How To Start Buying And Selling Of Foodstuffs In Nigeria

buying and selling of foodstuff

Buying and selling of foodstuffs is another way to make money from Agribusiness. In fact it is a more sure way to make money from farming especially if you are not thinking of storage business. As we all know with food business you can never be wrong. Most farm produce are indigenous to certain regions and can only do well there. For instance, most staple foods are grown in the North while most cash crops are from South. That is why in Nigeria there must be a symbiotic relationship with all regions in regards to food crops  in other to feed well.

The Northern region is known to grow crops mostly through irrigation. Majority of traders in the South go there to buy their produce to sell. While also taking food  produce from the South to sell in the North.For instance food commodities like

  • Onions
  • Groundnut
  • Beans
  • Sorghum
  • Millet
  • Sugarcane
  • Hibiscus (zobo)
  • Rice
  • Guinea corn
  • Tiger nut
  • Hides and skin (kanda), etc. are grown in large commercial quantities in the North.


  • palm oil,
  • vegetables,
  • ogbono,
  • crayfish,
  • bitter kola,
  • water yam,
  • cassava etc.

I know a guy who carries palm oil to Adamaws State for sale then buy Kanda and beans to in Akwa Ibom. The buness became very successful, before we knew it he added beans.

Onion business


It is highly profitable. Buying and selling of foodstuff immediately is more profitable than storage. In the sense that you can do over turn as many times as possible. Whereas storage will only give money at a particular time but in bulk.

Assuming you bought a bag of foodstuff and made #2,000 from it. Let say you bought 600 bags in a week how much is that, #1,200,000. And you may happened to do so four times in a month it will give you 4.8 million. By the time you calculate how much you realised; compared to those who store maybe 600 bags and make #5,000-#10,000 each; you will be better than them in profit.

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Food distribution business is lucrative but has been hijacked by mafias. There are unions (associatiion) in all  foodstuffs and if you are not a member you can’t trade on them. But you can always look for a way out if don’t have money to join. I was told that to register with Hides and skin association in Akwa Ibom I will need about #200,000. Because of that I use my house for the business, it was a large compound. I contacted buyers first reduce the amount so they can patronize me before I ordered for it. Immediately they arrived I notify them and everything was cleared.

Rice business

Rice  business

Take not of this, you may have to sell them on credit but fixed a date you will come back for the money. The serious ones will comply while others will give you headache. What you will do is that next time you don’t sell to the stubborn ones. To start buying and selling of foodstuffs there are certain things to put into considerations

Grains buying and selling


You need good money to start this business. Although you can start small with the amount available to you. But to really succeed in buying and selling business you need a reasonable amount of money from #500,000 up to a million and above. If not your profit will end in transportation. Assuming you have money to buy a trailer load of maize, it will be more economical than buying few bags and paying commercially drivers who will charge you heavily.


You have to make decision on the type of commodity to deal on. It has to be foodstuffs that are hot cake;; highly demanded or sourced after food in your locality. In this case you don’t have to assume. Knowing fully well that foodstuffs are highly perishable crops. So buy the ones that won’t take too long in the store before exhausting them. But some commodities like grains can last a little longer in the store without spoilage.


If you have your own truck or van the better for it. But in the absence of that; there are long trucks plying from the North to high commercial cities in the country. Some of those states include Lagos, Rivers, Ibadan, Cross River, Anambra, Kano,; Adamawa, Taraba, Abuja etc. Trucks doesn’t cover all the States so you have to find out if those trucks ply your route. This will help you to makè concrete arrangement for your foodstuff buying and selling business. If you have steady means of conveying your commodity to the point of sale then success is already achieved.


Make sure you have built or rented a shop/ware house down. This is where you will offload your commodities. It should be a place that is easy to locate and motorable. In Akwa Ibom State a rice seller rented one of the new buildings close to us. Bcause it was close to the city centres his rice business became hit. He started offloading more than one truck in a week. Don’t let yours be too far from commercial centre. Commodities like tomatoes, pepper, okra, orange can be taken directly to the market place. The same Akwa Ibom State an orange trader positioned his own opposite the market and has been expanding his buying and selling business ever since.


Before you start make sure you meet the market traders that are into the commodity you want to start buying and selling. And also dealers of such commodity in large quantities. Ask them questions on the variety that is eaten most in that location. How much do the buy it in bags or basket etc.



Aliero in Kebbi State is the biggest onion market in West Africa. Buyers come from nearby African countries to buy. You can buy a bag of onions #5,000 during its season and sell to market women #10,000. It also sales up to #20,000 during off season so you have to sell according as you buy. Transportation will not be more than #2,000 if it is truck. Apart from Aliero there are other places such as Sokoto State. Onion is grown in large commercial quantities in the North so chose the State that favours you.


Bags of dry pepper differs in prices and sizes from different States; it could be Jamila bag, bagco bag, jumbo bag. Also the variety of pepper differs per location. We have the chilli pepper, bird chilli pepper. But the short tiny dry pepper which is the bird chill pepper is extremely hot, neater and more expensive than the others. Itt is equally exportable. A bag can cost #28,000-#45,000 depending on the time. The States to buy dry pepper from are; Jigawa, Kaduna, Plateau, Sokoto, Kano, Katsina, Bauchi..


