Cucumber farming in Nigeria is one of the agribusinesses that is very lucrative and can surprise whoever dares to go into it.
In a nutshell, while many young men and women are busy acquiring higher degrees in education in a bid to be gainfully employed by the multinational firm and companies.
Cucumber farming has become a major source of income and a lucrative venture to those that saw the goldmine in it. Especially now that the Government is in disarray and the economy is no longer sustainable just with the proceeds from crude oil.
Many parastatals both privately owned and government agencies have now embarked on various level of farming and agricultural practices.
If you are sceptical about most business ventures and wants to ensure things are done differently, instead of investing your little money in some shady businesses that you are not even sure about the return on investment
or even don’t have a full glimpse of it, then it would make a thoughtful economic sense to consider investing in cucumber farming.
This is because it has the capacity to serve our economy. With so much prospect in both cucumber farming and watermelon farming, some Governors have now aggressively engaged in it.
This is no longer a wishful saying, a lot of persons have become millionaires in less than three months through cucumber farming in Nigeria.
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Health Benefits of Cucumber
Cucumber although know by many as a vegetable, is actually a fruit. Its composition is high in nutrients including certain plant composites and antioxidants that could help in treatments and even prevent some conditions.
Some health benefits of cucumber include;
It’s high in nutrients: Cucumber is low in calories but high in water and several important vitamins and minerals. thereby making it ideal for promoting hydration and aiding in weight loss.
It contains antioxidants: Cucumber contains antioxidants, together with flavonoids and tannins, that forestall the build-up of harmful free radicals and should scale back the danger of chronic unwellness.
Its promotes hydration: Water is vital to your body function performing significant roles. Cucumber contains approximately 96% water which can facilitate increase association and rehydrate the body. And also in pushing out unwanted substances from the body.
It can also lower blood sugar: Test-tube and animal studies show that cucumber can also help to lower blood sugar, regulates blood pressure because of the presence of potassium, magnesium and fibre in its water to stop diabetes-related complications though extra analysis is required.
Relieves pain: Cucumbers contain flavonoids and tannins, that are medicament substance that has each been shown to limit the discharge of free radicals within the body and to cut back pain.
Reduces bad breath: Bacteria in the mouth can cause bad breath. Fibre and water-rich vegetables like cucumbers will boost your mouth’s secretion production, that successively helps wash away the microorganism that causes the odour within the mouth.
Protect your bones: Cucumbers are a good supply of Vitamin K. One cup contains 22% of your suggested daily intake of Vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for bone health, as low vitamin K intakes have been associated with a higher risk of bone fracture, because vitamin K aids the absorption of calcium in the bones.
Protect your bones: Cucumbers are a good supply of Vitamin K. One cup contains 22% of your suggested daily intake of Vitamin K
It Could Promote Regularity: It contains a good amount of fibre and water, both of which may help prevent constipation and increase regularity. It also helps in reducing ageing due to its vitamin A, B and C content.
Helps you maintain a healthy weight: Cucumbers are very low in calories (16 calories per cup) and they also contain fibre in the skin, which contributes significantly towards a healthy diet.
Cucumber Farming In Nigeria and Why You Should Start
Cucumber is a wonderful vegetable and scientifically proven fruit that is consumed worldwide. The good thing about this fruit is that the demand for it is very high which eliminates the ideas of whether the business of cucumber farming is what you will be able to sell.
Cucumber is used for various purposes which include health, sources of food, cosmetics production, agribusiness purposes etc.
These various reasons make the demand for cucumber to be very high. Cucumber can be planted at any time of the year, provided irrigation equipment is put in place for use during dry season.
It can be picked within a short period of time, three months or less depending on the type of species that was planted.
It is recommended for you to venture into cucumber farming and see for yourself that you are simply allowing money to slide away carelessly due to lack of proper information.
Agricultural produce is so important to nations that none can barely survive without it. Most nations now prefer to go into farming thereby exporting their produce to better their economy.
