Nowadays, people no longer wait to have a large piece of land or have a fat budget before they could go into agricultural business. They could easily start it up in their backyards or by acquiring a small piece of land. Since an oil business or any white collar job isn't coming, some people decide to venture into agribusiness and be a boss of thier own. There are so many businesses that one could set up in agriculture, and they are very profitable only if it's properly managed. Agriculture has turned out to have a lot to offer in every country. So many people are now business owners through agriculture because of its high profit earnings. Agriculture is done in the sole purpose of producing food either in the line of crop farming or in the line of animal husbandry; either ways, one makes massive profits through the sales of agricultural products, since everyone needs food to survive. Because of the high demand of these agriculture products, this business has been made open and profitable to as many who would want to venture into it. There are so many businesses in agriculture that you could startup, but our main focus here is the livestock farming. Livestock farming is the rearing of animals for their meat, milk, eggs, wool etc. Livestock farming is a highly profitable business that anyone could startup, either on a large scale or low scale. Many livestock businesses are owned by small-time farmers in rural areas. If you do not have a large land to start your livestock farming business, that's no problem! you can start on a small piece of land with a lower number of animals and later expand it. Livestock farming in Nigeria includes pig, snail, cattle, goat, rabbit, chicken and other farming sub-niches. It is a very profitable industry, and its development depends on two major factors: raw materials and technologies used in the production. Steps to running a successful live-stock farming. If you have decided that livestock farming is the kind of business you want to venture into, then there are a lot of things you need to get ready. As you know; nothing is easy, just because it's livestock farming it doesn't mean it's an easy work.Your efforts and management will determine the business success. The first step to a successful livestock farming is: Land: getting a land is the first step to you starting your livestock business, and it's also very important. As a beginner it is advisable to start on a small scale, so that you will be able to study the business properly, and know what it needs to expand. If you are a beginner it's not safe to rush into live-stock farming on a large scale, it could cause you huge loss, since you don't have enough experience to run it, so it's best to start on a small scale. For those who are well experienced, they could start on a large scale, but on a large piece of land. Funding of the business and making a business plan: This part is also very important since it will determine the amount of land you will be able to purchase, it will also determine if you will be dealing on a large scale or not. The next is your business plan. Before going into any business at all, it is wise to have a business plan. These are the goals you set out for yourself, it also has to do with how big you want the business to be, making lists of everything you need, summing up all of your expenses, your market strategy, how to deal with competition in the Market; these things you are to think through before moving forward. Note: your goals should always include making the business a success by giving it your best, putting your efforts into it, and make plans of expansion. Determination and Persistent: determination and persistent is not only needed in livestock farming business, but also in every business. With determination you will be able to accomplish the goals that you have set out for yourself. Determination goes with persistent; if you are determined and persistent there is no limit to what you can achieve. The business is indeed profitable, but you could sometimes experience loss due to improper management. If this happens would you just give up or push forward? This is why determination and persistent is coming in handy here. With determination and persistent you won't give up or get discouraged when you undergo loss, but instead you will have the zeal to match forward so as to achieve the goals you have set out for yourself. Prospect of livestock farming business. Before deciding on the type of livestock business you want to get into, you will have to know the demands of the consumers present in the Market. It is the livestock that is highly consumed by the consumers that you should rear most, for higher demand yield more profit. When you see that one area is more profitable than another, it is obvious which one to choose and start off your own business. But you have to remember that every market and every consumer’s demands are different. Therefore, the right decision should be made according to the market demand. These days, almost all livestock farming areas bring in good money. Whatever sub-niches you might choose, it will still be profitable. The livestock farming business in Nigeria or animal husbandry is a very promising type of