Honey is a popular food product with hundreds of health benefits, but if you are looking for new business ideas, you will be happy to know that honey production can be a very lucrative enterprise. Here is everything you need to know about starting a honey production business in Nigeria.
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1. Why honey production?
There is a variety of agricultural business booming right now in Nigeria, and with honey production definitely not being the easiest one to launch and to run, you may be wondering: should you even try producing honey or should you go for another business?
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The truth about honey production is that the market for this business is already huge and it continues to grow every year. Today, you have the following opportunities as a bee business owner:
- Beekeeping. If you don’t want to delve into honey production, you can simply run a beekeeping business and sell bees to other farmers and businesses.
- Export. In case you want to run a large scale bee business, you can venture into exporting honey and other bee products. The international market for honey is huge and always growing.
- Wholesale. There are numerous channels for selling honey, including food production, cosmetic production, and medicinal production, both in Nigeria and overseas.
2. Types of honey production
Before you launch your honey production business, you need to decide what type of honey-making business you want to start. These are the three types you can choose from:
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- Regular honey production, which is the most popular way to produce honey because of the longer shelf life of the product, but it also causes the honey to lose some of its vital nutrients due to the pasteurization and refinement processes.
- Raw honey production, where honey is not processed at all and is never heated, thus retaining its nutrients. However, raw honey production still allows you to use chemicals.
- Organic honey production, which requires the beekeeper to never use chemicals in any stage of rearing the bees and producing the honey. Organic honey is pasteurized on low temperatures, retaining its nutrients.
3. How to start a honey production business
These steps will help you launch a thriving honey production business:
- Write a business plan, where you will include the objectives, potential challenges, information about the competitors, and other essential components of a successful business launch.
- Gather the required capital, which will depend on the scale of your business. The great thing about honey production is that you can start a small-scale business with your own savings and then gradually grow it without taking expensive loans.
- Find a good location that is free of chemical pollution and has plenty of water and nectar sources for the bees. Plus, it needs to be easily accessible by transportation for you, your employees, and potential customers.
- Register and licence your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria, NAFDAC, and the local beekeeping association in your state.
- Source the required materials, tools, and bee population for your business.
- Take appropriate measures to prevent common diseases in your bee population and to remove the pests, which can be a huge threat to the success of your enterprise.
- Maintain your bee business by visiting your farm at least once a week, cleaning the unused hives, and attracting new bees to it with the goal of expanding your business.
- Collect, pasteurize, and package your product if you decide to sell honey as a food product. Pay special attention to the design of the packaging and your marketing efforts, as they will determine the success of your honey production business.
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