How to Start Rice Farming in Nigeria Step by Step Guide

Welcome to my post guys, on this post I want to first ask a question and then answer it with other’s answers I see on the internet. Note that I’m not a rice farmer but I’m going to take answers from professional rice farmers to answer the question for you. So how Profitable is Rice Farming in Nigeria and how can an interested person start a rice farm in Nigeria? So let’s get started. If this is your first time on this platform, kindly know that informationhood is a platform that supports the sharing of business ideas and important information regarding business and success.

How Lucrative is Rice Farming in Nigeria and How to Start 

So in my search on the procedure, I came across a website that explains it well enough name Agricincome. I want to especially thank this site for the step-by-step guide they provided on this topic. Let’s get started. According to Agricincome Rice cultivation in Nigeria is a lucrative business because rice is one of the most popular foods and is accepted in all parts of the country. In Nigeria, rice consumption has increased massively over the years due to the ever-growing population. It is consumed in all parts of the country and prepared either as white rice, coconut rice, fried rice, jollof rice, or processed into the traditional dish pate. Rice is prepared mainly by cooking and can be ground into flour. It is eaten alone and in a variety of soups, side dishes, and as a main course. It can also be made into other products such as breakfast pasta, cereals, and alcoholic beverages.

Rice-producing states in Nigeria

Normally it’s a wise question to ask what is the best place to farm rice in Nigeria, here’s what Agricincome has to say about the best location for Rice farming. “Rice cultivation in Nigeria is prevalent in the northern part of the country, but the major rice-producing states in Nigeria are Kano State, Gombe State, Niger State, Kebbi State, Ebonyi State, Anambra State, Nasarawa State, and Ogun State. Rice is a cereal crop grown on waterlogged soils. The water volume ranges from 5 to 50 cm”.

Rice can be classified by its color from brown to white as this affects its nutritional value. Brown rice has a higher nutritional content than white rice because it is less processed and contains more nutrients in the form of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It can also be classified by size into different varieties: long grain, medium grain, short grain, sweet, aromatic, and Arborio.

Rice production in Nigeria

Rice production in Nigeria is largely produced by smallholder farmers who produce rice mainly for their consumption with little or none left for sale. The rice produced by smallholder farmers is usually not properly processed. This is because most farmers produce rice for their consumption. Despite this, Nigeria is the country with the highest rice production in West Africa, with about 3 million tons per year, but it is also the country with the most rice imports in the world.

In this case, the percentage of commercial farmers is very low, but due to the ever-growing population, general acceptance and increasing consumption, rice production in Nigeria has increased sharply. This is a great guarantee for the profitability of rice cultivation in Nigeria.

Normally, short-duration varieties require 100-120 days, medium-duration varieties require 120-140 days, and long-duration varieties require 160 days or more. However, most varieties require 60-65 days from panicle initiation to harvest.

How to plant rice

First of all, you need to purchase a good quality seed of the desired variety, so that you can achieve the expected and desired result. After all, a poor seed can not be improved by any tillage or fertilization, no matter how good.

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"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good: His love endures forever."

Choose a place for planting

Clay or clayey loam soils are best for rice cultivation because soils with a good water retention capacity and a high content of clay and organic matter are ideal for rice cultivation.

Preparation of the soil

Moisten the land; this can be achieved through irrigation or rainfall. This will soften the soil and prevent the growth of unwanted weeds.

Plow the land; the purpose of plowing is to soften the soil so that the soil can be well rooted and nutrients can be properly absorbed.

Harrowing; is breaking up the bowl of soil created during plowing. This is done to smooth out the soil. This can be done twice to get a better result.

Leveling the soil: the purpose of this is to distribute water evenly in all parts of the field. This should be done with a leveling machine.


Planting can be done in two ways: 

  • 1. transplanting pre-grown seedlings into seedbeds 
  • 2. direct seeding. This involves fully immersing the seeds in water for 24 hours before germination and then incubating them for another 24 hours.

Then distribute the seed evenly over the field.

Drain the field; this should be done 0-9 days after sowing so that the seeds emerge well.


Maintain a water depth of about 2-3 cm to prevent soil hardening and to facilitate pulling the seedlings. Then you should uproot the seedlings by holding the seedling close to the root and then pulling it towards you. Transplanting can be done both manually and mechanically, and the distance between the seeds in the row should be 20x20cm and the depth 2-3cm.

Application of fertilizer

Spread the fertilizer evenly over the field to provide the rice with the nutrients it needs to survive the early growing season.

Note: Re-fertilisation occurs between 35 and 55 days after seeding. It provides nitrogen, potassium, sulfur, calcium, and chlorine.

Weed control

Weeds can be controlled by spraying herbicides. Spraying can also be done before planting to prevent weeds from emerging.

Maintain a water depth of about 2-3 inches throughout the planting period to prevent weed germination.


Harvesting should be done when 80-85% of the grains (rice plants) have turned a golden yellow color to avoid shattering. Harvesting can be done manually with a sickle or mechanically with a combine. Thresh immediately after harvest to avoid post-harvest losses.

In summary, rice cultivation in Nigeria is still a golden catch and a thriving business. Compared to perishable crops, postharvest losses of rice are very low. However, more support should be given to commercial farmers and appropriate processing facilities to increase local production of rice that meets global standards, create more jobs, and ultimately feed the growing population

This is all you need to know about great rice farming in Nigeria. If you have any questions or suggestions, kindly drop them off using the comment box below.

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Written by Thehood King

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