How to Start Agricultural Export Business

Agricultural export business is challenging and very lucrative. Operators in this industry generate income through commissions and margins.
The business involves finding an exportable commodity, networking with haulage companies and securing buyer contracts. The enterprise is capital intensive depending on the scope and business model.
Agricultural export is a non-oil business that generates billions of dollars worldwide. Many countries offer subventions and secondary funding to boost the industry.
This is because such exports help the economy by increasing the gross domestic product. Another derivative is increased foreign exchange, job creation and diversification of the economy.
Benefits of Starting an Agricultural Export Business
Apart from economic diversity, exportation is highly profitable. It creates employment for farmers and haulage companies. Other benefits include access to foreign currency and reduced post harvest issues.
What Type of Agro Produce to Export?
Climatic conditions, geographical location, mechanization and soil composition impacts on the type of agriculture practiced in each country. Every country has something to offer the international market.
Common Agro products traded include ginger, kola, bitter kola, rice, groundnuts and cashew. Others are fruits, garlic, cocoa, spices, gum Arabic, shrimps and vegetables.
More agricultural products suitable for exports are prawns, beans, plantain flour, ground melon, sugarcane, shea butter and mangoes. The commodity you choose depends on abundance, price and government regulations.
You need adequate startup funding, knowledge of the niche and effective marketing strategy.
  • Ginger
  • Kola
  • Bitter kola
  • Rice
  • Groundnuts
  • Cashew
  • Fruits
  • Garlic
  • Cocoa
  • Spices
  • Gum Arabic
  • Shrimps
  • Vegetables
  • Prawns
  • Beans
  • plantain flour
  • Ground melon
  • Sugarcane
  • Shea butter
  • Mangoes
Items Unsuitable for Export
There are a few commodities that attract fair prices domestically that are not good for export. Other reasons are too many contaminants and restrictions such as deforestation or endangered specie.
Such commodities are local artifacts, timber, maize, and antiquities. Others are scrap-metal, raw hide, endangered wild life and unprocessed leather.
  • Local artifacts
  • Timber
  • Maize
  • Antiquities
  • Scrap metal
  • Raw hide
  • Endangered wild life
  • Unprocessed leather.
How to Start Agricultural Export Business
To start your agricultural export business you need to write a business plan. Then carry out a feasibility study to determine what to export.
Find farmers and suppliers of the produce and determine startup funding. Understand the business requirements, availability of product and growth season.
You need to secure export contract from reputable foreign companies and a letter of credit. More things to consider include method of processing, packaging, transportation and shipping.
It is important learning the trade and hiring/ consulting professionals in your commodity of choice.
  • Write a business plan
  • Carry out a feasibility study
  • Choose a niche
  • Incorporate the company
  • Secure funding
  • Find foreign partners
  • Network with farmers and haulage companies
  • Apply proper packaging and labeling
  • Get appropriate documentation
Licensing and Registration
Register your export business as a limited liability company. You need an export license and trade license.
Visit your countries national export promotion council for guidelines. In some countries you need to join a federal export association. You need insurance cover and tax identification number.
Agro Export Contract Sourcing
The most important aspect of export business is finding legitimate buyers. You can start your search through online resources.
Use keyword search and visit export promotion council websites of markets of interest. Use online directories, chamber of commerce and trade brokers.
Get referrals from export agents and export consulting firms. Visit lots of international trade fairs and seek assistance from friends and family.
Funding the Business
You need financial loans to purchase, package and ship. Other fund requirements are office equipment, leasehold, staff wages and transportation.
You can approach financial institutions such as agricultural or commercial banks in your locality. You could try partnership arrangement or find a core investor.
You could sell equity in the business or borrow from friends and family. Make sure the agricultural product is high quality without any contaminants.
Apply proper packaging and labeling to avoid rejection. Before exporting the commodity it should pass strict testing and sampling.


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