So anyone that is in dear need of a business to start and expects to get something more significant and lasting should consider looking into agricultural direction because it is a rare sector of the economy which only a few clever ones are diverting into and are inaudibly making a kill of it.
The things with cucumber farming should not be taken for granted because if done correctly, one would see all his investments multiplying substantially.
Cucumber is a fruit that is generally consumed all over the world due to its health benefits which both the educated and non-educated individuals always attest to.
Talk about anything regarding cucumber and you are sure to know more about the delightful benefits of the universal vegetable.
Cucumber is superb in the battle against weight loss, cancer, treatments for diabetics, skin irritations, bad breath, and can be used to re-hydrate the body and regain one’s self from dryness.
Bear in mind that Cucumber farming in Nigeria is easy, the only hard work involved in the making of beds which you can as well pay experienced labourers to execute it for you.
you don’t even need a large sum of money to venture into cucumber farming, what extremely matter is obtaining things right initially before going into it absolutely.
As a matter of fact, you can even make a huge profit out of the small amount you invest in it.
Cucumber farming can also be done with little or no experience although it is advisable to do a trial farming before kicking off on a full commercial purpose so as to determine the best management practices to use.
It is also great sources of vitamins. A, B1, B6, and D which is known globally and not just in one particular location in the world.
Having established of these fascinating facts concerning cucumber, it’s currently time for you to carefully consider the steps necessary for you to contemplate owning your own cucumber farm and share within the pure profits that it brings.
Steps Involve in Setting Up a Cucumber Farming
It is pertinent that before venturing into cucumber farming in Nigeria or anywhere in the world that you should ensure certain measures are put in place, which will ensure it is successful.
Step 1. Conduct a Research Study
Before starting any business, it is necessary to carry out an in-depth study of the necessary things that will ensure a smooth startup. This has always proved to be the wisest thing to do.
A comprehensive background search and study to see its practicability are very important, and also the same is true for any vegetable farming in Nigeria also.
Cucumber comes in several types/varieties. Ensure you isolate the varied varieties of or species of cucumber and understand the actual ones that thrive on your chosen location.
Thus, before you start cucumber farming in Nigeria or anywhere in the world, you need to gather all of the necessary information in order to set up your farm at the right location, right time and the right cost.
Your analysis study can assist you to know the implications of beginning your cucumber farming, as well as the desired resources, your competitors and potential customers.
These will enable you to gather information from your possible customers and know the tricks to deploy in order for your product to hardly leaves the farm before it’s sold off.
In a nutshell, conduct feasibility studies and do it rightly.
Because it will help you to clearly identify what marketing methods to use to reach and attract your ideal customers once your crop is ready for harvest.
One of the most effective things regarding selecting cucumber farming is that cucumbers may be planted throughout the year, provided you have got an adequate water reservoir ready for your farm.
Step 2: Have a well-structured business plan
It is observed that in this side of the world that an average farmer does not usually consider having a clearly written business plan.
But you should, because this will give your cucumber farm an edge over others and generate the profits that you have worked hard for.
A business plan is what you need to run your farm in an organized and structured manner. Also, if you are limited in terms of the needed capital to start your cucumber farm with a good business plan,
you will be in a better position to easily attract investors and other financial institutions including government grants that are becoming widely available to fund your farm to become highly sought after.
But this depends on your ability in managing it properly for the likely investors to see. And this you should do without any fears because of cucumber markets itself.
But this relies on your ability to manage it properly for the prospective investors to foresee. And this you must do without any iota of the doubt due to the fact that cucumber markets itself.
Even with sufficient capital, investors and extra capital generated through loans will help you set up a mechanized and subsequently more efficient farm.
Step 3. Get A Suitable Land In a Good Location for your cucumber farming
Whilst the basic requirements for setting up a cucumber farm include a sufficient water supply along with sunshine.
It is a known fact that Cucumber grows best in a land that has rich and humid soil. And this can serve multiple purposes.
