Flower farming is very lucrative and it is only few persons that know this. Do you know that many horticulturalist are millionaires not in the making but in reality. I knew this very early and came to Abuja with the mind of setting up one but was overtaken by events. Bloom cultivating business and decorative designs is a hot cake business in western countries.
In countries like; America, Asia and Europe. They know which flower to use or banquet to give in occasions. Africa is now seriously competing with them, apart from the fact that our local consumption is growing, flower exportation is also booming. The Nigeria sector need to look into this area of horticulture because it has the potential of raising our foreign earnings through flower cutting exportation. We need to take a cue from Kenya.
Kenya is the highest exporter of flower, their export cutting of flower keeps growing every year. They have employed more than 100,000 persons in floriculture alone and have more than 500,000 indirect employers.. Kenya is seriously competing with countries like Uganda, Israel, Zambia, Ecuador, Zimbabwe in flower cut export. The most exported flower is the rose flower, others are; Alstroemeria, Carnations, Gypsoppphila, Arabicum, Lilies etc. Export season is between October and May. Europe are the highest importers of flowers. The countries that imports flowers most are Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Italy, France , Switzerland.
The people of Jos in Plateau State now exports flowers to other countries we need more states to take advantage of flower value in the International market and invest heavily in flower gardening business and increase their revenue base.
WHAT IS FLOWER FARMING
Flower plant is a type of plant that is cultivated for the beautification of our environment. It can be a herb, ornaments or small trees. Many flower plants are highly medicinal, some can be used for food preparation, for cosmetics, as economic trees, aesthetics, wind breaks, erosion control and several other uses. Flower gardening is a business that can be done with or without capital. The way you manage your garden will determine how far you will go in the business. For instance, if you are going to Utako by Berger you will notice a very huge beautiful flower garden well maintain and attractive to the eyes. It will make you request for some even when it was not in your budget.
WHY YOU SHOULD START A FLOWER GARDENING
- Gone are those days Nigerians weren’t interested in planting flowers around their homes, these days every new house now have flowers in them. So you already have a large market.
- You can export your flowers for dollars
- Many people now use natural and fresh flowers for occasion such as, marriages, birthdays, burials, coronation, executive meetings, christmas decorations etc.
- Do you know the amount spent in buying rose flowers on valentine’s day? Its in millions. People went as far as importing them from Kenya and South Africa.
- Flower garden can be started without capital, provided you have space. You can ask people in your neighbourhood to cut them for you. Some flowers grow on their own by the road sides and in bushes. Harvest and start grooming them.
- It is easy to set up
- Highly profitable
- You can employ workers to run the flourish business for you while you supervise.
HOW TO START FLOWER FARMING IN NIGERIA
DRAW A BUSINESS PLAN
Write down a business plan for your flower gardening. Did I hear you say even flowers too? Yes, because it will help you grow the flower business and if eventually you want to get bank loan to expand the business it will make it easy for you. The business plan will include; market evaluation, risk assessment, competition analysis, assets to acquire, how the business will be run, profit per period etc.
LOCATE A VIABLE LAND
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The thing about flower farming is that it doesn’t require much space. Take a look at the ones in your area you will noticed that most of them are using roadside or any small available spaces. You have to make sure the land is rich and good for growing flowers. There are many types of flower and each has different requirement for their planting. Since most of them are planted in flower pods then you have to fill the particular soil needed for each flower plant accordingly.. Some flower plants grow well on clayey soil, others sandy soil etc.
Your location should be accessible, visible or noticeable.
If you really want to succeed in flower business, you will have to get training from professionals in the field,.experience gardeners for a one on one training. You can lay hands on some horticultural farming books, make use of YouTube or go to gardening school. Even when you start and become fully established in flower business you still need to be undergoing training in other to remain relevant in the business. New bloom of flowers are coming up everyday so you need to be in vogue. Make sure you are practicing the planting, you know what an adage says, practice makes perfect.
Also to retain and increase customers, you need to have a good sense of flower combination for every occasion. Suggests the type of flower to plant around homes, offices, School environment etc.
PREPARE THE LAND
You have to clear grasses and trees in the land you want to use, pour herbicides around the place in other to prevent weeds from growing amongst the flowers. Level the ground and apply manure where necessary. Some flower plants need alkaline soil while others do well in acidic soil so chose the PH of the soil wisely.