Beans is cultivated in a large commercial quantities in; Sokoto, Zamfara, Borni, Yobe, Kano, Gombe. You can buy it at a lower price of ##20,000 and as high as #35,000. There are many varieties; white, brown, black etc. White is more consumed followed brown beans both are priced differently.


Groundnut can cost between #26,000-#45,000 depending on whether it is the entry season or exit period. Jigawa, Sokoto, Kano2, Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi, Kaduna, Yobe, Taraba, Adamawa, Borno, Plateau, Nassarawa, Gombe, Bauchi, States produce groundnut in large quantities. There are about 3 varieties of groundnut some contain more oil than others and are priced higher. Buy the one that is most liked in your location. For instance Akwa Ibom people prefer the small seeds while Edo prefers the big seeds.


Peeled egusi is a hot selling product in the south. Go to Nassarawa, Niger and Benue States to buy them in large quantities. Because they are the top producers of melon in Nigeria. You have to sell them fast because the longer it stays the faster it changes in colour. The whitish colour might turn dirty white or brownish. Find out the type of peeled melon that is preferred in your location. For instance in Akwa Ibom State; hand peeled melon is more preferable than machine peeled. It is priced less there. While hand peel sells higher and in larger quantity than machine peeled melon. You can buy it between #30,000-#60,000.


Maize can be produced in a larger quantity in the North. In States like; Niger, Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau and Kaduna. We have the yellow and white corn, you can buy the two but the white should be purchased more because it is more preferable. A bag can go for as low as #9,000 and as high as #18,000.


Kanda or cattle skin is used in making kpomo that is so loved by many African homes especially in Nigeria. They are sold in different sizes and prices; such as 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 ,9, 10 etc. Size 10 up produces thick kpomo while lesser sizes are light in weight. Sold between #3,000-#15,000; the size is related to the price for instance size 3 is #3,000, 10 is #10,000 and so on. Buy a mix up of the sizes and supply to market women in your area.

Also you can buy cattle very cheap from the North and sell in the South, although few individuals have started the business of rearing cattle. Yet the number is not enough to meet up with the increasing demand due to population increase. There is money in the buying and selling of cattle. It is a very lucrative business. The States to buy from are; Adamawa, Taraba, Kebbi, Jigwa, Zamfara, Kano, Kataina, Sokoto, and Adamawa.


Palm oil is produce in larger commercial quantities in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi, Imo, Ananbra, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Abia, Oyo, Ekiti, Enugu States. But Cross River, Edo, Delta and Ondo are the highest exporters. During on season palm oil can be sold for #6,000 and up to #11,000 during off period. Apart from palm oi you can buy palm kernel nuts, sledge, cake etc.

Red palm oil business
Palm oil buying and selling


Cassava can be bought from the South either whole for processing or buying and selling the already processed ones. It could be garri, casaava flakes, flour and fufu. The red garri consumed in Abuja is brought in from Edo State. Other states to buy from are; Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta, Ogun, Ondo, Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Kogi, Taraba, Benue. A bag of garri can cost from #10,000 and above.


Buying and selling of crayfish to the North and other sea foods will make you rich. Crayfish can be gotten from Oron, in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Ondo. A bag can go as far as #30,,000-#60,000 depending on the time of purchase. You can buy periwinkle, fresh fish, crab, as well. Oron crayfish market seems to be the biggest in Nigeria because you can buy as many quantity you desire.

Buying and selling of foodstuff, crayfish business, reselling business, purchase of commodities, buying foodstuff from the North
Crayfish business


Ogbono can be gotten from Cross River, Edo, Ebonyi and neighbouring countries such as Cameroun, Togo, etc. In Nigeria during on season a bag can be priced for #50,000 and as far as #150,000 even above during scarcity. There are two major varieties in Nigeria, make sure you buy the one that has a higher drawing power.


This is an exportable product as such very costly. You can buy wood from Edo, Ondo, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Oyo, Osun, Ogun and sell in the North and other parts of the country. It is used for charcoal production.


There are many produce for buying and selling, in fact it is a long list; I can go on and on but just look around you to see which area you can fit in or what problem you can solve. All the best in your new adventure.

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  1. Hi Eno Johnson, I really enjoy your lectures on this topic, I have been for business to do but when I go through this your teaching I think I reality know what to do now thank you so much.

    Williams uwantioje

  2. Hello good day Eno, I’m really impressed with your detailed write-up on Agri business.
    Please how can I contact you to know more from you.

    Thank you for the info once again.

  3. Aww…this is relieving… I was totally confused on a business I really want to do…but seeing your write up
    …I think I have something to do😊

  4. Hello Eno,

    Good Morning, i really love your guide, please i want to know, do i need to register or have a license to open a food stuff shop for wholesale and retail in Akwa Ibom ???

    Many Thanks

    • @Aniekan, thanks. It is not compulsory but it will fair better if you do so in case you want to apply for a contract to be supplying foodstuff to a company


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