Cucumber is one of the most popular vegetables widely consumed by every Nigerians in East, West, North, and South and in other countries.
Individuals whom are into Cucumber Farming business in Nigeria can testify how lucrative this business could be and the pleasure of investing in it.
So if you are interested in agriculture and looking for a good agricultural business to venture into in Nigeria, then you might want to consider cucumber farming business in Nigeria.
Cucumber, (Cucumis sativus) is known as a part of the Cucurbitaceae family and is considered to have originated in Nepal. Cucumbers are produced around the world with the U.S. being the fourth largest producer of country, after China, India, and Russia.
In Nigeria, for many years cucumber has been widely produced and has been serving as among the very important vegetables in the market; so if you have an interest in cucumber farming business in Nigeria, there is an open market that awaits you.
State that grows cucumbers in Nigeria that country
In Nigeria, most people think that if you don’t live in the north then you won’t participate or do well in agriculture.
Well that is in no way true, so if you intend to plant your cucumber in any plant of the country, you can and will be successful in it so far that the soil you are using in planting your cucumber is a healthy and fertile loamy soil and adequate supply of water.
Who can go into cucumbers farming business in Nigeria?
You don’t have to study agriculture in school or become a significant farming to set up this business and boom in it.
All you need is a keen interest in it and information on how to start.
And not to worry, I will include in this guide the information you need to know.
Health benefits of cucumbers
Cucumbers which can be regard as a fruits and also as vegetable are usually eaten raw, can also serve as an ingredient for garnishing in salads, soups and stew if possible or as accompaniments to various foods.
The fruit has a mild flavor, with a thin, tender, dark green skin that does not require peeling.
This nutritious and health benefiting fruit or vegetable is one that you can quickly lay your hands on or consume when you feel you need to normalize, regulate or nutrify your body system.
Cucumber can be benefiting to body, before we discuss the step by step on how to set up a cucumber farming business in Nigeria; here are few benefits of cucumber to the body.
- Cuts cancer risk; cucumber can aid in cutting down your risk of several cancers. Several studies show that by including cucumber in your diet your body have the benefit of fighting against cancers.
- Keeps your body hydrated; cucumber is 96 percent water; you will easily notice the gather of water when you chew it.
- Aids in weight loss and also reduces cholesterol; I know of most people who eat lots of cucumber to help in cutting down their weight. And cucumber has a compound called sterols that helps to reduce bad cholesterol. Since this lovely fruit is purely vegetable I don’t see why it shouldn’t be included in our daily diets.
- Refreshes the mouth and bad breath; Cucumber refreshes and heals diseased gums, leaving your mouth smelling good. If you have a bad breath or have a friend or relative who is fighting to get rid of bad breath, then here is a fruit you can use or recommend to them.
- Revives the eyes; we most times notice during facial treatment that a slice of cucumber are placed on the eye. This is not just an ordinary routine instead it is a form of reducing under-eye bags and puffiness.
- Helps in normalizing internal or external body heat; whenever you are feeling internal or external heat, you should eat cucumber, and your body will get relief from heartburn or heats. Also you can apply cucumber on your skin, and you will get relief from sunburn and itchy skin.
- Nourishes you with vitamins; such as vitamins A, B and C, which usually boost immunity system, give you energy and keep you glowing.
- Steadies blood pressure; people who struggles with blood pressure; either high blood pressure or low blood pressure, can find relief to this by eating cucumber.
- Flushes out toxins and Keeps kidneys in shape; regular use of cucumber is known to flush out toxins that builds up in the body and it also dissolve kidney stones, lowers uric acid levels in our system.
- Alleviates muscle and joint pains; the vitamins and minerals in cucumber helps and stand as relieve to muscle and joint pain.
- Good for treating diabetics; Doctors usually recommend this for patients whom are diabetic. This is because cucumber contains a hormone needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin.
- Supplies skin enhancements; cucumbers contain magnesium, potassium, silicon which is minerals that are very good skin enhancement and youthfulness.
- Helps in smoothing hair and nails; cucumber has silica which is a mineral that makes your hair and nails stronger and shinier.
These are few to mention on the health benefits of cucumber to the body and having written on this adorable fruit, lets now move to the main part we all have been waiting for; how to start Cucumber Farming Business in Nigeria.
Steps on how to start a Cucumber farming business in Nigeria
Make good research; make a good and adequate research on what cucumber is all about and how to grow one.
If you are reading this article now, then you have made a right choice.
It is all part of it and shows you really want to learn. It’s a good thinking that you want to enhance your knowledge before entering into your path of wealth in cucumber farming business. Thumbs up!
Make a business plan; the first step to take is to make a business plan which will help you organize and plan your farm the way it should be.
You might want to shy away from this thinking that it is unimportant but believe me it is. A well organized business is the path to it growth.
Get a perfect land and location; like I wrote before, one can plant cucumber in any state in the country. The type of land you choose contributes a lot to the success of your cucumber farming.
You should consider looking for a loamy-clay soil.
This is because as cucumbers need enough water as 90 percent of it contains water. So, therefore a loamy-clay soil can absorb and retain water.
And also cucumber needs enough sunlight, the land you intend to chose for planting should not have shades that will prevent sunlight from entering and also prevent your cucumbers from growing well.
