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How To Start A Lucrative Castor Farming Business In South Africa:

Much of the production and consumption of castor products is done by countries like India, which produces about 1,568,000 tons of castor oil.

In contrast and in terms of exportation, countries like Jamaica, Singapore and Ukraine take the leading spot, and countries with the highest importation rate include Philippines, Belize, and Saint Lucia.

Given that the castor oil plant is one which thrives on soils that other food crops don’t grow well in, this makes room for a great opportunity for Nigerian farmers to explore.

Nigeria as a nation spends over $90 million dollars on the importation of castor oil yearly, showing a weak production power for the crop.

What Is Castor?

Castor (Ricinus communis) is a seed cultivated around the world because of it’s precious oil potential.

It is a herbaceous plant that can be grown as an annual or perennial crop, depending on the weather and type of seed used.

What Is Castor Farming?

It is the complete process of growing the castor plant, harvesting and exporting.

Business Opportunities Available In Castor Farming

1). Cosmetics Production:

Among many of its uses, castor products are used in the production of cosmetics as it can enhance the absorption of other cosmetic ingredients. It also makes an excellent moisturizer, thus having more value in the cosmetics industry.

2). Soap Production:

Castor is used in soap as it is known for its cleansing properties. It is a common ingredient in soapy products such as solid bubble bath.

3). Machine Lubricants:

The castor plant is rich in unique oil properties, and this could be very effective as a lubricant for various forms of machinery.

4). Pharmaceuticals:

Castor oil is commonly used as a laxative and for the induction of labour. It is rich in many health properties and acid, which increases its validity.

5). Production Of Biofuel:

Castor bean has been used for many years as an industrial oilseed crop in the production of biofuel because of its high seed oil content, unique fatty acid composition and as well, potentially high oil yields.

Facts And Benefits Of Castor Production In Nigeria

  • Castor oil accounts for 0.15% of the world production of vegetable oils
  • World consumption of castor oil increased more than 50% during the past 25 years, rising from around 400,000 tons in 1985 to 610,000 tons in 2010
  • It represents 0.15% of the vegetable oils produced in the world
  • Helps maintain healthy hair and scalp
  • Prevents acne
  • Castor oil helps in balancing hormones in the human body
  • Castor oil can be used on wounds to speed up healing and protect against infections
  • Reduces causes of migraine
  • Contains anti-inflammatory properties
  • Serves as a laxative which helps in relief of the bowels
  • It acts as a skin and hair hydrant
  • It is the only commercial source of a hydroxylated fatty acid

Types Of Castor Plants

There are many types of castor plants, some of which include:

  • Carmencita pink
  • Carmencita bright red
  • Carmencita rose
  • Gibsonii new Zealand purple
  • Red spire

How To Start Castor Farming In Nigeria

1). Land Preparation:

Clear the land of all weeds, bushes tree stumps and any other substance that could hamper the growth of the castor plants

2). Planting:

Choose healthy mature seeds from a parent plant, to be sown on the farmland, about 7cm deep and a spacing of approximately 1m, for proper growth of the plants

3). Fertilization And Irrigation:

For best growth and produce the use of organic fertilizer should be applied, these include compost or animal dung; industrial fertilizer can also serve. In a case of steady rainfall, this would be good for the crops, but in a situation whereby this is absent, proper irrigation comes into play. Water should be made available until 2-4 weeks before harvest.

4). Harvesting:

It takes 5-6 months for castor to attain maturity, and the harvest is done during the dry season. Average yield is about 3000kg per hectare. After harvesting the seeds are then adequately dried and preserved.

Challenges Of Castor Farming In Nigeria

Here are some challenges that can affect starting castor farming in Nigeria, Africa, or many other places around the world:

  • Pest and diseases
  • Lack of government support
  • Lack of funding for large scale production
  • Lack of a highly favourable market
  • Lack of highly equipped storage facilities 
  • Lack of efficient production mechanisms
  • Not popularly known
  • Absence of a vast ready market
  • Poor funding of research activities
  • Bush burning
  • Lack of capital for large scale production
  • Lack of easy access to the international market
  • Instability of the international market price
  • Lack of adequate widespread knowledge on how to produce high-quality products
  • Lack of funds to import international standard processing machinery
  • Thieves and criminals

To Sum It Up

The castor farming business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your own ability to build a wide supply chain network. If you’re looking for a farming business to venture into, the castor farming business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.

