Vegetable farming Vegetables are the most consumed food in the globe. Their importance cannot be overemphasized. To live a normal healthy life you have to incorporate vegetable into your meal plans. Alkaline food is what our body needs in other to stay healthy, strong and live a fulfilled life. vegetables and fruits are the main alkaline diets that the body needs.
It has come to the time where everyone should become a farmer directly on indirectly. No need of allowing land to lay wasted while food is a challenge to many Nigerians. Vegetable farming is one of those farmings that bring returns within a month after planting. It doesn’t require large space but if you have a large expanse there is no wrong in using it for vegetable farming. Anybody can start this business, it doesn’t require special qualification.
Nigeria’s population is about 200M and above yet we have only few persons cultivating vegetables. To know the percentage of vegetable farmers, use your location as example. So the opportunities are available in making income through this sector.
The wisdom in it, is to plant what people are buying. You know that they are perishable crops, so put your money where you can gain more. Avoid vegetables that only few persons are buying, you can add it to other market moving vegetables. But in major towns like Abuja, Lagos every vegetable is important.
In this post you will learn how to start vegetable farming, things needed, land preparation, how to plant, watering, manure application, harvesting and marketing etc.
Vegetable farming is very profitable. Once planted you keep harvesting for a long time. Raw materials can only be bought once after which you can plant any size of land with your produce or materials.
Dry season vegetable farming is very profitable. If you are contemplating going into the business start it during dry season. We now have hybrid vegetable seeds that can defy any condition, produce bountiful harvest within the shortest time.
How to Start Vegetable farming
It is very easy to start vegetable farming. The first thing is to write vegetable farming plan. Acquire a piece of land, you can buy or rent for planting since vegetable is not economic trees that will take decades before they depreciates. You can use containers or sack bags for vegetable growing. Also the recommended fertilizer application is organic manure. You can use need water as insecticides.
Purchase good seeds for planting, this time, I recommend hybrid seeds. We sale a couple of them, you can contact us to buy.
Get your equipment. Let’s go to the farm…
Meanwhile, these are the equipment needed for vegetable farming.
Well or borehole
The land should be close to you because vegetable requires adequate attention. The soil type ideal for vegetable farming is sandy loam. You can add manure to the soil if it is not rich enough before planting.
Clear the land and remove stump, clogs and stones. Make beds or ridges. Spread animal dungs on the beds two weeks before planting. You can treat the soil to prevent pests and disease attacks on the vegetables.
Vegetables can be planted either through stem or seeds. Like, in; pumpkin leaf you plant them through seeds while water leaf is planted through stem.
You can plant directly into the soil or transplant but is not every vegetable that favors transplanting. For instance; you don’t need to start transplanting water leaf they are just okay once planted and transplanting is waste of time and energy. But you can transplant pepper.
Planting Vegetables from seed takes between 2-5 days before germination depending on the type you are planting.
The best ways to grow vegetable is by the use of organic manures such as; compost, dung, pelleted woods such as those gotten from carpenters etc.
The best manure to use is nitrogen. It can be more of nitrogen for leafy vegetables examples water leaf. But for vegetables that produces seeds you will have to stop using manure with nitrogen when they start bringing out flowers. This is because nitrogen will make them to produce foliage.
Add manure to every stage in the development of any vegetable plants. After the first manure which was added after land preparation and before planting, add again when flowering, fruiting, rooting. Importantly, apply manure after every harvest,
Irrigation in Vegetable Farming Business
If you don’t have means of irrigating the farm don’t bother starting but it is okay to do so during raining season.
Vegetables love water, their soil should constantly be moisten. Irrigate every morning and evening. Especially during dry season or when there is shortage of water.
During raining season you may not need to water them.
Vegetables doesn’t accept excess water because it will kill the stems from ground level. Drip irrigation is best for vegetable farming.
Mulching will help to retain moisture in the soil. And prevent direct heat from sun hitting the vegetable to scourge.