First and foremost, it reduces the overhead expenses of obtaining water for irrigating the vegetable that empowers it to yield the big and chromatic sorts that are extremely asked for.
When your expenses on irrigation are lesser by positioning your farm near a water bed, your profit will increase tremendously.
The reason here is simple- while you may be able to grow cucumber in a region that has less rainfall and is far from a riverine area,
it will take a lot of resource and manpower time to ensure that your cucumber crop is constantly moist. This will add to the costs that you will incur on irrigation as well as other operational costs.
If you are deficient when it comes to soiling and lands, it will be in your best interest to consult an expert to help you out before starting your cucumber farm.
This is because you plan to harvest your cucumber on a commercial scale so it necessary to do it with the best possible conditions.
Step 4. Land preparation and cucumber planting
Land preparation is the most crucial step when it comes to cucumber farming in Nigeria, and it is essential that you give it your utmost attention.
the steps for preparing the land for planting includes:
- Start by clearing the land you want to use for cucumber planting.
- Till and make ridges or beds on it, this will help in loosening the soil for effective growth and weed control. moisten the ground by adding fertilizer.
- Treat the soil with insecticide and dress the bed with organic manure such as cow, or poultry dung. Apply NPK fertilizer 15 15 15 if you are using inorganic manure.
- Then afterwards, plant your cucumber in an exceeding hole of 2.5cm deep and an area of 50cm from one another to allow it to grow on its own while not having to be troubled against themselves.
Also, ensure the layout of your farm is in rows and columns. This will give room for easy passage for tractors and humans.
Having rows and columns in your farmland will make it easy for watering and harvesting including weeding.
Types of cucumber seeds to use
Seeds that you use plays an important role in determining the success of your cucumber farm. You need to decide if your seed will be;
local or a foreign seed?
open or a closed seed?
hybrid or General seed?
Like I earlier mentioned, the seeds you plant matters a lot that is why you have to know and choose the right ones. This will help in knowing how to handle them as they grow.
Most people prefer hybrid seeds owing to the fact that they are already treated.
Note, some seeds can yield 1tonne of cucumber on each harvest per hectare of land; others also can yield 500kg, 200kg, even as low as 50kg. while some can yield up to 2-3 tonnes in the same agricultural conditions.
Another important role played by the seed is in deciding how long you can harvest. Some 3-5 times, some 5-10times while a select few can go 15-20 times before they wither.
The nature of the seeds influences their growth pattern. In respect to their germination/harvest periods. Cucumber starts sprouting 4-5 days of planting.
Make sure to plant species that are suitable in your area if it is for commercial purpose. Some of the recommended species include; Thai, Murano seeds, Tokyo F1, etc.
Cucumber seeds are also very receptive to manures. It can be combined with organic manure. As they grow, you can pluck off the top or tips of the focal stems so that splitting is fortified.
Considering the analysis, you will agree with me that the species of seed you plant is a vital factor in defining the course of your cucumber farm.
Step 5: Labour
Labour is another important factor that can sabotage your cucumber farming if not handle well.
For a small farm let say around one plot of land, it is advisable that you handle the labour yourself except you are extremely busy with other engagement and only hire labourers to help out with more difficult tasks like making of beds.
This will tremendously reduce your costs and increase your profits.
But if you start big or grow your business you will need to hire labour. As a guide, you can expect to pay around N15,000 to N20,000 a month per person.
Labour can be your greatest challenge so don’t take it for granted. A lot of businesses have failed to cut the mark because they hired lazy or incompetent labour.
I’ll, therefore, recommend that you start small and build up your labour force progressively with trusted and hardworking personnel.
Mulching/Weeding of A Cucumber Farm in Nigeria
Mulching provides help in the control of erosion and moisture maintenance. You can use mulching films but in the absence of it, simply use black tarpaulin or nylon sheets.
Weed posies threat to any growing crop because they compete with each other for nutrients and sunlight.
Possibly, you may decide to go with the traditional method of weeding which entails the use of hoe or herbicides/pesticides but care must be taken not to spray on the body of the plants in other not to affect the productivity of the seedlings.
