Contrary to ancient believes, plants can be manipulated to survive in the dry season and very lucrative too. Vegetables is one class of plants that can be easily manipulated to do well, yield profit even more than it would in the rainy season and involves just a few technicality. It is wise if you turn your backyard garden to cool money making agro-ventures.
Vegetables are widely consumed in Nigeria especially among the Igbo and Yoruba tribes, it’s a rich source of vitamins. There are numerous types; lettuce, cabbage, carrot, tomato and any edible green leaf you can think of. In Nigeria, fluted pumpkin (ugwu), ewedu (Orchorous olitorious), tete (known as green), shoko, waterleaf and okra are popularly consumed, thus, I will be focusing on them as I prepare you for a dry season farming business.
HOW TO MANIPULATE VEGETABLE PLANTING
Water is the only factor that is insufficient in dry season. So, for your vegetable to survive, plant your crops in swampy area during the dry season or ensure a water source is close to your desired farm location. Fertilizers can also be applied but would advise the use of organic fertilizer; poultry manure, animal droppings etc.; its more economical, environmentally and health friendly.
– After choosing a suitable location, which could be your backyard, clearing the land is the next thing. You can easily hire cheap labour to do this for you if you do not have an in-depth knowledge of herbicide. Ensure that the surface of the land is exposed.
– You also need to make beds, about 5m by 2m in size. If your land can accommodate lots of beds, put a walking space between the beds, you wouldn’t want to damage your plants by walking on them. The bedding process will also help in tilling the soil.
– It is best to incorporate organic fertilizer like animal manure into the soil at this stage before planting. Spread and mix it on the soil with water while making the beds.
Highly recommended that you plant very early in the morning or evenings (when the weather is not so hot), it will help in the plant growth and development.
Vegetable type Spacing Maturity period
Ugwu 0.2m by 0.5m 4 – 5 weeks
Tete / Shoko Spread across bed 3 – 4 weeks
Ewedu Spread across bed 3 – 4 weeks
Waterleaf Spread across bed 3 – 4 weeks
Okra 9 – 12 weeks
Ensure the pointed part of the seed is buried at a depth of about 2cm and plant a maximum of two seeds per hole. Cover all beds – after planting- with mulch to prevent direct sunlight on the emerging tender plant and to conserve soil water too. Water the plants everyday -mornings and evening- even when they are matured and ready for harvesting.
Land Size Amount (N)
1 – 2.5 hectare 70,000
1 acre 30,000
A plot 12,000
With good bargaining power and leverage opportunities, capital can be reduced. If you also employ the “DIY” – do it yourself method on a small piece of land, you will only be spending money only on purchase of seed.
Seeds Price (N)
Ugwu 200 per cup*
Tete 200 per cup*
Shoko 200 per cup*
Waterleaf 50 per cup*
Ewedu 100 per cup*
Okra 200 per cup*
Prices may vary in your local markets. Ensure the seeds are dried and hybrids and not too old.
MARKET AND PROFITABILITY
The sales opportunity is high because the supply of vegetable is relatively low while demand is high. Local markets around you are places you can take your harvest for sale or negotiate with your “customer” being whom sells to you. Due to scarcity, the price of goods will normally hike. Same applies to vegetable on sale in dry season, price of vegetable increases.
You can make up to 95% profit unlike a targeted 50%
in the rainy season. You can also process and spice your vegetables into powder to make additional proceeds. Become an agromerchant supplier by planting vegetables this season.
Start Planting, Start Making Money!