You can mulch them with green leaves or mulching bags.
Pests and Disease in Vegetable Farming
The pest that disturbs vegetable are hoppers, they like chewing the leaves, creating holes in them. Once a hole has been created in any leaf the economic value of such leaf is reduced.
Leaf spot is a disease that affect the leaves of vegetables, it also reduces their values.
Plant hybrid seeds, observe crop rotation for crops like; pepper, okra and egg plants.
Practice good agronomy management.
Harvesting is done when the leaves have grown, fruit, seeded or pod has developed.
Profits in Vegetable Farming Business
Profits depend on the type of vegetables you are farming and the space used. But any commercial vegetable farming is profitable. 10 beds of sizable ugu beds can give you #80,000 every week.
Uses of Vegetables
- Vegetable is used for garnishing food
- Food preparation
- Salad making
- Snacks mixture etc.
Types of Vegetable
Okra is a vegetable used in preparing soap. Unlike before you can now plant them in nylon and containers. Okra is very easy to grow. Start from one plot before going into large scale commercial okra farming. Hybrid okra can be harvested within 2 months after planting, sprouting takes just a day.
It is the most consumed vegetable in Nigeria and also very profitable. The reason ugu farming is lucrative is because after harvesting ugu leaves for several months, they still produce pod that are sold for money. The pods can be cooked and eaten as snacks, food or appetizer.
Hybrid ugu is available, but only few ugu farmers know about this. As we all know, pumpkin leaf farming was only for those in the South but with hybrid seeds people in the core north and over Nigeria can farm ugu.
You can start harvesting water leaf two weeks after planting. For now, water leaf stem seems to be the only easy way to grow them. Although, the grow through seeds it is yet difficult to get the seeds for planting.
I have searched everywhere, engaged people to gather them for me during raining season but nothing came out of it. You can plant any other vegetable in a water leaf farm unlike other vegetables like pepper.
Waoh! This is a minting machine. Do you know that a hectare of cucumber will give you earnings in million? A trial will convince you. Cucumber is consumed as fruit and for food preparation as vegetable.
Hybrid cucumber seeds is what you need for cucumber farming because the success of it depends on that. Cucumber can be harvested within 6-8 weeks of planting and you will still harvest the veggies for many more weeks before they die off. You can imagine banking #1M within three months.
Pepper farming is another good vegetable farming to consider. There are many varieties, you can chose which to plant and concentrate on that. It can be sobo, green pepper, atarodo, bell pepper etc.
You can plant and harvest pepper within 3 months. And keep harvesting for a long time. Don’t plant okra and peeper in the same farm you will not like the outcome. This is because the share the same pesticides and disease, you can imagine how an outbreak can be destructive.
Cabbage is a popular vegetable in Nigeria and in the globe. Their usage is more pronounced during festive seasons. Cabbage farming is lightly done in Nigeria because only few persons see opportunity in their cultivation. It takes about 70 days for it to grow to maturity. One head can be sold from #200-#500 upward. The price of a head depends on the size and some weigh more than 1kg.
Vegetable markets itself, people are always ready to buy. But you have to make yourself known, if you are new in the business. Visit vegetable market in your location to have knowledge of the market. Invite market traders to your farm and sell at a fair price to them. Next time they will be the ones coming down to your vegetable farm to buy.
Advertise on social media to get wider coverage. Sell to big restaurants and eateries. My mother used to supply egusi (melon) and achi to hoteliers and restaurants, you can try this out.
Vegetable farming is all season farming. It will put money in your pocket all year round. Harvesting of the crop is within the shortest time. This means that you can plant some of the veggies more than three times a year, example cucumber.
You can combine more vegetables in the same farmland and make additional income. For instance, you can plant water leaf, pumpkin, efo, bitter leaf in the same plot of land. The amount used in growing vegetable is little but the gain is huge.
Contact us for fresh exotic vegetables such as; cauliflower, celery, raddish, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce etc. Call: 080 359 65405
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