Starting a small vegetable farm on say 1hectare which is like the size of 2 football field is generally easier than livestock farming. But the cost and success of the enterprise depends on the type of crop, the market and economies of scale. Let’s look at how to start a vegetable farm in Nigeria.
When venturing into vegetable farming, choose an area that is close to the market to keep transport costs as low as possible. In some cases, all you need is one big wholesaler who would most likely come to the farm for harvesting, so you don’t have to spend money on transportation.
“Let’s start with land costs. Rental fees differ drastically from region to region, ranging from 50k-150k/hectare/year. In the case of vegetables, you won’t need a full year, as most vegetables reach harvest stage within 2-4months. Except you’re planting at intervals. See how you can get cheap lands in Nigeria here.
And as you know, vegetables are water loving plants, so you shouldn’t rely on rainfall to give your plant the adequate amounts of water needed daily. An irrigation system would be the best if you don’t have a very close source of water. Getting a 2000litre GP tank is about 45k, you’ll need like two of that, connection of pipes for sprinkle irrigation won’t cost much, as a good plumber can help with that.
I don’t really think you’ll have the time and strength to water 1 hectare of land morning and evening, everyday for months. So it’s best you just go to your farm, turn on the water system from your tank, then the connected pipes will do it’s sprinkling work.
Now you’ve gotten your land and watering system. A good Nigerian soil will need little or no fertilizer application for good productivity. Instead of buying fertilizers, you can easily get farm yard manure for free or for little price because there are lots of animal farms that have no use for their farm yard manures.
After land preparation, you can easily get your seeds from a reliable marketer and start planting operations. Most vegetables are planted first in the nursery before transplanting to the field because their seeds are really small. Except from pumpkin most times. For your nursery, just clear a portion of land and spray the seeds there. You don’t have to kill yourself.
Those at the Nursery should start growing within 3 days and should be okay for transplanting after 1 week or a maximum of 2 weeks.
You’ll need man power for transplanting. Especially if it’s a big land. During my school work, I was seeing darkness while transplanting, cause you’ll have to follow the given length and breadth within rows and between plants. It was really stressful. Give your labourers the measurements to follow and you’ll be good to go.
After transplanting, you’ll have to water your vegetables immediately so they won’t die. Continuous watering twice a day is necessary to keep them alive. Also, regular weeding of your farm is very important. This will help them continue to grow well because weeds will definitely fight with your plant for nutrients. And you can sometimes use the weeds as fertilizers for your vegetables.
Vegetables have a major of insect pest so you can always get the best chemicals for pest control around you.
Harvesting and selling your vegetables won’t be a big problem if your vegetable farm is close to the market. (How to start a vegetable farm). Now know this that you shouldn’t harvest your entire vegetable farm if you don’t have someone that is buying the entire vegetables. You might not just finish selling that day and ones it exceeds a day, your vegetable is as good as nothing, because buyers only do fresh.
Then it was five mature vegetable sticks for hundreds naira, then the ones that aren’t big enough, we make them eight. So in your case, you can harvest the very nature ones to sell first, and take them in any transport system to the market. Mind you, vegetables are easily perishable, so your harvest and sales period shouldn’t be more than 24 hours if you still want to get the best out of it. You can always increase its fresh look by sprinkling water to it.
For 1 hectare of land filled with vegetables, you should make nothing less than 600k after 2-4 months. Now this estimate is for the really cheap ones. And for leafy vegetables only… You’ll hit millions of you go into tomato and cucumber farming. Now tell me which Nigerian job will pay you like this in few months.
So this is it on How to start a vegetable farm. Please share to students and those in need of this, and if you have any question concerning a part you feel isn’t mentioned in the article, feel free to ask in the comment section.