It is a source of employment and income; it also contributes to the improvement of the quality of life of the rural and urban population, and to the country's competitiveness as an export model.

2018 Industry Numbers

15.5% of GDP

US$2,549.4   million  exported

+US$21 million  invested 

 66 companies   operating under  the Free Trade Zones System 

 251,797 direct  and indirect jobs 

Main Goods Exported

Source: National Free Zones Commission, 2018.

Succesful Companies in Nicaragua

Why Nicaragua?

Investment Opportunities

Agro-Exportable Production

The combination of fertile soil available at competitive prices, the favorable climate conditions and the abundance of hydric resources, provide the perfect scenario for the establishment of export-oriented agricultural production.

According to the Exportable Offer Study conducted by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Trade (MIFIC, for its acronym in Spanish), the products with the greatest export potential are yucca or cassava (waxed and frozen), peanuts (processed or shell-less), cocoa (beans or powdered), honey, beans (black and red) and cashews. Other products with great potential are sesame seeds, pineapple, mango, guava, watermelon, onions, vegetables and citrus (especially lemon and oranges).

Livestock, Dairy and Meat Production

Nicaragua has the largest cattle-raising industry in Central America. With a compound annual growth rate in meat exports of 2.5 percent and a 3.9 percent annual growth rate in milk stockpiling over the past 4 years, Nicaragua keeps its position as the main livestock, dairy and meat producer in the region. Furthermore, it has a pasture-based feedlot, which offers extremely competitive production costs in Central America. As a result, renowned Mexican companies such as LALA and SuKarne have successfully established operations with great expectations of growth.

In 2018, milk collection in pasteurized plants and other kind of plants such as milk powder and cheese processors was 147 million gallons. This phenomenon indicates that there is enough raw material for processing a large variety of dairy products. On the other hand, over the last 10 years, beef has remained one of Nicaragua's largest export products, and this is expected to continue to increase.

Food Processing

Nicaragua produces a diverse variety of raw materials that could be processed locally. Some of the products with higher potential are bovine meat, fruits, and vegetables, cocoa, coffee, sugar, corn, seafood, beans, plantains, among others. The country currently processes cookies, snacks, instant coffee, and carbonated drinks, beer, and rum.

Other opportunities with great potential in Nicaragua are the production of corn-based products, peanuts, cassava, cereals, baked goods, fried snacks, sweets, jams and marmalades, canned food, dehydrated fruits, sauces, pickled vegetables, and seasonings.

Forestry Plantations

There are currently over 3.9 million hectares suitable for forestry plantations of commercial value, such as teak and mahogany and non-timber species such as rubber, cocoa, among others. To date, over 70,000 hectares of wood plantatios have been established. Investments in this sector amount to US$150 million in the past six years and the already established companies have shown interest to continue to invest, considering the reforms to the incentives of Law 462.

The private sector’s plan is to achieve a critical mass of 120,000 hectares, thus, there are still plenty of investment opportunities, and the government’s support for such initiatives is evident.

Contact Us

Nicaragua’s Official Investment Promotion Agency stands ready to support you and your business. Schedule an appointment with one of our Agribusiness investment advisors:

+505 2252-7690