How To Start A Garlic Export Business In Nigeria

Exporting agricultural products presents a lucrative opportunity for Nigerians seeking to make substantial earnings with ease. While some hesitate, a few savvy individuals have already tapped into this potential and are now reaping the rewards.

Garlic is a prime candidate for export due to its high demand internationally. This guide aims to show how anyone can export garlic from Nigeria to global markets and guarantee profitability.

How To Start A Garlic Export Business In Nigeria

Given the current economic situation, especially the decline of the Nigerian naira against major currencies like the USD, exporting garlic offers a chance to benefit from favorable trade terms. This guide will provide simple and direct steps to help you succeed in the garlic export business.

How To Start A Garlic Export Business In Nigeria

I. Conduct market research: Before starting a garlic export business in Nigeria, it’s crucial to conduct thorough market research. Start by identifying the countries that import garlic and analyzing their demand trends, preferences, and regulations. Look into countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil, the USA, Germany, Russia, France, Italy, the UK, Japan, and Malaysia, which are known for their significant garlic imports. Look into the top garlic-exporting countries, such as China, Spain, Argentina, the Netherlands, and France. Studying their strategies, pricing, and product quality can provide valuable insights into competing effectively in the global garlic market.

II. Obtain necessary licenses and permits: Exporting garlic from Nigeria requires obtaining the necessary licenses and permits to comply with legal and regulatory requirements. Start by contacting relevant government agencies, like the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the Nigerian Customs Service, to inquire about the required documentation.

You will need an export license and registration with these authorities to operate legally. Additionally, ensure compliance with phytosanitary regulations by obtaining a phytosanitary certificate from the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), certifying that your garlic meets international standards for pest control and sanitation.

Moreover, familiarize yourself with import regulations and tariffs in the target countries to avoid any customs-related issues. Engage with legal experts or export consultants who can guide you through the licensing process and ensure regulatory compliance.

III. Source for quality garlic producers: To kickstart your garlic export business in Nigeria, you need to secure a reliable source of garlic. Garlic production in Nigeria is concentrated in states such as Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto, Jigawa, Bauchi, Katsina, and Zamfara, with Sokoto being the highest producer. Establishing partnerships with garlic farmers in these states or sourcing directly from local markets can ensure a steady supply of high-quality garlic for export.

When sourcing garlic, prioritize freshness, quality, and consistency to meet the expectations of international buyers. Establishing direct relationships with farmers allows you to negotiate competitive prices, ensure product traceability, and maintain quality control throughout the supply chain. Alternatively, sourcing from local markets provides flexibility and accessibility, although it may involve higher transaction costs and variability in product quality.

IV. Develop export logistics and transportation: Efficient logistics and transportation are essential for successfully exporting garlic from Nigeria to international markets. Evaluate different transportation options, including air freight, sea freight, and land transportation, to determine the most cost-effective and reliable solution for your export needs.

Work with experienced freight forwarders or logistics companies to handle the transportation of your garlic shipments. Ensure that they have the expertise and resources to manage customs clearance, documentation, and delivery to the final destination efficiently.

Moreover, invest in suitable packaging materials to protect the garlic from damage during transit and maintain its freshness. Proper labeling and documentation are also critical to ensuring compliance with import regulations and facilitating smooth customs clearance in the destination country.

V. Implement marketing and sales strategies: Effective marketing and sales strategies are essential for attracting customers and driving sales in the garlic export business. Start by developing a strong brand identity that reflects the quality and uniqueness of your garlic products. Create a compelling brand story and visual elements that resonate with your target market and differentiate your products from competitors.

Next, identify your target customers and develop targeted marketing campaigns to reach them. Utilize online platforms, such as social media, websites, and e-commerce platforms, to showcase your garlic products and engage with potential buyers. Consider participating in international trade fairs, exhibitions, and networking events to expand your reach and establish valuable connections with buyers and distributors. Build relationships with importers, wholesalers, and retailers in your target markets to secure distribution channels for your garlic products. Offer competitive pricing, flexible payment terms, and excellent customer service to attract and retain customers.

How To Source Clients For Garlic In International Markets

I. Participate in trade fairs and exhibitions: Attend international trade fairs, exhibitions, and networking events related to agriculture, food, and trade. These events provide valuable opportunities to showcase your garlic products, network with potential buyers, and establish business relationships. Be prepared to provide samples, and product information, and engage in discussions to attract interest and secure potential clients.

II. Use online platforms and direct marketing: Online platforms such as B2B marketplaces, trade directories, and social media channels promote your garlic products to a global audience. Create a professional website showcasing your garlic offerings, including product descriptions, photos, and pricing. Implement targeted digital marketing campaigns to reach potential buyers and generate leads.

