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How to Start Pepper Business in Nigeria



Pepper Farming in Nigeria

In this article, we explain in detail how to start a fresh pepper business or dry pepper business in Nigeria. Do you want to start a pepper business now or are you thinking of starting the business? In this article, I am going to be teaching you how you can start the business and how you can make profits from it.

Please note that in this article we not be talking about the farming part (pepper farming in Nigeria) we will only be talking about the business side (pepper business in Nigeria). For many of us that do not know pepper is under spice business in Nigeria because it is a kind of spice.

Just like back pepper, ginger, turmeric, garlic, thyme, curry, onions, and so on pepper is used to flavor and colour almost all Nigerian & intercontinental foods. Whether it is dried or fresh it is still very important in the making of foods. This is why Nigerians buy pepper all the time thus making pepper business a lucrative business.

The Yorubas and the Hausas are the most tribes in the pepper business in Nigeria. They are good at running and maintaining the business but this does not mean anybody from any tribe cannot do the business as pepper business is not really about tribe but about common business wisdom.

Is Pepper Business Profitable?

Yes, both fresh pepper business and dry pepper business are profitable businesses in Nigeria and I gave few reasons for this earlier but let us take a deeper look into these reasons. As I mentioned earlier there is hardly a kind of food or soup in Nigeria that Nigerians do not use pepper to cook.

Even those that do not like pepper due to its hotness still add a little of it when they are cooking. All Nigerian homes use pepper for cooking in fact, pepper is a must-have spice in the Nigerian kitchen. Another reason why the pepper spice business is a profitable business is the fact that restaurants and bars businesses in Nigeria also use pepper to cook.

These businesses buying pepper from you can triple your profits even as a newcomer in the business. Pepper business is also profitable in Nigeria because you can make money selling pepper to boarding schools that cook food for their students.

Now that we talked extensively about why the pepper business is a profitable business let us talk about how you can start your own pepper business from scratch without any experience in buying and selling.

Types of Pepper in Nigeria

As a pepper business dealer, you cannot afford to be ignorant in the pepper business hence the need to know the kinds of pepper that are commonly eaten in Nigeria. Here are they.

1. Scotch bonnets (ata rodo)

2. Red bell pepper

3. Peri-peri

4. Cayenne pepper

5. Black pepper (Cameroon pepper)

We also have grounded pepper which is most times a blend of different peppers altogether or just one type of pepper ground into powdered form.

How to Start Pepper Business in Nigeria

Here are steps on how to start a pepper business in Nigeria as a wholesaler or retailer.

1. Conduct your Market Survey

If you really want to go into pepper business in Nigeria you need to do some findings on your own so that the beginning of the business can be easy for you. You need to know for example if the area where you reside or where you want to be selling the pepper is lucrative. If it is you need to know where you will be getting your pepper from and how you can be transporting it to your shop or space.

If you want to go into the fresh pepper business you need to know how you can preserve the pepper for long periods without it getting spoilt or rotten. If you want to go into the dry pepper business or ground pepper business you need to know where you can be able to buy this pepper at the cheapest prices.

Let me give you some tips on how you can do this successfully in your area. So my best advice as regards this is for you to locate and meet other pepper sellers in your area to give you all this information. Ask them where they buy their fresh pepper which is for those who sell fresh pepper and as for those that sell dry pepper ask them where they buy their dry pepper in bulk.

You can also ask them their opinion about the business and their advice for you as you are going into the business. The truth is they will tell you many things about the business that you will never know as a newbie to pepper business or as a consumer.

2. Get the Capital Needed

After doing all these findings the next step for you will be to find out the capital needed to start your pepper business. The capital needed to start a pepper business in Nigeria often depends on how big you want to go into the business. Maybe you want to rent a shop and be selling tomatoes alongside your pepper business you will need a starting capital of about #200,000.

You are going to spend about 70% of the capital to rent a shop and the remaining 30% to buy pepper. But if you just want to use a kiosk to start the business you will need a capital of about #100,000 – #150,000 to start. You will spend #50,000 to build yourself a kiosk and the remaining to buy pepper to start your pepper business so it really depends.

3. Buy your Fresh or Dry Pepper

Where you will be buying your pepper depends on how close this place is to you. If you are in Lagos you can either buy your pepper in Ketu/Mile 12 or Epe but if you are outside Lagos you can buy your pepper from any foodstuff market close to you. As I explained earlier the way we preserve fresh pepper is quite different from the way we preserve dry pepper.

If it is fresh pepper you bought immediately after you get to your shop or where you want to sell them remove them from the basket or sack and put them in a place where fresh air can reach it. This is to make sure they do not get rotten quickly. If it is dry pepper you bought and want to sell whether it is ground pepper or dry pepper you bought you can leave them in their sacks or container as long as they are not exposed to water.

4. Selling your Pepper

Let’s say you bought a bag of fresh pepper for #10,000 you can be rest assured that you can sell the bag of pepper for #12,000 – #14,000. All you just have to do is display and sell your pepper for small prizes. Selling pepper at #200, #300, #500, #1,000, and so on. You can also buy and sell pepper in bulk. It depends.

Please make sure that your pepper is not oversold or undersold. For more guidance on this visit other pepper sellers around you to know how they display their pepper in small quantities. If it is dry pepper or ground pepper you want to sell it then mean it has to be packaged in nylons or containers and sold at moderate prices too.

5. Making Profits from Pepper Business

There are different ways you can make profits from your pepper business if you know different ways to increase your sales. The number one way you can increase the profits in your pepper business is to sell your pepper to your family and friends. Yes, family and friends are the first supporters when it comes to starting a business in Nigeria.

All you need to do here is to tell them about your business and ask for their patronage promising discounts. The second way you can increase sales in your pepper business which will in turn increase profits in your pepper business is to sell your pepper in large quantities.

Like I said earlier instead of selling in small quantities sometimes you can sell pepper in large quantities for people that want to do parties, schools that cook for their students, and so on. Another way you can increase the profits in your pepper business is to consider selling your pepper online.

You can sell your pepper online e-commerce websites like Jumia, Konga, and Jiji can help you achieve this easily.

Challenges in Pepper Business in Nigeria

There are a few risks in the pepper business in Nigeria but the most common are:

i. About 60% of fresh pepper getting spoilt before they get to the market or worse Nigerian kitchens and this is because there are no refrigerators to preserve these peppers till when they will be needed.

ii. Not making enough profits if you do not sell your pepper on time. Because pepper is a fresh product it has a short time it can spend on the counter. If it is not sold within this period you will make losses.

iii. Losing both fresh pepper and dry pepper to rodents or any insects like cockroaches. The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to make your shop or where you keep your pepper rodent-proof.


Pepper business is a profitable business in Nigeria especially if you know how to sell goods or products on time. It is a business that needs attention (hands-on approach) so you really need to prepare yourself for it. You also need to be good with numbers (calculation) to be profitable in the business. That is all in this article. As usual, let me know if I missed any part of this article.


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Ralph Bamigboye is an Accountant. He is the owner of, and Finance Naija YouTube Channel. He has helped many individuals to start their businesses and make money online. How can he help you?

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