PURCHASE PLANTING MATERIALS
The planting materials can be seeds, vegetative, cuttings, root stock etc. Buy from gardens closer to you, it mustn’t be from one source. Get a collection of different flowers from different florists. Purchase flower vases and flower pots too. The pots are for planting.flowers while the vase is for both planting and decoration of flowers. It will be ideal to know the type of flower that are highly purchased in your area and plant them. Buy hybrid flower seeds from seed companies such as sun flower seeds etc.
You have to know the time to plant each flower plant, some should be planted during raining season others in dry season. Spray seed on the pot or land and water them until the seeds germinate. Do same to others that are planted through different ways until they are established.
FLOWERS IN NIGERIA
There are many flowers in Nigeria for gardening, even now some of those flowers that were exotic are now grown in the country.
Here are a list of flower that are grown in Nigeria:
- Roses of all kinds
- Golden dewdrop
- Curtain fig
- Morning glory
- Flamboyant or Royal Poinciana
- Snake plant
NAMES AND PICTURES OF FLOWERS IN NIGERIA
Hibiscus flower comes in different colours and can easily be planted through vegetative cutting. It is a flower plant that likes sun and plenty of water and can be grown anywhere. Some flowers of hibiscus are used in the production of drink known as zobo drink in Nigeria. The colour of hibiscus flower are; yellow, red, pink, black and blue.
Its appearance is like palm trees and are named under the palm family. It is very beautiful plant, good for wind breaks and aesthetic. Travelers palm is a well priced flower plant, it cost as much as #17,000.for one.
Plumbago is a little shrub and an outdoor flower plant, the colour of the flowers depends on soil PH. Acidic soil will produce attractive blue colour while alkaline will produce a pale colour.
Ixora is also known as the frame of the woods, it is grown as shrub, their flower comes in different colours; red, pink, yellow, white and orange. It can be potted but most gardeners used them as hedge plant. I remember how I used to suck juice from their flowers in my primary school days.
URBAN FLOWER FARMING
There are some indoor flowers with nice fragrance suitable for Nigeria weather you can plant. Examples are; Dracaena fragrant, common name is corn plant. It is very good for the tropics. However, patience is required because it flowers at maturity and that takes a long time.
Dumb cane is a popular indoor flower plant, they are easy to maintain but doesn’t flower.. Snake plant is an indoor ornamental plant but it should be kept at window area of the house..it purifies the air but have poisonous leaves.
FLOWER GARDENING MAINTENANCE
On no occasion should you allow weeds in your flower farm because they will hinder the flowers from growing properly and healthily. Use hand to uproot the weeds in the post and use hoe to weed they ones in the land.
Some flower plants need plenty of water to grow well, so you have to make water available for irrigation. During raining season you may not need to water the plants except when necessary. But in dry season enough watering is required to keep the flower plants alive otherwise drought will kill some of them.
Flower plants need pruning especially the ornamental ones, shrubs and dwarf trees. It will make them grow well, grow straight, neat and come out very beautiful. Your garden will appear attractive and inviting. Use hand pixel to trim the flower plants.
Some flower plants are very poisonous, example is the Nerium Oleander as such should not be planted where children can easily access them. Use gloves and goggles when pruning or plucking flowers because some flowers plant have sap that are toxic which rushes out immediately a flower plant is cut. It gets absorbed by the skin, eyes etc. Giving out a burning sensation.
Marketing of flowers is not difficult because flower gardens advertise itself. But for effective marketing create Facebook page, Instagram page or get twitter handle any social media you can lay your hands to announce your business. Give your garden a beautiful name which is memorable and easy to pronounce. Supply to supermarkets and flower vendors. The big one is to start exporting your flower plants.. If you are doing flower gardening for exportation’; your area of concentration should be rose flower farming. Allow small scale flower farmers to take care of the needs of local consumers with other flowers types.
CUT FLOWER FARMING PROFITS
Price of flower depends on the type you want, the stage they are in and the number of years. Small flower plants go for #500-#2,500 while the priced ones go for #10,000-#30,000. This is a plant you cultivate once and keep cutting for many years.
Very soon the space in horticulture industry will be filled and may become difficult for new entrants to get established quickly. So start your flower farming today now that there’s still enough space. The price of flower is going up and will not come down. Just like people are using high roof in the modern day building even so will every home start using flowers both in their surroundings and for different occasions. Some flowers are a source of food for farm animals so you will keep selling and selling.
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