III. Partner with importers, distributors, and agents: Collaborate with importers, distributors, and agents who have established networks and expertise in your target markets. Partnering with local representatives can help you navigate cultural nuances, language barriers, and regulatory requirements more effectively. Seek out reputable partners with a track record of success in the garlic trade to expand your reach and access new clients.

IV. Attend trade missions and business matchmaking events: Participate in trade missions organized by government agencies or industry associations to explore business opportunities in target markets. These missions often include matchmaking events where you can meet with potential buyers and establish connections. Be proactive in networking and promoting your garlic products to seize opportunities for collaboration and client acquisition.

V. Build relationships and provide value: Focus on building long-term relationships with clients by providing value-added services, such as customized packaging, timely delivery, and product quality assurance. Understand their needs and preferences, and offer solutions that meet or exceed their expectations. Maintain open communication channels and address any concerns promptly to foster trust and loyalty.

How To Export Garlic From Nigeria

Step 1: Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits

Start by registering your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and acquiring an export license from the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), which is necessary for exporting agricultural products like garlic.

Step 2: Source Garlic from Reliable Suppliers

To export garlic successfully, establish relationships with reliable garlic suppliers or farmers across Nigeria. Conduct thorough research to identify reputable suppliers who can provide high-quality garlic in large quantities.

Step 3: Ensure Quality Control and Packaging

Implement good agricultural practices (GAP) to ensure the quality and safety of garlic from farm to export. Invest in modern processing and packaging facilities to preserve the freshness and integrity of garlic during transportation. Use appropriate packaging materials that protect the garlic from damage and maintain its quality during transit.

Step 4: Arrange Transportation and Logistics

Organize transportation and logistics arrangements to ensure timely delivery of garlic to international markets. Work with reputable freight forwarders and logistics companies experienced in handling agricultural exports. Choose suitable transportation modes, such as air freight or sea freight, based on factors like cost, transit time, and destination.

Step 5: Market and Sell Garlic Internationally

Use various channels such as online platforms, trade shows, and business networks to reach potential buyers and distributors. Build relationships with importers, wholesalers, and retailers in target countries to expand your market reach and increase sales. Provide excellent customer service and support to ensure customer satisfaction and encourage repeat business.

Business Opportunities Associated With Garlic Farming In Nigeria & Around The World

Garlic farming presents numerous business opportunities in Nigeria and around the world due to its versatility, high demand, and health benefits. Here are some of the key business opportunities associated with garlic farming:

1. Garlic production and sales: One of the most direct business opportunities in garlic farming is the production and sale of fresh garlic bulbs. Entrepreneurs can establish garlic farms and cultivate different varieties of garlic suited to local climates and soil conditions. After harvesting, garlic bulbs can be sold to local markets, supermarkets, restaurants, and wholesalers.

2. Value-added products: Garlic can be processed into various value-added products, creating additional business opportunities. Examples include garlic powder, garlic flakes, garlic oil, garlic paste, and garlic sauce. These products have diverse applications in the food industry, such as seasoning, flavoring, and ingredients in sauces, marinades, and condiments. Entrepreneurs can establish processing facilities or small-scale enterprises to manufacture and package these value-added garlic products for retail and wholesale distribution.

3. Export market: Nigeria and other garlic-producing countries can leverage the global demand for garlic by exporting fresh garlic bulbs or processed garlic products. Exporting garlic presents an opportunity to generate foreign exchange revenue and expand market reach beyond domestic borders. Entrepreneurs can capitalize on international trade agreements, market access opportunities, and demand in target countries to establish profitable export ventures. However, exporting garlic requires compliance with phytosanitary regulations, quality standards, and trade agreements governing agricultural exports.

4. Agro-tourism and farm visits: Garlic farms can diversify their revenue streams by offering agro-tourism experiences and farm visits to the public. Tourists and visitors can explore garlic farms, learn about garlic cultivation techniques, participate in harvesting activities, and purchase farm-fresh garlic products directly from the source. Agro-tourism initiatives provide farmers with an additional source of income, promote rural development, and create awareness about sustainable agriculture practices.

5. Research and development: Research and development (R&D) in garlic farming offer opportunities for innovation, improvement, and adaptation to changing market demands and environmental conditions. Entrepreneurs, agricultural researchers, and institutions can invest in R&D initiatives focused on breeding new garlic varieties with enhanced traits, developing sustainable farming practices, improving post-harvest handling and storage techniques, and exploring the medicinal properties of garlic for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications. R&D efforts contribute to the long-term viability and competitiveness of the garlic farming sector while fostering innovation and knowledge transfer.

Challenges of Garlic Production Business in Nigeria

Garlic production in Nigeria, like any agricultural venture, faces several challenges that can impact productivity, profitability, and sustainability. Some of the key challenges facing the garlic production business in Nigeria include:

1. Climate and soil conditions: Garlic cultivation requires specific climate and soil conditions for optimal growth and yield. In Nigeria, variations in climate and soil across different regions may not always be conducive to garlic cultivation. High temperatures, humidity, or inadequate drainage can affect garlic development and increase susceptibility to diseases and pests. Farmers may need to implement soil amendments, irrigation systems, and crop protection measures to overcome these challenges.

