Step-By-Step Guide: How to start Rice Business in Nigeria

Step-By-Step Guide: How to start Rice Business in Nigeria
Step-By-Step Guide: How to start Rice Business in Nigeria

The rice business in Nigeria is very lucrative to venture into and make a substantial amount of money regardless of your location, gender, and even capital.

The rice business is one of the fastest-moving businesses in Nigeria due to the high consumption of rice. The business can be started both on a small scale and a large scale.

Due to many Nigerians preferring foreign rice over locally made ones, you can make a lot of money from the business, as foreign rice is costly and hard to find in some parts of the country. Because of this, many people want to venture into the business and make some cool cash.

However, you need to understand and know in detail what the business entails before starting a rice business in Nigeria. That is why we’ve curated this post to show you exactly how to start a rice business in Nigeria.

From the cost of starting and profitability to where and how to buy and sell, as well as the opportunities, you’ll discover everything you need to know to start a profitable rice business in Nigeria.

Opportunities in Business

The rice business involves the sales of usually foreign rice in Nigeria, and it can be started in many ways, including:

Rice Distribution Business

A rice distribution business simply means becoming a rice supplier. It involves buying bags of rice in bulk, then selling them in bags, half of a bag, and a quarter to retailers and, sometimes, final consumers.

This is the most popular way of starting a rice business in Nigeria. Becoming a rice distributor in Nigeria is very profitable, as you’ll be making massive profits per bag, although it requires enormous capital to start.

Rice Retailing Business

The rice retailing business involves buying rice from distributors and reselling it in small quantities (mud & milk tin) to final consumers. You can also make a lot of money becoming a rice retailer in Nigeria, as there is always high demand by the final consumer.

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The rice retailing business is a good source of daily income, and it can be started with little capital.


How Profitable is Rice Business in Nigeria?

One common question asked by people looking to go into especially the rice distribution business in Nigeria is – is the rice business profitable in Nigeria?

Yes, the rice business is very profitable in Nigeria. This is because there is always a strong demand for rice, as it is one of the most consumed foods in Nigeria.

However, the profitability of this business depends on some factors, including season, location, and price fluctuation. There are times when rice is usually scarce in Nigeria; during this time, the price tends to inflate, resulting in higher profit margins.

As per location, since large quantities of foreign rice are usually available for low prices in the western part of the country, transporting them to other factors may be expensive, affecting realizable profits.

Although regardless of those factors, you’ll still make money as a rice distributor in Nigeria. The profit margin of rice could range from 10% to 50% depending on the current price, scarcity, and location.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Rice Business in Nigeria?

The capital needed to start a rice business depends on your approach and how big or small you want to start. The location also determines how much to budget as a startup fund for a rice business in Nigeria.

To start a rice distribution business in Nigeria, you will need millions of Naira. This is because, as a distributor, you’ll need a lot of things to get started, including a warehouse and truck, as well as buying in larger quantities (at least 50 bags). While as a retailer, you can start with less than 50,000 Naira, as a bag is enough.

How to Start Rice Business in Nigeria

Decide on the Rice Business Idea to StartSince there are many opportunities in the rice business. You’ll need to choose one to start with. Here, you’ll need to do some findings about the most profitable one and the one that moves fast in your area.

If you live in a place with no rice distributor, starting a rice distribution business would be ideal. Although, you also need to consider the cost of starting while picking a rice business idea.

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Get to Understand the Business

After choosing the one to go with, you must understand how the business works. This can be done by carrying out market research.

To get the best result, you’ll need to meet someone already in the business and ask them about it. Make some findings, including how fast the business moves, how and where to source the best rice, how and where to sell, the price range, the best season for the most profits, and so on.

Doing this would make it easier to start and succeed as a rice distributor and even retailer in Nigeria.

Arrange for a Startup Capital

It would help if you raised the capital to start a rice business in Nigeria. Since you won’t need much money to start as a retailer, you can source your capital from your savings.

However, as a rice distributor, you’ll need huge startup capital. You can source your funding from your personal savings if you have enough, seek financial assistance, or perhaps a loan from friends and family or even a bank. You can also seek partnerships to start a rice distribution business in Nigeria.

Get a Store or Warehouse

After getting your capital in place, you first want to invest in storage for your goods. Although rice hardly gets spoiled when stored properly, you must prepare a secure place to avoid theft.


You can start the rice business as a retailer by renting a kiosk or a small shop. While as a distributor, since you’ll be dealing with a huge quantity, you’ll need a warehouse to start a rice business.

While looking for a store for your business, ensure you find a place where the business moves the most. For example, an open market would be ideal as a distributor, while a busy street (e.g., students’ area) would be great for retailers.

More so, since foods are prone to theft, you should go with a place with little to no criminal records and well secured by security agents.

Find a Supplier

Starting a Rice business, you will need somewhere to buy from at low prices to sell for the most profits. As a distributor, your supplier would be rice milling and packaging companies or farmers if you want to start a local rice business.

While as a retailer, distributors would be your supplier, and you can find them in any state and town across the country. If your market research (step 1 above) is well done, you will discover the best suppliers for you.

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Get Started and Start Selling

With everything from step one to five in place, the next thing is to start selling. Before you can start getting sales, you’ll need to market your products.


As part of marketing, the first thing) to do is know your target audience. First, identify the type of people that buy what you’re selling. As a rice distributor, your target audience would be retailers.

You can find and walk from one retailer to another, marketing your business. To get the best result, you must offer them better than your competitors. These include but are not limited to:


Giving Free Samples

As a new distributor, to gain the trust of retailers, you would need to show them a sample of the type of rice you’re distributing. Many retailers seek this to confirm the quality of the goods and if they suit the current market conditions before buying.

Offering Discounts

Offering discounts on massive purchases is another great way to market yourself as a rice supplier in Nigeria. You can give a specific percentage discount on every bag of rice purchased. The more retailers or sub-distributors buy, the more deal they’ll get.

Offering Free Delivery

For a start, you can offer retailers free delivery to their shop or any destination. This will make them loyal, and later on, you can stop the free delivery or present it on big purchases.

In Conclusion

The rice business in Nigeria is very lucrative to start as a retailer and distributor. You can begin both on a small scale and a large scale. And with this post on how to start a rice business in Nigeria, you’ve got some helpful tips to get started!


Allow Payment on Delivery

Working with long-distance customers, you can offer a payment-on-delivery service to gain their trust. Doing this makes them more likely to buy from you than any other distributor.

Allow Credit Supply

When you get a few regular retailers with that large customer base, you can make a deal to supply them on credit and allow them to repay after the sale. It would be best to do this with long-term customers loyal to your business. It would be best if you didn’t try this on your first sale or with your customers.


Where can I buy rice at wholesale price in Nigeria?

You can buy rice wholesale in Nigeria from a rice mill or mega suppliers.

How to invest in the rice business in Nigeria?

You can invest in the rice business in Nigeria by cultivating a rice farm or becoming a distributor. You must buy from rice mills or mega suppliers as a distributor and resell to retailers.


How to start a rice storage business in Nigeria?

The rice storage business in Nigeria simply means buying raw rice in bulk from farmers at harvest, storing it for a while, and reselling it when the price appreciates. To start, you only need to know when and where rice is cheap, then buy, store, and resell when they are costly.

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