Castor oil’s application range is very wide with uses ranging from paints, synthetic resins and varnishes, to the areas of national security involving engineering plastics, jet engine lubricants and polymers for electronics and telecommunications.

Castor oil and its derivatives also find major application in soaps, grease, hydraulic brake fluids and perfumery products as well.

Castor oil is a basic ingredient in the production of nylon 11, jet engine lubricants, nylon 610, heavy duty automotive greases, coatings and inks, surfactants, polyurethanes, polishes, flypapers, and many other chemical derivatives and medicinal, pharmaceutical and cosmetic derivatives.

Potential farmers and investors are advised to consult an expert in castor farming on where to get good seeds and other inputs before venturing into castor faming business.

Speaking on the economic benefits, a farmer and consultant with Monrole Global, Mr. Akin Famuyiwa, said, “the money in castor is even more in production of its oil. With a small machine, a castor oil producer can make N1 billion in a year. Crude castor oil could be sold to electricity companies, textile industries, paint industries, aviation industries and pharmaceutical industries to mention few. All these industries need castor oil presently imported from India and China.

Pharmaceutical industries need organic castor bean oil to produce painkillers. The world’s consumption is high and production is too low.

“Castor is a seven-year plant. This means that one time investment will last for seven good years. To me, this is incredible. A tonne of castor bean sells for $1,500 as at now. If one plants castor on 2½ acres of land (1 hectare), he can get 1 tonne every five months for seven years, which means you will harvest for about 15 times because it starts producing as from the fifth month after planting.

It only needs four rains or watering to survive and that makes you a silent millionaire because people don’t even know it when they see it. The whites come to us to look for it. We don’t have good castor seed in Nigeria but we have the best land for castor plant.”

On the cost of starting castor farming and analysis for 10 hectares of castor plantation, he said clearing of land depends on one’s negotiations and location, and heaping also depends on negotiations.

He further explained: “Labour to be determined by self, pesticides will cost N12,000, seedlings N25,000, which the total is N37,000. Likely challenges are similar to other agricultural ventures that include pest, lack of fertiliser, and lack of adequate processing factory as cost of acquiring machineries is expensive. Also, capital often limits farmers, as a government loan is sometimes cumbersome to access due to too many requirements.”

Castor seed farming in Nigeria is a profitable money-making agribusiness investment that few Nigerian farmers know about. Hence the reason why not many farmers are into this very lucrative business. The country of India is the leading producer of castor seeds worldwide. The global demand for castor oil is mainly met by only India.

This is to tell you the amount of money you can make from castor seed farming if you venture into. Despite the fertile land and suitable environmental conditions for castor seed farming in Nigeria, very few individuals are actually into it. If you consider the castor growers, processors, and marketers associations of Nigeria, then you will see for yourself.

Great opportunities abound for Nigerian farmers into castor seed farming. For a potential farmer or investor in castor seed farming business, you stand the chance of making up to N50 million naira within just seven years on 10 hectares of land.

The objective of this article is to provide you with useful and quality information on how to start castor seed farming in Nigeria. With the increasing impact of the African Development Bank on Agriculture, the sector is currently experiencing a positive turnaround. The botanical name is Ricinus communis. It is called Ogili Ugba in Igbo, Cikagida in Hausa, and Ilara/Iru in Yoruba.

This article will provide you with answers to questions like:

  • How do you grow a castor oil plant from a seed?
  • Who are the castor oil buyers in Nigeria?
  • How can you make castor oil in Nigeria?
  • What is the castor seed production per hectare?

Keep reading as the answers to the above questions on castor seed farming in Nigeria will be unveiled for you to know.

Why Castor Seed Farming In Nigeria?

The question you might be asking yourself is; why should you venture into castor seed farming in Nigeria? Well, the answers to your question are not farfetched.

  • The large castor seed market

One of the many reasons you should start castor seed farming in Nigeria is the large market for castor seeds. The domestic consumption of castor seed and its products in Nigeria is currently estimated to be about 300, 000 tonnes. Do you know that Nigeria imports over N30 billion worth of castor oil on annually? If yes, what is stopping you from leveraging the business opportunity that castor seed farming provides?

