Last updated on August 5th, 2023 at 03:59 pm
The agriculture sector engages almost 80 per cent of the economy of Benue State and it’s home to one of the longest stretches of river systems in Nigeria.
If you’re planning of starting a business in Benue State, some of the business ideas to start include yam export, Sesame seeds export, tourism investment, and paper production industry. We’ll shed more light on these business opportunities.
Is Benue State Good for Investment?
We’ll adequately provide answers to this question, we’d use three basic indicators to access if it’s worth it to invest in one of the Middle Belt states. They are:
- Ease of doing business
- Business policies by the state government
In terms of security, Benue isn’t doing well considering the incursion and deadly activities of terrorists who attack productive villages and farmers who are the major drivers of the state’s economy.
The state government is helpless about the security situation in the state, as such, it’s partially risky to invest in some parts of Benue state. Any investor in Benue should avoid areas that are prone to attacks and communal clashes.
In terms of investment policies, the state, just like every other state in Nigeria promised to improve the ease of doing business, but they talk more than action.
The first point call for any investor is to check the official website of a statement government, sadly, Benue State’s official website domain name has expired and wasn’t renewed at the time of this report.
It’s a digital age, and we expect the state government to do more, it needs to be digitally active.
In terms of doing business ranking, Benue State was ranked no.16, meaning the state hasn’t done well in all the indicators that were used.
The above is to let you know some of the challenges ahead as you take the step in investing in Benue.
Below is a brief explanation of the business opportunities in Benue:
Yam Export Business
The major impediment to the exportation of Nigerian yam is packaging and the method of preservation. Some of the major importers of tubers of yam like Canada, USA, United Kingdom, and France prefer to import from other countries than Nigeria.
For instance, yam import value in the USA in 2020 was $85.89million; in Canada, it was $35.35million while the UK $14.29 to import yam, stats by Tridge trade intelligence says.
Although the state doesn’t have reliable data to back up the number of tubers of yam produced in the state, it’s known that they supply most of the major yam markets in Nigeria.
A food packaging expert who understands the global standard of food preservation and packaging can come in to tap into the huge opportunity in the Benue yam global market potential.
Agriculture Storage facility
Lack of post-harvest preservation is a major cause hundred of farmers sell their produce at giveaway prices during surplus and during the off-season, they are left with little of nothing.
An investor can build an agriculture storage facility in major towns for farmers’ use on a paid subscription basis.
Alternatively, such investors can buy and store in the facility and sell after agriculture production. This will not only generate revenue, it will also guarantee food security other than during periods of agricultural production.
This will also guarantee regular and continuous supplies of raw materials for processing industries, according to the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Haulage is a booming business in areas where production is high, there will always be the need to move the goods to the final consumers or buyers.
If you’re looking for ways to make money from assisting farmers to move their agricultural produce to the cities where there are already buyers, you can invest in haulage business in Benue state.
The beautiful rivers and hills in Benue, if put into use, can generate millions of US dollars annually in revenue. This comes with some challenges, but the merit outweighs the hiccups.
Despite the fact that Benue is blessed with waters, some areas still experience acute water shortages during the dry season in some local council areas like Gwer West, Guma, Ogbadibo, and Okpokwu. This is a business opportunity for someone who knows how to construct irrigation for farming.
You can provide irrigation services and consultancy for farmers in these aforementioned locations, most especially during the farming season.
Another great business opportunity in Benue state is the fishing farming business. River Benue and other rivers in the state are home to lots of aquatics that can generate revenue for investors.
In the state, the traditional fishing method is largely popular among fishermen which limits their cash and output.
One of the mineral resources vital for the production of cement is gypsum which is abundant in Benue State. For an investor who wants to locate their factory close to the sources of raw materials, areas like Apa, Gboko, Gwer, Konshisha, and Otukpo are some of the areas gypsum is found.
Cooking Oil Production
As earlier stated, Benue land is fertile in the cultivation of soybeans. Soybeans is a major raw material for cooking oil production because soybeans are high in protein. It is also a major ingredient in livestock feed. They can be used for a lot of industrial use.
Although cooking oil is one of the products on Nigeria’s prohibited list, research has shown that a lot of cooking oil still find their into Nigeria through some of the unmanned and illegal borders.
This also means the local output from oil factories is insufficient to meet the demands of consumers. This creates investment opportunities for investors to come in and fill the gap.
Sesame Seeds Export
Benue is one of the sesame seed-producing states in Nigeria. And there are two business opportunities in this agriculture produce; 1) you can come in as a supplier to buy in large quantity and sell to major buyers around the world; 2) you can establish processing plants in the state to make finished products like oil to meet internal and the international market needs.
It is one of the first crops processed for oil production. It can also be used for making soap, cosmetics, lubricants, and for medicinal purposes.
Paper Production Industry
Kaolin which is used for paper production and paints is found in local government areas like Ogbadibo, Apa, Vandeikya, and Okpokwu.
In Ogbadibo and Okpokwu Local Government areas, there is a large deposit of coal, unfortunately, it hasn’t been put into use like the United States which generates power supply from its coal deposit.
Considering the failure of the government to solve the power supply problem in Nigeria, the deposit of coal of Benue can be worked on investors to generate electricity and power a lot of companies and private homes at paid subscription.
Other investment opportunities that can be harnessed in the state include:
Barite exploration which is used for oil drilling, production of glass and chemicals
Security consultancy services
Despite the fact that Business opportunities in Benue state are huge, you must be security conscious and pay attention to the flashpoints notorious for attacks by terrorists which government mildly calls gunmen or bandits. The state capital, Makurdi holds a lot of other business opportunities for small-scale businessmen and women.