business, and it is estimated that in future it will be even more prosperous, than the oil industry. Here is the list of top 7 most profitable sub-niches in Nigerian livestock farming: Goat farming Goat farming is a very rapidly developing and growing farming sector in Nigeria. People love how tender goat meat is and the fact that it contains almost no fat. Also, it has higher protein content than any other meat. Goat milk can be used for making yogurt, ice cream, cheese, and butter. These are the main reasons why goat farming business will develop in the future and is considered now to be a very lucrative business. Before starting your own goat farming business in Nigeria, you will need: A piece of land/pasture: Acquire a good grazing ground that grows plenty of grass varieties. Goats need a large expanse of land, because they move around a lot while grazing. Appropriate fencing – Construct short perimeter fence round your pasture or barbwire fence. Housing: Goats like to stay indoors when the weather is not conducive e.g too hot or raining. A few pointers: Species: There are a large number of goat breeds suitable for different purposes of rearing. Some are very good for milk production while some are good for the meat. Choose what is appropriate for your commercial purposes. Once decided, buy healthy kids. Rabbit farming When it comes to rabbit farming, there is no need to worry about too many requirements. This kind of farming has a very good future and good to focus on. You do not have to only focus on rabbit meat production. Aside from it, you can also concentrate on leather and fur production. Fur for clothes will be in high demand in the near future. It does not matter if you are a farmer or investor, you will always get a good profit out of rabbit farming business. Before you start your rabbit farming business in Nigeria, you will need: Cages or hutches: These should be able to protect the rabbits from heat and humidity. Feeders and drinkers Kits/baby rabbits Feed: This may be processed feed or edible vegetable and leaves, elephant grass, potatoes and different kinds of herbs. Fish farming The catfish farming and tilapia fish farming businesses occupy the biggest retail area when it comes to the fish farming business industry. It is a very profitable farming sub-niche, because of Nigeria’s access to the ocean. If you take a look at a typical Nigerian daily nutrition ration, you will notice that out of 10 Nigerians more than 6 persons eat fish on daily basis. Among these 6 people, more than half of them consume catfish weekly. The total profit of selling and producing cat fish per week in Nigeria is estimated to be N75 million and in the future it will be even more. Therefore catfish will be even more profitable and high in demand on the fish market. Before starting your own fishery business you’ll need: A piece of land Fish ponds. You will need to procure the services of a pond construction expert for this. Borehole and overhead tank: This will serve as the water reservoir for the fishes. Fingerlings: Make sure to buy fast growing and disease resistant breeds. A few pointers: Before beginning a catfish farming business, here are a few pointers to consider: Size: decide what size your farm will be, and the size will determine if you already have the necessary capital or if you need to access outside funding. Level of demand: Since your objective is to make profit, you have to investigate the level of demand for the catfish in your desired market area. Estimate the cost: Once you have done your market research, you will understand how many numbers of catfish you’re likely to sell per month. The next step is to try to know your monthly cost. This includes one off expenditures such as building of fish tanks, and recurrent expenditures such as fish feed and medication. Your competitors: Business is about winning market share, so you must find out if there were other fish farms operating before in your intended market. How are they doing? How much of the market demand are they satisfying? What share of the market will you be able to effectively capture? Knowledge base: Continue to increase your knowledge base about catfish breeding and farming, marketing, negotiation, market dominance etc so that your business can be profitable. Pig farming It is a relatively new livestock farming business in Nigeria and has only started to develop. It is not as large scale as a fish farming business. Nevertheless, it is believed that in the future it will triumph over cattle farming and bring in more than profits. Before starting your own pig farming in Nigeria, you will need: A piece of land for breeding: It is advisable to secure a piece of land in the rural areas. Land is cheaper there, and the pigs can roam around in the fields once in a while. Standard pens: To house the pigs. This must have proper drainage to eliminate bad odour and diseases. Water pool: While this is optional, it is important to note that pigs like swimming and being able to keep cool is necessary for their well beings because pigs are not sweating animals. Healthy piglets. A few pointers: Veterinary doctor: Secure the services of vet doctor for regular checkup and vaccination as well as