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Types of Agribusiness - Open Education Online

Types of Agribusiness

Poultry Business

There is a consistent demand for poultry meats and eggs in many countries of the world including the UK and US. Poultry consists of domestic birds such as chicken and turkey. Feeding and structure can be capital intensive depending on location and facility type, but market demand allows for great pricing and effective ROI. Agribusiness is a business of scale so you can start small and scale up for as low as $100. To practice poultry business, you can carve a niche as seen below.

  • Breeder/Hatcher: A hatcher/breeder produces chicks to supply the pullet sector, in a controlled environment that is bio secure. This can be in a ratio of 13 females to 1 male, by collecting laid eggs in nesting boxes and incubating for 18 days and in hatchers for 3 days to make a total of 21 days. Once the chicks hatch, they sell them and continue the cycle.
  • Pullet Producer: This entails buying special breeder chicks from breeders and rearing till 17 weeks old in a controlled bio secure environment, then sell off to the egg farmers.
  • Egg Farmer: An egg producer buys 17 weeks old pullets from pullet producers, feed with layers marsh and condition till 18 weeks. Pullets lay for about 52 weeks even though their best eggs come during the first 13 to 15 weeks after conditioning. At 72 to 77 weeks old, the birds, popularly known as “old layers or spent layers” are culled. They may practice free range production, perchery, barn or intensive system.
  • Broiler Farmer. This entails producing birds for meat consumption. Broiler farmers will buy day old chicks from the breeder/hatchers for 46 days in an intensive system or 56 days in a free-range system. If growing them organically, for 70 days using slow growers or 81 days using fast growers.

Honey Business (bee keeping)

Bee keeping also known as Apiculture can be explored as a business venture by keeping the popular bee specie Apis mellifera also known as Honeybee for honey production. Many countries including the UK have a large percentage of this sector unoccupied, which makes it a good business target area. Bee keeping facility is the major cost incurred which will be recovered in no time due to the high and versatile demand of honey. To set up a bee keeping facility, it costs between $100 to $500 depending on location and system.

Pepper Farming Business

Pepper thrives well on a variety of soil and weather conditions, both indoor and outdoor. They grow in pots, gardens, green houses, and on the open farm. There are different types of pepper commonly known as Capsicum spp of about 50,000 varieties. The red chilli, cayenne, red bell, yellow bell, and green bell have great market value. Various people from across ethnic groups use pepper for several purposes especially cooking. In many countries, certain peppers are specifically meant for certain dishes.

Most peppers mature in about 3 months and for commercial purpose, it requires land with enough rainfall or irrigation, or a greenhouse. For assurance of great marketable products, farmers should acquire seeds of marketable characteristics from reputable seed banks. For a $100 investment, you can make $3000 in pepper farming.

Mushroom Farming Business

Gone are the days when people waited for mushrooms to either sprout or not sprout from dead decaying wood or debris. Given the growth rate of research and development over the years, there has been a great rise in cultivation and man-made production of mushrooms, especially the oyster mushrooms. Mushrooms have gone high in demand as well due to the many health benefits being unraveled over time. In the US, Chester County, which is a small-town, supplies over 400 million pounds of mushrooms estimated to be worth $365,000,000.

Compared to other crops or plants, mushroom farming requires less land surface and even thrive in plastic bags, bowls, wooden vats etc. even without soil. Using 0.25 acre of land, an incubation unit and cropping unit. It can also be setup using the vertical farming system. For each one thousand bags in a cropping room, there is a resulting 2 tons of mushroom buttons. Mushroom buyers include households, retail outlet, neighborhood supermarkets, pharmaceutical industries and many more. The mushroom market keeps growing, making it a viable, low capital investment with high ROI.

Fish Farming Business (Aquaculture)

Compare to the good old fish farming system done by the watersides or by casting net into the seas, fishing practices have evolved over the years. To maintain life below water, which is one of the United Nations sustainable development goals, Aquaculture has been endorsed as a tool. Commercial fish farming involves the aquaculture pattern of rearing cultured species of fish in enclosed spaces known as ponds. The common varieties of aquaculture product grown in the UK market are salmon and shellfish. The US has a huge involvement in catfish and some tilapia, trout, then fin fish. Catfish is largely produced in Africa with Nigeria being the largest producer. Fish are cultured in hatcheries by brooders, from a brood stock bank, then they supply fingerlings and juveniles to grow out farmers.

Depending on the location, topography, water availability, water quality, soil type, fish variety, and business purpose; there are different types of fishpond. A farmer can choose from either a concrete pond, earthen pond, cage pond, tarpaulin pond or plastic tanks. On a land of 0.25 acre, a farmer can erect 100 m2 ponds conveniently. The medium of production, management practices, feed type, and quality are the main investments in this business. As the world evolves and requirement to eat healthy increases, fish business has become more viable with a higher number of people opting for fish over meat. Fresh catfish costs an average of $3.5 in Nigeria, $5 in Kenya, as high as $1.3 per lb in the US in 2018.

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