Even though this method is cheaper and easier when compared to the traditional method associated with the expenses involved.
The first application of fertilizer was done during land preparation, the second application is expected to be done during vegetative, flowering and fruiting stages.
Cucumber plants rely mostly on manure/fertilizer and the supply should be increased on every application. this practice is synonymous with cucumber farming in Nigeria and will bring about healthy germination and bigger fruits.
Step 6: Irrigation
Irrigation is very important in cucumber farming, especially during dry season. As I mentioned earlier, cucumber composition is made of 96% water, so the need for constant water is key.
The success of cucumber farming is attributed to two things which are securing suitable land and a constant water supply.
Your constant source of water could be a nearby river, stream, a sink borehole or well dug in the land.
Your cucumber farm will not even survive past the first harvest if you don’t have a constant source of water. To ensure this is fix before starting.
If you fail to give your plant the desired water, the primary effect is that your cucumber fruits will have a bitter taste.
I believe you have tasted or eaten bitter cucumber before and was like ehn? You will agree with me that it is not healthy, even animals will refuse to eat it.
The end result will not be palatable because you will forfeit your profits and your cucumbers will be not be bought.
Also, the plants won’t last long before they wither and die. Drip irrigation is established to be a superior method of irrigation.
Step 7: Harvesting
Cucumber fruits are harvested between 45 to 65 days after planting. This depends on the kind of seeds planted and the availability of nutrients in the soil.
This again varies as per the climate and can be done either every other day or after a gap of a few days that is after 3-4 days’ interval for about a month before the leaves dry off or the plant dies.
Cucumber that is large and yellowish on the vine can become very bitter. So ensure you harvest them from the vine before they turn yellow.
The size that should be harvested should be between 5-11 inches this is in regards to cucumber farming in Nigeria
An important fact about cucumber is that those planted organically are always more attractive and sweet/expensive than the inorganic ones.
Also, warding off pests by using the right type of pesticide in case of insects’ attacks on your plants.
One of the important factors to consider while looking for cucumber varieties before planting is not because of any other reason rather than the soil type.
Cucumber fruits are very prevalent and delicious and greatly disease-resistant. It also yields over a long season in hot or cold weather too.
The demand for it locally has over the years not being fully catered for talk more of exporting it.
Step 8. Marketing
Am sure, you went into cucumber farming business because you want to make more money. The good news is that the market value of Cucumber is unique which makes it different from other vegetables.
You scarcely tussle to sell your cucumber. All that is needed for you to do is to inform the local markets that you have it for sale and have them rallying down to you.
You can either retail your cucumber for additional profits or as wholesale, in a very market close to you, or in one amongst the numerous corporations that concentrate on cucumber processing for easy disposals which can even give you more exposures to market your products.
But first, like other businesses your initial marketing efforts will require time and once you have built momentum you will have an easy ride selling your cucumbers.
For your cucumber to sell itself, all you need to do is ensure that they are green, big, attractive, fresh and juicy, and of a high quality.
Cucumbers are in high demand, and as long as you inform native customers that you have harvested cucumbers from your own farm you may have them queuing to purchase them.
With these steps closely followed, with enough investment and resources, you ought to be ready to notice the massive business potential of cucumber farming in Nigeria within some months!
Challenges of Cucumber Farming
Some of the challenges of cucumber farming in Nigeria and many parts of the world including but not limited to:
- Inadequate financial resources
- Lack of demonstrable experience
- Land use tenure and insecurity
- Storage Limitations
- Farm Inputs Constraints
- Equipment Constraints
- Marketing deficiency
- Incompetence manpower
There is a huge demand for cucumbers worldwide, its relatively short germination period, health benefits and its market value and opportunities make cucumber farming a lucrative agribusiness to venture into in Nigeria and many other parts of the world.
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I hope you found this valuable read. What are your thoughts on how to start cucumber farming in Nigeria, or any part of the world? Let me know by leaving a comment below.