The agricultural and agroindustrial activity has always been an important engine of socioeconomic growth for the country. It is a source for the generation of employment and income, contributes to the improvement of the quality of life of the rural and urban population; and contributes greatly to the country's competitiveness as an export model.
Agribusiness Industry Numbers
14.4% of GDP
47.3% of 2017 total exports
293,500 direct and indirect jobs
Main Agribusiness Goods Exported
Agribusiness Companies in Nicaragua
- For its levels of citizen security
- For its operational costs
- For its connectivity and market access
- For its legal guarantees for investments
- For its human talent
- For its incentives for investments
- For its business climate
- For its quality of life
The combination of fertile soil available at competitive prices, the favorable climate conditions and the abundance of hydric resources, provide a perfect context 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 a high 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 in meat exports of 7 percent and a 5 percent annual growth in milk stockpiling over the past 8 years, Nicaragua maintains its position as the main livestock, dairy and meat producer of the region. Furthermore, it has a pasture-based feedlot, which gives it 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 2016, milk production was 263 million gallons, of which approximately 60 percent was collected and 40 percent processed. This phenomenon indicates that there is sufficient raw material for processing a large variety of dairy products. On the other hand, during the last 10 years, beef has remained one of Nicaragua's largest export products, and the trend is expected to continue to increase.
Nicaragua produces a great 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.
Since the approval of the Forestry Incentives Law (Law 462) in 2003, Nicaragua has established over 28 thousand hectares of timber plantations of commercial value such as teak, mahogany and pine. 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.
Investments in this sector are over US$100 million in the past six years and companies already established have shown interest to invest even more, considering the reforms to the incentives of Law 462 that resulted after the negotiations between the Government of Nicaragua and the Nicaraguan Association of Reforestation (CONFOR, for its acronym in Spanish). There are currently over 3.5 million hectares suitable for forestry plantations of commercial value, such as teak and mahogany and non-timber species such as rubber, cocoa, among others.
Nicaragua’s Official Investment Promotion Agency stands ready to support you and your business. Schedule an appointment with one of our Agribusiness investment advisors: