Due to its large population and economy, Nigeria is usually called the Giant of Africa. As one of the world’s most populous countries, agriculture plays a vital role in Nigeria’s food security program.
Agriculture in Nigeria encompasses livestock production, crop production, among others. And under livestock production, we’ve poultry, ruminants and fish. Even though all animal feed products are made in Nigeria, the price continues to rise as a result of the growing costs of production. Hence, entrepreneurs need to take this open opportunity and consider investing in the feed mill business.
The feed mill business in Nigeria is also a lucrative one because the demand is on the rise as a result of the increase in animal farming.
Let’s discuss how to start a feed milling business in Nigeria.
What is Feed Milling?
This is the process of passing a variety of feed ingredients (whether solid, liquid, or both) through certain equipment to produce edible feed for animal consumption. These have to be animals we rear (domesticated animals) for eating or keeping as a pet.
Several feed products can be produced, such as feeds for poultry (chicken, turkey, peacock, ostrich, and the likes), cat, dog, pig, goat, and others.
Basic Machines for Animal Feed Mill Production
- Grinder, crusher or hammer mill
- Weighing scale
Steps to Start an Animal Feed Mill Business
There’s a ton of raw materials around you can make use of in your feed milling, including soybeans, bone meal, wheat, groundnut, or palm kernel cake. Others are crushed noodles, spent grain (one of the key ingredients for producing poultry feeds).
Make use of local materials for the production so that you’ll be able to sell cheap. Alternatively, if you’re producing for your own livestock, you can cut down on feeding expenses by as much as 30 to 40%.
If you want this business to grow sustainably, then you need to get trained by experts in the industry. This allows you to find the best formulation to produce as there mustn’t be any mistake.
This business is quite competitive, and for you to have repeat buyers, it’s crucial to produce quality feeds. The production of animal feeds will require you to be knowledgeable about the correct quantity of mix for producing quality feed.
Pick a Suitable Location
Find a favorable location to develop your feed mill business, and ensure it’s accessible, visible, spacious, and in a busy route. The location you site your business in can make or mar it. Ensure you choose an environment where your products are in demand.
Draft a Business Plan
Create a business plan for your animal feed mill business, and this is essential. After drafting it, ensure you follow it to the letter and make adjustments where necessary.
Buy Feed Mill Equipment
To start this business on a small-scale, you can set up a mini-feed mill. Purchase grinder, mixers, weighing scales, etc. which can produce 500 kilograms daily. The equipment must be in place before you buy raw materials.
Make an Arrangement with Regular Suppliers
This step is vital as you wouldn’t want to lose customers to your rivals due to a lack of materials for producing feeds. While you can find certain products such as wheat, maize, soybeans in the market, you’ve to book down others such as cake and bone-meal with a milling company.
The packaging has to be neat to boost your animal feed mill business. Consider using strong bags and print your label on them. Also, select the kind of packaging you want, whether 25 or 50kg. However, to reach this level, you’ll need to register with the necessary agents.
Register Your Business Name
Pick a business name that you can remember easily. A business name will make your enterprise looks professional. Having done that, enlist your business with the CAC and acquire the required license to operate a feed mill.
The regulatory body that supervises the quality of animal and poultry feed won’t give a license to a business, which isn’t legal, to produce animal and poultry feeds.
You may contact your lawyer to help you handle your business enlistment.
Market Animal Feeds
Visit livestock or poultry farms in your area and introduce your feed mill business to them.
You may go with a sample so they can taste it on their livestock.
Also, consider reducing the price of your feed mill to attract buyers before raising it to a suitable price.
Other Things to Keep in Mind about Feed Mill Business
Industrial Feed Mills
A subsidiary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the Federal Department of Animal Production and Husbandry Services, in its minimum operation standards for feed milling, defines industrial feed plants as those that have a minimum capacity of 5 metric tons per hour.
According to the regulations that guide the industrial production of feed mills, such large mills have to be sited in industrial layouts. Also, they’re required to be located strategically to prevent quality-compromising materials from entering into the feeds.
To operate competitively, the majority of industrial feed mills are sited in areas that have the highest concentration of poultry farms. Other factors that determine feed mill location include the cheapest raw materials like bone meal, maize, and soybeans; closeness to a power supply, labor, and logistics.
On-Farm Feed Mills
This kind of feed mill is sited on the livestock farms. They’re created for producing feeds for the farm stock. The location of an on-farm feed mill has to be at the entrance end of the farm.
Also, it’s to be at a minimum of 200 meters away from the livestock production section of the farm. If the mill is strategically sited with utmost hygiene, it can serve other poultry farms within the neighborhood.
But this is to be carried out carefully because laxity may cause the spread of diseases from one farm to another within the cluster.
Toll Feed Mills
These mills essentially service several livestock farmers. As this has bio-security implications, it’s crucial these feed plants have to be sited at a minimum of 2 km away from livestock production activities.
Feed Mill Layout
According to the department, feed mill’s internal design and layout are required to allow for good hygiene practices, such as protection against cross-contamination.
Activities have to be separated properly using physical or other effective means in which the issue of cross-contamination could come up.
Buildings and facilities have to be designed to give room for easy access for cleaning and access to the inside of the necessary machines.
There has to be enough space for carrying out all process operations and product inspections satisfactorily.
Where required, storage areas — designated and appropriately designed for toxic, inflammable, or explosive materials — need to be made available and sited away from manufacturing, storage, and packing sections.
All kinds of feed mills are required to have offices (for the reception, warehouse staff, accounts staff, and others); raw materials store; mill plant / (hammer mill, scales, mixers, and bagging facilities); cloakroom for staff; finished feeds store as well as a security gate office.
The Feed Mill Procedure
The feed mill production process has to be optimized for making quality feeds, free of chemical, physical and biological (such as mycotoxins) hazards.
Every raw material and finished product has to follow sanitary and phytosanitary standards. Raw materials have to be inspected for contamination as well as adulteration.
Feed Mill Warehousing
The warehouse has to be sited in an accessible area, which is within the mill in which trucks can pack undisturbed and without any obstructing traffic.
Also, there needs to be a loading or discharge bay that has a shoot-out roof to enable the discharge of materials or loading during inclement weather conditions.
Raw materials such as maize, soya meals, groundnut cake, and others must be stored in the warehouse before moving them to the production area.
Modern facilities are required to have silos and bins. These save a lot of space and make the transfer into bins easier for weighing and grinding.
Every material has to be on metal or wooden pallets, and typical stacking is 1 metric ton per pallet, allowing for stress-free inventory auditing.
Record-Keeping in Animal Feed Business
This is an important activity in the feed mining business. You need to ensure the records kept contain raw materials received; inventory of raw materials; everyday production records; issuance of raw materials for production; products moved to the store; inventory of finished products, in addition to sales or profit records.
If you’re looking to start a feed milling business in Nigeria, use the tips in this post to learn the ropes of the enterprise.