Maize field at dusk
Maize field at dusk


Maize is the biggest staple food in Africa. Since it’s always in demand, maize milling provides a profitable business opportunity for entrepreneurs, who sell not only maize meal to their customers or supermarkets, but also the byproduct of the maize milling process as stock or animal feed.

If you’re interested in starting a maize milling business in Africa, read on and watch videos for advice to take up this viable business opportunity, and overcome the challenges facing maize milling entrepreneurs. We also unpack feasibility considerations to bear in mind, how doing a SWOT analysis can help your maize milling business, choosing the right business model, sampling – and other topics related to maize milling. In addition, we introduce you to the Roff SP-1 – a compact milling machine that is the perfect starter mill for the maize milling entrepreneur.

Get inspired by the success story of Evans Killy, a Roff client based in Kenya.

Evans Killy is a successful maize milling entrepreneur and director of Buffalo Millers Limited in Kenya. Perseverance, passion and of course, a good partner like Roff contributed to this success story. Read his story here or watch the video.

Roff C-80 maize mill
Roff C-80 maize mill


Have a look at the Roff range of maize mills.


Do your homework

Read up and do your research. Talk to people and ask questions. There are many resources available on the web. Roff continuously adds to the library of expert advice in our blog and resource sections. This article on making money from maize is a good place to start. After that, you can read our case studies on maize milling in South Africa and Kenya.

Similar to any other business endeavour, there are certain skills, characteristics and attitudes needed by maize milling entrepreneurs to make it in business on the African continent. Find out if you’ve got what it takes.

From obtaining the right milling equipment, sufficient startup capital, and employees, most maize milling entrepreneurs also face some challenges when first starting out in the industry. Familiarising yourself with these possible hurdles from the get-go and planning how you can overcome them, can help you to be better prepared and more likely to succeed.

Once you’re aware of the possible challenges you might have to overcome along the way to make it in maize milling, it’s also worthwhile to consider certain feasibility considerations. These can be your goals or objectives, getting start-up capital in place, and determining your return on investment or profitability.

Download your FREE guide to starting a maize milling business in Africa


Becoming a maize milling entrepreneur is not without challenges, but with a partner like Roff, you’re halfway there. We share some of our expertise in our African Entrepreneur’s Ultimate Guide to starting a Maize Milling Business.

Download Guide

Getting down to business

What steps do I need to take to get started?

Small-scale maize milling is a profitable business opportunity for many entrepreneurs and can grow into large commercial mills fast, supplying not only locally, but also regionally. Important decisions need to be made about location, finding reliable suppliers and what type of mill to invest in. Read 5 steps to starting a small-scale maize milling business for valuable pointers.

Maize Milling Gross Profit Calculator
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Sampling is a great way to introduce your product to your customer.

Get your marketing strategy in place

Doing a SWOT analysis can help your maize milling business

A SWOT analysis is a simple and effective tool that will assist in developing your business strategy, whether you’re building a maize milling startup, or growing an existing business. It will help you identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your business – and will help channel your energy in the right direction.

How food sampling can help attract customers to your maize meal

Once you are up and running, especially as a new kid on the block, you should consider food sampling. Getting customers to try your maize meal first-hand could be key to making sure they come back for more, and give you repeat business. Food sampling is a great marketing tool – one that you can use to your advantage.

Check in regularly on the Roff blog for more on marketing your product.

Ensure a consistent supply of maize

As a maize milling entrepreneur, you will need a consistent supply of maize to mill.

Storing grain effectively is pivotal in ensuring consistent maize supply and therefore avoiding major price fluctuations. Read how to effectively store maize in order to manage maize supply.

Considering entering into a crop share farming or yield sharing agreement with local subsistence farmers in your area, can be one way to ensure this. It’s a win-win situation for both.

Hand with maize kernels
Grain silos with maize fields in the foreground

Location matters – choose the right milling business model

When starting or expanding a maize milling business, you need to consider location and how it affects your profit margin. In other words, should you centralise or decentralise your mill? There’s value in both of these milling business models.

The SP-1 1 ton maize mill

Choose the best milling machine for your startup

Which maize milling machine should I buy? One of the biggest challenges when starting in the maize milling business is deciding which maize milling machine to buy. As a maize milling entrepreneur, you need an affordable machine that completes the maize milling process efficiently, while still producing a top-quality product with the least amount of waste. At Roff, we considered all the requirements you need for a profitable maize milling process and designed the compact and reliable SP-1 milling machine.

The SP-1 may be small, but it is a highly capable milling machine that can produce top-quality maize meal like any other larger mill. With its easy-to-operate maize milling process, it is the ideal choice for a start-up or small-scale maize milling business. We’ve simplified the SP-1’s milling process to four essential steps, making it possible to produce high-quality maize meal without a massive upfront investment. Read more about the milling process of a compact mill.

What about extraction rates? As a potential maize mill owner, extraction rate should be a key consideration in your choice of maize mill. It’s directly linked to future profitability. The Roff SP-1 maize mill produces superior extration rates and profitability.

Quick and easy installation, an all-in-one machine, 24-hour operation, and easy maintenance… SP-1: the ideal mill for starting a maize milling business.

Watch the SP-1 video

Roff, your partner in milling success

We are constantly adding new content and updating existing resources. Keep an eye on our blog section and subscribe to our montly newsletter to stay up to date with Roff milling news.