’re considering starting a lucrative coffee bean business, you will find a detailed guide on what steps to take and pitfalls to avoid in this article.

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What Are Coffee Beans?

A coffee bean is found inside a fruit (called the cherry) of the Coffea plant. It is the source of the popular drink called “coffee”. They have the outlook of a bean seedling with a hard covering. Coffee beans are found in a red/pink pitched fruit and are described as “two stones with their flat sides together”.

 

What Is Coffee Beans Farming?

Coffee bean farming is the practice of cultivating coffee for the aim of consumption and/or trade.

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Business Opportunities Associated With Coffee Bean Farming In Nigeria And Across The World

1). Coffee Roasting Café:

Most coffee lovers prefer freshly made coffee to pre-packaged brands. Setting up a coffee roasting shop for people who would rather have fresh, natural coffee is a lucrative business that can be undertaken on both small and large scales.

2). Coffee Shop:

A large percentage of people around the world take coffee for breakfast as an energy booster. Some of these people barely have the time to brew it at home. You could make your coffee drinks for sale to people who would like to grab a bottle on the run. You could also open a coffee shop, where people can handle business meetings, or sit and enjoy their coffee in a friendly environment.

3). Coffee Mix Production And Distribution:

Most coffee shops buy already mixed coffee. They get their coffee from manufacturing companies that sell already-brewed coffee. You can start a coffee manufacturing company that produces and distributes coffee and coffee-related products.

4). Weight Loss Coffee Production:

The use of coffee beans in the pharmaceutical industry is making waves in the global coffee beans market. The health benefits associated with coffee beans in the form of dietary supplements has increased its consumption. The green coffee beans (Coffea fruits that have not yet been roasted) have a higher level of chlorogenic acid compared to the regular roasted coffee beans. You can start a weight loss coffee brand and introduce a multi-level marketing plan to enhance the sales of your product.

 

Facts And Benefits Of Cocoa Beans

  • Coffee boosts human physical performance.
  • Coffee keeps the mind focused and at alert.
  • It takes a coffee plant four years to yield coffee beans.
  • Coffee lowers the risk of death.
  • Goats were the first consumers of coffee.
  • Coffee reduces the risk of cancers.
  • Coffee is low in calories.
  • Coffee reduces the risk of stroke.
  • Coffee wasn’t always called coffee. The name coffee was borrowed from the Italian word “Caffe”.
  • Coffee reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
  • It reduces the risk of Type II Diabetes.
  • In the 15th century, Turkish women were allowed to divorce their husband if he failed to provide her with her desired amount of coffee
  • Drinking a double shot espresso boosts your short-term memory, enhances mental performance, and increases the level of brain activity.
  • Coffee reduces the risk of heart disease
  • It lowers the risk of cancer.

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Types Of Coffee Beans

1). Arabica (Coffee arabica):

Arabica is by far the most common and most heavily marketed type of coffee because it is harder to grow. It has a sweeter, aromatic, and more delicate flavour and the coffee is less acidic and has low caffeine content. 80% of the coffee produced worldwide is from this type of coffee bean. Arabica coffee is best served hot, as its taste depreciates once cold. It is mostly farmed in areas with high elevation of the sea level, especially regions that experience plenty of rainfall.

2). Robusta (Coffee caniphora):

Robusta coffee bean is known for its strong and often harsh flavour profile. Robusta coffees have 2.5% more caffeine than other types. It sells faster than the other coffee types because it is high in caffeine and has a lot of potent properties. The flavour of the Robusta coffee is so strong that the addition of milk or sugar cannot alter it.

3). Liberica (Coffee liberica):

Liberica coffee beans are a rare treat grown in particular climates. It has a very woody, full and slightly smoky flavour with a floral and fruity aroma. Liberica coffee is often mixed with other coffee types to enhance its flavour.

4). Excelsa (Coffee liberica var. dewevrei):

The fourth popular type of coffee bean is the excelsa. Excelsa is a member of the Liberica family but its taste and properties are distinct. Like the Liberica coffee, Excelsa is a rare treat mostly grown in Southeast Asia. It accounts for a small fraction of 7% of the world’s coffee circulation. It is blended with other coffee types to give the coffee an extra boost of flavour and complexity. Excelsa boasts of a more tart, fruitier flavour than the other coffee types and has a lighter aroma and caffeine level with an unusual depth of a dark flavour profile.

