Walnut farming is practiced in Nigeria as subsistence farming just like udara . The ones that are grown around few homes were brought from the wild by our fathers. Since then no body has thought of growing an orchard of walnut.
Meanwhile, the awareness and importance of walnut is growing by the day thereby sparking wild demand. Just doing a walnut business alone will make you comfortable not to talk of when you have a plantation of walnut.
My sister’s mother in-law has one in their compound she seems not to know the economic value of it. And so those who knows wake up as early as 5am to go pick the fallen seeds. The few she picked she kept them at home not knowing what to do with it. When we visited she gave us a small bag filled with the nuts. I had to lecture her about the walnut gold in her compound.
Eating of nut is very important to our health and especially walnut which is said to be the power house of nutrition. The nut is eaten as snacks just like groundnut and cashew nut.
Walnut is grown in temperate regions, in cool climatic conditions. Countries producing walnut are USA, Mexico, China, Turkey, Ukraine and India. They are grown in a temperature of 38°C with 800-1000mm rainfall. It is not a get rich kind of farming but a long-term investment. In this post you will get a detail guide on how to plant walnut upto harvest.
Clear the land and prepare it for planting by loosening the soil for easy root penetration. Heap the grasses and leaves for compost. Add manure to the land during preparation. A well-drained sandy loam or clayey loam soil rich in organic matter is best for walnut farming and a PH of 6.0-7.5. You have to supplement the soil with zinc and Baron. However, it is good to know the nutrients content of the soil before starting.
Walnut can be propagated through seeds, grafting and budding. But seed planting is the best method for propagation. The spacing can be 12×12m for seedlings, 10×10m, 8×8m for grafting. Which ever one you chose is okay but it should depend on if you are going to inter crop or practice mixed crops. Grafted seedlings matures between 4-5years whereas full production starts 8-10years. 100 trees can be planted per acre.
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To increase the production of side branches prune the tree after a year during early rains. Prune the branches to low hanging, remove dead branches to open up the tree. This will help the walnut to grow fast, increase tree productivity and secure optimum yield.
INTER-CROPPING IN WALNUT FARMING
Walnut can be inter-cropped with vegetables such as tomatoes, pepper, onions and legumes. Others are cassava, maize, potato, alfalfa etc. This will give you money to finance the walnut farm and additional profit from the inter cropped proceeds.
Like any other farm, weeding should be done during early appearance in other not to deplete the nutrient. Weeding can be done thrice a year either manually or by the use of selective herbicides.
Apply fertilizer at the beginning of raining season and when it is about to stop. Increase fertilizer application every year until it starts fruiting. After every harvest apply fertilizer. Walnut can grow well with organic manure but if you must use inorganic manure go for NPK.
Apply water after seedlings transplant or seed sowing in other to establish the plant root in the soil. During dry season use drip irrigation. Keep irrigating until the plant is established and can withstand harsh conditions.
Weed on time to avoid diseases. Use pesticides and insecticides to attack them. Neem oil can be spread on the farm frequently. Apply adequate nutrient in other to prevent the seeds from falling during fruiting.
The seeds start falling on their own when they are matured. Walnut seed turns brown ish from greenish colour once they are ready for harvest. If you want to shake the tree so that mature seeds will fall down, the immature ones may follow so allow them drop on their own. Grafted trees can start producing seeds 4-5 years while walnut planted from seeds starts producing 8-10 years.
PRESERVATION OF WALNUT
After harvest or collection of seeds spread them under the sun for 2-3 days so the nuts inside can dry properly. Remove the flesh and keep in a cold dry place. Once you remove the nuts from the shell make sure you use them before the change taste or get spoilt.
Crack the shell with hard object in other to remove the nut. You can buy shell cracking machine for this.
PROFITABILITY IN WALNUT FARMING
40-50kg of nuts can be gotten per walnut tree. Imagine how many nuts you will get from 100 trees. 5 nuts of walnut goes for #200 in Akwa Ibom State can you calculate how much you will make just for tree not to talk of an hectare of walnut. You keep harvesting every year once production starts. And harvest increases per year and can go on for 30 years.
The wood is used for veneer after their product years. The wood can be used in gun industry, furniture, doors, car interiors etc. Which gives additional money when sold to those companies.
The market for walnut is large, people are looking for where to buy walnut in large quantities in Nigeria. Supply to those selling on traffic, supermarkets, super stores etc.
If you are into walnut farming people will be booking space down for business.
USES OF WALNUT
- Helps in weight lost: walnuts are good for weight reduction because an ounce of walnut contains 2.5g of omega 3 fats, 4g of protein and 2g of fibre which provides satisfaction.
- Helps in fighting insomnia while making you sleep well. The nuts improve sleep, as they contain hormone melatonin, that induces sleep and helps regulate sleep. That’s why many people munch it at night or before going to bed.
- Good for hair health. This is because walnut has biotin (vitamin B7) that helps give strength to hair, reduces hair falling and improves hair growth to certain degree.
- They are rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids which makes them strong in fighting heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids also helps in combating bad cholesterol
- Prevents diabetes According to a research, women who consumed 28 grams of walnuts twice for a week, were 24% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. This research was published in a nutrition journal
- It boosts sperm thereby helping to promote male fertility. This is according to research made by UCLA researchers. Eating 75 grams of walnuts a day improves the vitality, motility, and morphology of sperm in healthy men aged 21 to 35 years.
- Walnut makes skin glow: they are rich in B-vitamins and antioxidants which prevents the skin from free radical damage thereby stopping wrinkles and ageing.
- Good for pregnant women: expectant who eat a diet rich in fatty acids such as those found in walnuts can reduce the baby’s chances of developing food allergies
- Prevents cancer
- Prevents mouth other
VARIETIES OF WALNUT
There are many varieties of walnut, with different shell type which are; paper shell, thin shell, medium shell and hard shell. The varieties are: Lake English, Wilson, Opex Caulchry, Eureka, Placentia etc. We now have hybrid variety which matures fast within 3-4 years. Forest walnut will take about 8 years to fruit and about 10 to mature. One of the reasons that put people off from farming walnut. Take advantage of this and start walnut farming today.
Walnut farming will put money into your hands for a long time running. So start yours today.
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