The castor oil buyers in Nigeria include families, pharmaceutical companies, textile industries, paint industries, aviation industries, and electricity companies. Business establishments like Oyinloke Farm, Biotop Green Oils & Importers in Nigeria, Tayoliads Enterprise, etc. can buy your castor seeds.

There are lots of castor oil buyers in Nigeria who will be happy to do business with you. The castor cultivation profit is enormous, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on such benefits. There are several castor oil uses in agriculture, and you will always find a market for your farm produce. The presence of many castor oil buyers in Nigeria makes your castor seed farming more profitable.

  • Castor seed farming is a very profitable business venture in Nigeria.

When it comes to the economic benefits of castor seed farming, you are not going to be disappointed. According to a castor seed farmer and consultant with Monrole Global, Mr. Akin Famuyiwa; he said that there is even more money in the production of castor oil in Nigeria.

Mr. Akin said that a castor oil producer could make up to N1 billion naira in a year. This is astonishing, isn’t it?

Castor plants live for a maximum of seven years. What this means is that an onetime investment in castor farming business will last for good seven years. It also implies that you can harvest your castor seeds twice in one year. The castor seed production per hectare is about 1 ton, and this is fresh money for you.

  • Numerous products from castor seeds

There are many products you can derive from the castor seed. The castor oil derived from castor seed is used in the production of paints, engineering plastics, and jet engine lubricants. It is also used as polymers for telecommunications and electronics. This explains why there are many castor oil buyers in Nigeria.

You have to know that castor oil is the primary ingredient for the production of nylon 11, nylon 610, heavy-duty vehicle greases, and polishes. It is also used in the production of cosmetic, medicinal, pharmaceutical, and chemical derivatives.

How To Start Your Castor Seed Farming Business In Nigeria 

  1. Have your castor seed farming business plan

Although the opportunity in castor farming business is huge, without your business plan, you may not succeed. Your castor seed farming business plan does not only serve as your guide in the course of your business. It will help you attract investors and source for funds from financial institutions and private individuals.

  1. Land preparation

The excellent thing about castor seeds is that they grow very well in virtually all the lands in Nigeria. Once you have selected the ground for your castor seed farming business, the next step is to clear and till the ground so that you can plant your castor seeds. You can also apply fertilizer to the soil if it is not so fertile.

  1. Buy good castor seed variety

There are many varieties of castor seeds available in the market today. To have a good and profitable castor seed farming business, you must seek the help of an expert in selecting the best variety. This is to prevent you from starting your castor seed farming venture with a less productive variety of castor seed.

Currently, a castor seedling sells for around N100, although the price changes with the period of the year. You will need about 600 seedlings of castor seed for 1 acre. What it means is that you will require 1500 castor seedlings for 1 hectare of land. The castor seed production per hectare is about 1 ton. Considering the castor seed production per hectare, you can envisage your castor cultivation profit.

  1. Planting your castor seeds

The best time to plant castor seeds is during the rainy season. During planting, it is recommended that you space your castor seeds by 2.5m apart. If you are asking; how do you grow a castor oil plant from a seed? There you have got your answer. Castor seeds require just about four significant rainfalls to survive; this makes it possible for them to still thrive in Northern Nigeria.

While planting your castor seeds, it is advised you dig a hole of about 40cm. Never allow weeds to grow in your castor seed farm at all.

  1. Harvesting your castor bean seeds

The maturity of castor is mainly dependent on the variety. A large number of the improved castor varieties mature five months of plating. One way of knowing that your castor seeds are mature is when one or two capsules in a bunch start drying. You should remove the whole cluster and stack them.

If you harvest an unripe capsule, it will negatively affect the oil production of the castor. The fruits should be collected when they are ripe. After you have plucked all the mature castor capsules, you dry them further under the sun for some days and then thresh them.

  1. Marketing your castor seeds

Just like those mentioned above, there are lots of castor oil buyers in Nigeria today. You can as well contact any oilseed companies to market your castor seeds. Joining the castor growers, processors, and marketers association of Nigeria will greatly assist you in attracting castor oil buyers in Nigeria.