How to Start Profitable Wheat Farming Business in Nigeria

Wheat is one of the most important crops in the world, which is being harvested somewhere in every month of the year. The land mass devoted to wheat farming worldwide, exceeds that of any other crop, with total wheat production exceeding any other crop . According to Statistca, the global wheat production volume for 2022/2023 marketing year is about 781 million metric tons.

Nigeria contributed just about 110,000 metric tons.

Many countries, including Nigeria expend 2 billions dollars annually on wheat imports, CBN says. While some other countries like USA, Ukraine and Russia earn billion dollar from wheat exports. The on going war between Russia and Ukraine has cut down global supply of wheat and has led to increase in prices of wheat globally. This present opportunity for Nigerians to invest in wheat framing and processing because there is already large market for it both locally in the international markets.

Importance of Wheat

Apart from being revenue earner for individuals, businesses and the government, the following are other importance of wheat farming:

It’s the preferred grain for food in advanced countries

Unlike many other cereal crops, wheat is mainly human food rather than a feed crop.

After processing, the crop product is consumed directly by human, usually as a flour product (bread, pastries, cakes, crackers, macaroni and spaghetti).

Wheat is also used in manufacturing of dextrose and alcohol.

The by-products from wheat processing which are higher in protein content serve as a valuable protein supplement in livestock feeds.

The straw provides a valuable fodder used for making baskets and hats, thatching and as packing material.

Steps in Wheat Farming

  • Site selection
  • Land preparation
  • Varieties selection
  • Planting
  • Fertilizer application
  • Irrigation
  • Weed management
  • Pests control
  • Harvesting and processing 

Site Selection

The first step to take in wheat farming is to select a land in a good location with suitable soil. Wheat is adaptable to a wide range of growing conditions, but is best suited to cool climate with moderate rainfall. Cool weather is especially important during the trailering and early growth stages. Wheat can be grown on a wide range  of soil but does best on well-drained, fertile soils of medium to heavy texture. Wheat likes neutral to slightly alkaline soils

The site for what production must be an area with permanent source of water for irrigation

Soil management

Wheat thrives well under good soil conditions

Wheat requires clay/loam, loamy, or sandy/loam soils.

Avoid very heavy or very sandy soils.

It’s recommended to apply 5-10 tons of Farm Yard Manure to improve soil nutrients, texture and structure.

Land Preparation

After selecting the right farmland, the next is to get the land ready for planting.

Clear the land and cultivate it. The ground should be thoroughly cultivated, either annually or mechanized.

Prepare the seed or nursery beds. The seed bed should be well-pulverized but compact.

Beds (Check basins/ Border strips) are made just before sowing followed by pre-sowing irrigation and land leveling.

Variety Selection

There are a good number of wheat varieties available in Nigeria. They are: SAMWHIT-5 (Siette-Cerros), SAMWHIT-6 (Pavon E76), SAMWHIT-7 (Bulbul), SAMWHIT-8 (Solanika), LACRIWHIT-1 (Seri-M82), LACRIWHIT-2 (Cettia), LACRIWHIT-3 (LINFEN), LACRIWHIT-4 (AtillaGanAtilla).

The most common verieties now are Seri-M82 and AtillaGanAtilla 


Planting Dates

The right time for sowing is decided by several factors, which the most important is the temperature.

In Northern Nigeria, the middle to end  of November (15-30th November) has been identified to be the most suitable time for sowing. While in the Southern Nigeria the most suitable time is middle to end of June (15-30th June).

Planting Methods

The seeds may be broadcast by hand, but this result in fairly poor germination, wasted seed and irregular plant stand. Other sowing methods are by drilling and dribbling.


Seed Rate:  80-100kg/ha

Spacing: As uniform as possible


Seed Rate: 40-80kg/ha

Spacing: 20-25cm inter-row


Seed Rate: 30-40kg/ha

Spacing: 20-25cm X 20-25cm

Weed Management

Weeds are not usually major problem to wheat farm where you have good land preparation, timely sowing, good spacing, fertilizer application and correct irrigation practice.

You can use herbicides to control weeds Recommended herbicides for wheat farm  for pre-emergence and post-emergence include:

Pre-emergence Herbicides: Butachlor in form of Butaforce, Butastareto. 

Application rate: 4-5 liters per ha.

Post-emergence Herbicides: 489EC

Application rate: 2.5 liters per hectare at 3-4 weeks after sowing. 

For broadleaf weed, use 2.4D at the rate of 1-2 liters per hectare.

Harvesting and Processing

Wheat takes 90-130 days (3-5 months) from time of planting to mature depending on the variety, and weather condition. Wheat is harvested when the grain is completely ripe and the straw is golden and becomes brittle. The moisture content of the grain must be less than 13%. If it’s higher, the grain needs to be dried before it can safely be stored.

Wheat can be harvested with sickle, or mechanically with a combine harvester.

If you want to do the harvesting and threshing manually, winnowing must be done to separate the grain from the chaff.

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