feeding and nutrition advice. Employ workers: You will need some workers for assistance, as pig farming can be labour intensive. Feeding: Pigs eat a wide variety of food, but they need a balanced diet like humans do. Their diet should contain fibre, energy, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in order for them to thrive. Cattle farming Cattle farming is said to be the most common and the oldest livestock farming business in Nigeria. It is especially popular in the northern part of the country. In future, it is estimated to become even more profitable, since these days, more and more people start to consume milk on a daily basis. One, we are a nation of beef consumers. And two, although cattle are raised primarily for beef or milk production, there is no part of the cow that isn’t useful. Other ‘by-products’ include dairy products, cow hide, cow horns, bones, hooves and stearic acid. Cattle farmers basically raise cattle either to sell as a whole or sell their products. Getting started cattle rearing business in Nigeria, you will need: Farmland: A very large piece of land. Farm equipment: Cow sheds Feeding and watering equipment Healthy calves A few pointers Cattle business model: Most farmers either go for Dairy Operation Business Model or Beef Production Business Model. Dairy Operation Business Model is raising cattle primarily to sell their dairy products – especially milk. Beef Production Business Model is raising cattle primarily for beef consumption. Whichever model you decide on plays a key role in determining the farm equipment you will go for. Climate: Be sure that rainfall, relative humidity, temperature and all are favourable to your cattle breed Government Policies: Varying from State to State, some governments have all sorts of rules guiding cattle ranches. You will do well to consider these policies before purchasing the land. Breed: There are over 800 known breeds of cows. Your cattle business model should be put into consideration before deciding on your choice of cow. It sure doesn’t make sense to settle for beef cows when your intended model is for dairy production. There are two breeds traditionally reared in Nigeria. They are the Zebu and the Taurines. Vet doctors: Always have a veterinary doctor on call. S/he will help with vaccinations, birthing, feeding and treatment. Poultry farming This type of farming is a very popular business in every country of the world. It is so profitable due to several reasons. You can sell not only chicken meat but eggs as well. You can raise not only chickens but ducks and turkeys as well. This way, you can satisfy every customer’s need. Before you start, you will need: A piece of land Pens (chicken’s houses): Housing is very important for chicken rearing and effective keeping and management. Poultry housing are classified according to the scale and the management system. Day old chicks Feeders, Drinkers, Perches. Nests, Crates, Lighting system, Waste disposal system, Incubator, Heaters or brooders, Egg tray, Cages and coops. Feed A few pointers: Decide on the type of bird you want to concentrate on. While the most common bird reared in Nigeria is the chicken (Layers and Broilers), some farms also breed turkeys, geese and/or ducks. Decide on your area of interest: Choose you exact area of focus. This may be layers breeding which is egg production by Layers, broilers breeding which refers to the chicken meat production by broilers, turkey breeding which refers to turkey meat production by turkeys, and hatchery which has to do with breeding chicken for the purpose of hatching new chicks. Location: A location in a very remote rural area will cost far less than the one close to the urban area. Snail farming Everyone is aware of the health benefits of snail meat. Since it is so good for your health, Nigerian government plans to promote the snail farming industry and involve more farmers into the business. Due to the high demand in foreign countries, in future, it will be extremely profitable to export snail meat abroad. Note: When livestock are kept on small plots of land and the animals aren't rotated, there's more chance of parasites getting into the soil and causing health issues; additionally, grass and other vegetation gets obliterated and doesn't have time to regrow, requiring a larger purchase of baled forage. Plus, animals that are kept in spaces that aren't adequate are more prone to pecking, bullying and aggression issues. Advantages of livestock farming in Nigeria 1. Livestock farming is a way of gaining employment, it provides job for both the owner and the staffs. When properly run, it is very lucrative 2. Livestock farming has provided a medium of feeding the nation 3. It can serve as a source of export income. Disadvantages of livestock farming in Nigeria 1. It is generally labour intensive. You have to be willing to put in the required work hours to make good profit. 2.When there is a lack of knowledge and poor expertise, it can lead to a huge loss of income and savings. So, if this is your dream business, you can follow all of these steps and more from your own side to get your business up and running. You can choose from whatever sub-niches of your choice and start earning.