And also chose land which the location is accessible, to aid in the easy transportation of your cucumbers and also for the buyers.
And also chose a location that you are comfortable with.
The size of the land can differ and this depends on the amount of money you have for purchasing or leasing the land; it could be in plots or in acres.
Getting the perfect seeds; another hug determinate of successful cucumber farming is the seeds.
Do not purchase U.S or Europe seeds because their climate is totally different from ours.
But you can purchase Thailand’s seeds, since their climate is almost same to ours.
They have their company here in Nigeria where you can purchase them.
Or if you still feel confused on the right seeds to use, you can possibly, feel free to walk into any International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) nearest to you and have them recommend you the best seeds.
On land preparation; before planting your cucumber, you need to first prepare the land effectively.
Clear the land and remove all weeds, for best results, pull the weeds up with your hand, pull up as much of the root as possible to prevent them from quickly growth back.
Make beds for appropriate and coordinated spacing.
Do not use herbicides to weeding because it can make the soil inappropriate for the cucumber growth.
Moisten the soil if it is dry, before planting and ensure that the pH of the soil is balanced; if possible, the pH of the soil should be fairly neutral-slightly alkaline, that is, pH level close to 7.0.
Fertilize the soil before planting your cucumber, you can use NPK 15:15:15 or you can also use organic manure but it is recommended that you use organic manure to make the soil natural and for the health of the crops.
Planting and methods; after getting the right seeds and preparing your land, now it is time to plant your cucumbers seeds, some farmers do plant them in nursery and then transplant them to the main field.
Either one you do is okay but it is highly recommended to plant your seeds directly to the farm because cucumbers have very fragile root systems, the act of transplanting could most times damage the plant if not carefully handled.
When planting in the field, push the cucumbers seeds slightly into the soil on the beds and this should be about 1 inch into the top of the soil.
The plantings space should be about 45.72 to 92.44 cm apart (for planting seeds or seedlings/transplanted seeds).
After planting the seeds, you should build up stakes at the sides of the beds to support the cucumber leaves as they grows.
This is because cucumbers are mostly climbers and so they generally, require supports to grow.
As soon as the seedlings sprout up, mulch the vacant soil with mulching films.
Mulching is an act of covering the vacant beds (where you did not plant the seeds.
Make opening for where you plant your seeds for growing) of the soil with long/roll of dark nylon which can be easily purchased in markets.
To put the mulch, use a shovel to open the sides at the edge of the beds and tuck the films in it.
The reason why you are mulching is because it is very good for keeping the soil warm and moist and also help in controlling the quick growth of weeds.
Note; If you intend to plant it in the nursery and then transplant the seedlings to the field, make sure you fertilize the soil.
Time for planting and irrigation; you don’t have to wait till rainfall before planting your cucumber.
Cucumber can be planted anytime of the years, provided that you provide it with enough and adequate water.
Be sure you make arrangement for the source of water. It could be from a nearby stream or from a borehole source which you could use sprinklers to spray.
And also, keep in mind to control erosion, too much damp or drought.
For weeding; weed with hand 20-30 days after planting.
Apply placid liquid fertilizer or preferably, organic fertilizer every two weeks
Try to prevent the leaves from turning yellow, but if it does, do apply high nitrogen fertilizer but do not over fertilize the plants.
Prevention of pest and diseases; the most important obstruction which will affect the successful growth of your cucumber farming business in Nigeria is pest and diseases.
Some flies which usually perches on the cucumbers leaves are good like the butterfly and bees, they do not eat the leaves but only perches on the leaves during the day because of the brightness of the cucumbers flower but some insects which eats the leave destroys the plant.
Pests like anthracnose, mildew, mosaic, lady bird, beetles and grasshoppers are among the leave destroyers.
Target when they use to come and spray insecticides at regular intervals to control these pests.
Also try to control monkeys, cow, cattle and goats, these animals eats the leaves and fruits as they grows which causes loss in your cucumber productions.
Some diseases like Alternaria leaf blight, Angular leaf spot, Anthracnose, Aphids etc should be looked out for and prevent.
Harvesting your cucumber and marketing; cucumber are harvested when they are immature and green in color. You do not harvest cucumbers when it is ripe; if you do so, the fruits will be yellow in color; nobody will like to buy this kind of cucumber.
The maturity days of cucumber is between 40-45 days; though this depends on the type of seeds you buy.
When buying the seeds, you can ask them when the maturity days are, to prevent making mistakes.
Harvesting is done manually with hands and should to be handled with care to prevent bruises and damages.
After harvest, wash them quickly in a basin of water and arrange them carefully in bags ready for sell.
Though before that, you should have find buyers who are interested in purchasing the fruit to prevent it from spoiling after storage.
Because of how popular cucumber fruits is in Nigeria, looking for buyer are not really that difficult.
You can find buyer in there market, look for market women whom have interest in purchasing and already in the business.
Market your cucumbers before the harvest period and customer will be ready to buy them provided they are sweet and tender.
If you are done reading this article, am sure you see that investing in cucumber farming business in Nigeria is really not that hard, if the labor will be too hard for you depending on the size of your land; then you can employ additional hard working assistants whom are ready to work.