 

How To Start Coffee Bean Farming In Nigeria: A Step-By-Step Guide

1). Land Preparation:

Coffee trees mostly grow in areas with plenty of rainfall. The soil depth is a crucial detail when considering starting a coffee farm. The soil should be well-drained, moist, loose and rich in organic matter. The soil must have the necessary minerals such as Zinc, Carbon, and Hydrogen. A loamy soil of up to 150cm in-depth and an acidic pH level of at least 4.5 ensures the coffee tree can absorb nutrients well. Consider testing the soil to be sure it has all the necessary nutrients before deciding on the manure/fertilizer to utilize. The land for planting coffee should be prepared a year before the coffee is planted. It should be cleared, and all trees and roots uprooted. The land should be ploughed or harrowed to create a slope up to 15% with rows across the slope. Also plant ground covers to avoid erosion.

Coffee is planted in rows 2m apart with plants 1.5m apart within the row. The row direction is ideally a north/south direction due to the facing of the sun. For places with intense sunlight, shade trees are planted a year before the planting of the coffee seed to protect the young coffea tree from drought stress and overexposure to sun which turns the leaves yellow, and can ultimately kill them. Shading the Coffea tree promotes a better balance between flowering and growth, which results in better berry production. The legumes used as shade trees provide organic matter that contribute to the health of the soil.

2). Irrigation:

If you intend on using an irrigation process, it is best to install one before planting the coffee trees. If you are not using an irrigation system, both shade trees and coffee will require thorough hand watering. Irrigation is necessary where there is very little rainfall.

3). Planting The Seedlings:

Selecting a good seed is crucial to growing quality coffee. If the berry is not ripe, the seed is not ready for planting. Unripe seeds cannot germinate well and will likely rot. Never keep the seeds above two weeks after selection.

Planting Coffee takes two stages: nursery planting and transplanting. For the initial stage, you will require either a tin can, or a polythene bag, or a small plot of land, depending on your preference. It is advisable to plant early in the morning or late at night during the planting seasons. When planting, put the seeds in flat, with the groove side facing downwards. Try not to push the seedlings in the soil too much, otherwise, it will not have enough air. Water regularly, as newly planted coffee seeds require a lot of water. An irrigation system in place makes it easier to water the seeds. If you are using a pot or polythene bag, place the bags/pot containing the seeds under a shade tree.

The next stage is transplanting. Transplanting the coffee trees is done when the tree has reached an 11/12 foot height or 6 – 9 months after planting. Before transplanting, water the trees in the bag thoroughly. You remove plants from plastic bags by either cutting the bag or gently sliding the plant out of the bag. To be sure that the tree grows straight when planted, gently tease the tree out by hand and carefully straighten large roots. Sort out the bad/dead roots, and prune off the badly twisted roots. Place the roots uprightly in the middle of the soil that you marked with the stick, (making sure that it is not slanted) pour soil into the hole, pressing it lightly to contact and connect with the root ball. Filling the hole with water aids the contact between soil and the root. Allow water to dry into the soil and then put the remaining soil to fill the hole. Firmly but gently press the soil with your feet. Do not stomp to avoid damaging the tiny roots.

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4). Prepare The Holes For Transplanting.

This process is carried out a month before the coffee is planted. Start by marking the planting holes. Dig holes that are 50cm deep, 50cm long, and 50cm wide, and leave 30cm between each hole. After digging the holes, heap the topsoil on one side and bottom soil on another side (do not put the bottom soil and the topsoil on the same side), cover the dug-out soil to prevent sun damage or erosion. Mark the centre of the hole with a stick.

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Challenges Of Starting A Coffee Bean Farming Business In Nigeria

  • High startup capital
  • Challenges with weather conditions
  • Coffee farming is labour-intensive
  • Difficulty in meeting up to demands
  • Land investments, especially in developing nations, are not easily accessible
  • Fluctuation in prices
  • Lack of training on acceptable farming practices and value chain
  • Insufficient marketing channels
  • Unavailability of fertilizers
  • Low government support
  • Difficulty in reaching the international market.
  • Poor road network for distribution.
  • Lack of loan facilities for coffee bean farmers.

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To Sum It Up

The coffee bean farming business holds lots of promise across the world, thanks to its high demand rates. Coffee bean farming in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your ability to build a wide network. If you’re looking for a lucrative business to venture into, the coffee bean farming business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.

 

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