Rice Milling Business In Nigeria

For years, rice has been one of the most sought after staple foods in Nigeria. Throughout this period, the rate of consumption of rice in the country far exceeds that of production, necessitating the need for importation in the past.

With a population of over 180,000,000 people in Nigeria, the country became the leading importer of parboiled rice. At a point, over 50% of the rice consumed in the country was imported. The large gap in parboiled rice production in the country was made vivid after the government banned the importation of parboiled rice into the country. Prices of the product almost doubled due to the inability of the few producers in the country to meet the demand of consumers.

Nigerians currently consume over 5 million metric tons, which is equivalent to over 100 million 50Kg bags of rice annually. With the current population growth rate of Nigeria, the consumption of rice is estimated to reach about 35 million metric tons (700 million 50Kg bags) by the year 2050.

There is high demand for rice in Nigeria. With a population of over 180 million people and an estimated national population growth rate of 5.7% per annum ,an average economic growth rate of 3.5% per annum in the past five {5} years, Nigeria has a large and growing market for rice.

As it stands, the current producers of good quality rice in the country cannot even meet up to 50% of the current demand. This is the reason why the market is flooded with poorly produced and low quality rice.

New entrants into the rice milling industry that can produce good quality parboiled rice will have an evergreen market waiting to be sold to.


Milling is a crucial step in post-production of rice. The basic objective of a rice milling system is to remove the husk and the bran layers, and produce an edible, white rice kernel that is sufficiently milled and free of impurities like stones, sand, husks, etc.

Typically, when paddy rice comes into the mill, it is first precleaned, per-boiled and dried, and then goes through the following steps:

A. De-husking or De-hulling

Brown rice is produced by removing the husk from rough paddy rice. The husk is removed by friction as the paddy grains pass between two abrasive surfaces that move at different speeds.

After de-husking, the husk is removed by suction and transported to a storage dump outside the mill. Husk accounts for about 20% of the paddy weight and an efficient husker should remove 90% of the husk in a single pass.

B. Paddy Separation

The paddy separator separates unhusked paddy rice from brown rice. The amount of paddy present depends on the efficiency of the husker and should not be more than 10%. Paddy separators work by making use of the differences in specific gravity, buoyancy, and size between paddy and brown rice.

C. De-Stoning

The hulled/husked rice is passed through a destining machine where it removes all stones, sands and other impurities from the rice.

D. Whitening or polishing

White rice is produced by removing the bran layer and the germ from the paddy. The bran layer is removed from the kernel through either abrasive or friction polishers. The amount of bran removed is normally between 8 and 10% of the total paddy weight.

E. Grading

After polishing, white rice is separated into Head/full grain rice and broken rice, and “brewers” by an oscillating screen sifter. Head rice is normally classified as kernels that are 75-80% or more of a whole kernel.

F. Packaging

The Head/full grain rice and broken rice are packaged in 50Kg bags, while the husk and bran are all packaged in 100Kg bags.  

Setting Up Cost

We prepared a well researched business plan that envisaged an integrated rice milling plant of 20 tons per day (20T/D) capacity.

You will need a building to set up your factory in. You will also need an industrial borehole as your water source. Cost of these depends on your location.

The machinery you need include:

  • Par-Boiler
  • Dryer
  • De-Husker/De-Huller
  • Paddy Separator
  • De-Stoner
  • Grader
  • Polisher  
  • Colour Sorter
  • Automatic Bag Filling, Weighing and Sealing Machine.

You will also need vehicles for transporting your products to customers. It is very important to build a strong distribution channel for distributing your products to customers. The success of this business is deeply rooted in the quality of your product and your ability to reach and quickly sell to customers. 


Average profit realizable from processing 1 ton of paddy rice is N30,000. The processing plant referenced in this business plan has the capacity to process 2 ton of paddy per hour or an average of 20 tons per day. If the factory works for 20 days in a month and at 50% of the capacity, which gives 200 tons per month, the company can make a gross profit of 200 X N30,000 = N6,000,000 monthly. 

Also ReadSetting up Your Small Scale Rice Factory With Less Than 5 Million Naira.

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    1. It fully depends on the capacity and how automated the processing plant will be. For a 20 ton per day capacity, and fully automated integrated rice processing line plus automatic filling, bagging and sealing. A rough estimate will be around N22,000,000.

        1. This has been my yearning for three years now but I have only 5million and nothing on ground. What do you advise please.

  1. From the rough estimate above, can about N10 million be enough for 5 to 10 T/D. This is without the physical structures ?

  2. This seem lucrative and achievable, good job. My question,
    . what’s the size of land that can accommodate this milling plant?
    . are the machinery available in Nigeria or would be imported?

    1. As a result of the growing demand for paddy rice in Nigeria, fueled by the emergence and expansion of rice milling companies, many farmers are turning to cultivation of paddy rice. You are sure to get enough raw materials for processing.

  3. Hello,
    please where can I get the milling machince in Nigeria?
    And can a plot of 100ft by 100ft be enough to set-up a factory to house a machine of 10 to 20 torns per day capacity.

  4. Thanks for sharing this. I have been looking to invest into these.
    With 5m can someone venture into it for starting provided the building and borehole are available.

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