2. Pests and diseases: Garlic is susceptible to various pests and diseases that can significantly reduce yields and quality. Common pests include onion thrips, nematodes, bulb mites, and aphids, while diseases such as white rot, purple blotch, and rust can also affect garlic crops. Limited availability of effective pesticides and disease-resistant garlic varieties in Nigeria can exacerbate these challenges, requiring farmers to adopt integrated pest management (IPM) strategies and disease prevention techniques.

3. Availability of quality seeds: Access to quality garlic seeds or planting materials is crucial for successful garlic production. However, in Nigeria, the availability of certified garlic seeds may be limited, leading to reliance on saved seeds or imported varieties of unknown quality. Poor seed quality can result in uneven germination, low yields, and susceptibility to diseases. Farmers may need to invest in seed certification programs, tissue culture propagation, or collaborative research initiatives to improve seed availability and quality.

4. Post-harvest losses: Post-harvest losses pose a significant challenge to garlic producers in Nigeria, impacting profitability and food security. Factors such as improper handling, storage, and transportation can contribute to spoilage, sprouting, and decay of garlic bulbs. Inadequate post-harvest infrastructure, including storage facilities, cold chain logistics, and packaging materials, further exacerbates these losses. Implementing proper post-harvest management practices, including curing, drying, and storage in ventilated environments, can help minimize losses and prolong the shelf life of garlic bulbs.

5. Market access and price volatility: Accessing profitable markets for garlic products can be challenging for Nigerian farmers due to factors such as limited market information, lack of market linkages, and price volatility. Fluctuations in demand, competition from imported garlic, and inconsistent pricing can affect the profitability of garlic production. Strengthening market linkages, establishing cooperatives or farmer groups, and diversifying marketing channels can help mitigate these challenges and enhance market access for Nigerian garlic producers.


  1. In which country does Nigeria export garlic? Nigeria exports garlic to various countries worldwide, including but not limited to Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil, the USA, Germany, Russia, France, Italy, the UK, Japan, and Malaysia. These countries are known for their significant garlic imports, presenting lucrative opportunities for Nigerian exporters.
  2. How can I become a successful exporter in Nigeria? To become a successful exporter in Nigeria, it’s essential to conduct thorough market research, obtain necessary licenses and permits, establish reliable sourcing channels, develop effective marketing and sales strategies, and prioritize financial planning and risk management. Additionally, building strong relationships with clients and partners and continuously adapting to market dynamics are crucial for long-term success.
  3. How do I start a food export business? Starting a food export business in Nigeria involves similar steps to other export ventures. Begin by conducting market research to identify demand trends and target markets for your food products. Obtain relevant licenses and permits, establish sourcing channels, develop a marketing and sales strategy, and ensure compliance with food safety regulations and quality standards.
  4. What is Nigeria’s most profitable export? Nigeria’s most profitable export commodities include crude oil, petroleum products, natural gas, cocoa beans, and solid minerals such as gold and limestone. However, there is growing potential for non-oil exports, including agricultural products like garlic, to contribute significantly to Nigeria’s export revenue.
  5. How do I get buyers for exports from Nigeria? To get buyers for exports from Nigeria, utilize various strategies such as attending trade fairs and exhibitions, participating in business matchmaking events, leveraging online platforms and direct marketing, partnering with importers, distributors, and agents, and building relationships through networking and value-added services.
  6. Which state in Nigeria produces the most garlic? Sokoto State in Nigeria is known to be the highest producer of garlic. However, other states such as Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Bauchi, Katsina, and Zamfara also contribute to garlic production in Nigeria.

Export Garlic The Right Way with

If you want to learn about the entire export process of agricultural produce from Nigeria and have us lead you throughout the way, kindly check our membership page or send us an email with your needs or inquiries. At, we understand the complexities and challenges associated with exporting agricultural products like garlic from Nigeria to various regions around the world. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing comprehensive support and guidance at every step of the export journey.

By partnering with, you can leverage our deep expertise in the agriculture exports industry and our robust end-to-end supply chain solutions to ensure the successful export of quality agri produce. Whether you are a garlic farmer looking to expand your market reach or a buyer seeking reliable sources of agricultural products, we are here to facilitate seamless transactions and deliver superior customer satisfaction.

No matter which region of the world you are in, be it Europe, Asia, USA, Canada, Africa, South America, or Oceania, you can trust to handle your export needs with professionalism, efficiency, and reliability. Reach out to us through our contact page, and our team will promptly address your inquiries and provide tailored solutions to meet your specific requirements. Let be your trusted partner in exporting garlic and other agricultural products, making the process easy, quick, and safe.

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