How to start a cucumber farming business? In Nigeria today, Agriculture has taken a new dimension as it seems to be the only stable and profitable business.
As we all know getting a job in the private sector isn’t easy and even if you’ve got yourself one then be ready to work your ass out while you get paid a peanut salary.
Cucumis Sativus, popularly known as “cucumber” is a vine that creeps and bears its fruits in due time which are eaten and also used as vegetables, it is a plant that is widely known and recognized all over the world.
Cucumber is has a very high demand in Nigeria and Africa at large, so if you really want to start the cucumber farming business then you are doing yourself some good and soon will be smiling to the bank with pride.
We also have various lucrative agricultural businesses you can do which we have talked about on this blog like the grasscutter farming business, snail farming, fish farming, poultry farming, and many others.
In this post, you will learn about cucumber farming in Nigeria, what cucumber farming entails, and attend to questions like how much to start a cucumber farming, can cucumber farming make me rich?
Fortunately, by the end of this post, we would have inspired you to start cucumber production and probably cleared up some doubts faced by current cucumber producers.
What is Cucumber Farming?
Cucumber farming simply means the process of growing and conditioning cucumber in large quantities for the purpose of selling it for money. It has a similar style of farming to every other crop and could be planted alongside other crops.
The perfect season to plant cucumber is around March and June when we have warm weather conditions.
Mind you, cucumber is a crop that is widely acceptable to all tribes and religions so it’s a market that always has high demand as it is consumed in every part of the country.
What is the Importance of Cucumber?
This question can as well be asked as “what is the importance of cucumber farming?” and if you will love to know the answer to it then read on.
We have many benefits of cucumber as they are used in almost all our meals, cucumber is a vegetable that enriches the body and makes your skin glow, also it can be used for various treatments.
Most pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies make use of cucumber as they use it to produce drugs and cosmetics, below are the benefits of cucumber;
- It helps to repel bad breath, releasing phytochemicals responsible for fighting bacteria and microorganisms usually associated with bad breath.
- It possesses some compounds which are anti-cancerous by nature which reduces the risk of getting cancer.
- research had it that daily consumption of cucumber reduces the risk of getting kidney diseases and also it helps to dissolve kidney stones.
- Cucumber has been proven to cure diabetes and also it regulates blood pressure thereby housing a natural hormone responsible for the stimulation of insulin by the pancreas.
- It helps in hydrating the body and also in removing body toxins, increasing the immune system and body functions.
- Although it is not solely responsible for weight loss as many people think, vegetable definitely plays a considerable role in reducing weight gain.
- Softens and refreshes the skin; Based on its organic content, the consumption of cucumber has helped many people maintain their skin condition. For this reason, it is highly rated for pharmaceutical products.
You shouldn’t be surprised at the rate of consumption of cucumber in Nigeria as with the attributes we’ve mentioned here there will certainly be a high demand for the crop.
How Much is Required to Start Cucumber Farming Business
Once you have made a decision to go into agriculture, what comes to mind is usually capital and land, here you will know how much it costs to start a cucumber farm.
Like every agro-based business, the startup of a cucumber farming business in Nigeria costs little and the crop grows quickly.
When you put in the right energy and capital then you can relax and earn cool cash, your capital should be around N100,000 – N500,000 and you will be cashing out a triple or even four times the capital invested in it quarterly.
As mentioned earlier, land in a secure environment is very essential to the successful planting and harvesting of cucumbers as the land itself will tell on the quality of the produce.
At least rent or buy land of up to a plot or half-acre based on the quantity you wanted to plant, with this then your expectation should be high because you will have a huge profit at the end of the harvest.
Things to Consider When Venturing Into Cucumber Farming
Here are the things you need to consider before starting up a cucumber farm;
Land or site selection is what your first thought should be before you start any agriculture business and as you know cucumber isn’t exempted.
Nigeria is blessed with fertile land rich in all nutrients needed for plants to grow with wonderful climatic conditions, but you also need to make some research on your own as you want the best.
Grooming of land: You have to prepare your land by clearing it and applying herbicides or any right chemical that can aid massive production thereby improving soil fertility and stopping pests.
This means the selection of seeds, i.e sourcing for your cucumber seeds which will be planted on your farm. Do not fall for those telling you to buy USA or Europe cucumber seeds mainly because they are always looking big and fresh, the truth is those seeds won’t strive in Nigeria as each species have their suitable climatic conditions degrees.
So if you are to buy cucumber seeds then the best you wanna go for is the ones that can grow in Nigeria. You can make your research about that from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) or find someone that is already in the business and make a good choice for yourself.
Planting and Post-Planting
Though cucumber can be planted in any season of the year the best time to plant is the training season, and if during the dry season you should make sure proper irrigation is in place, your farm should have close proximity to water for proper development of your cucumber.
This is very important, once your plant started glowing then you have to prevent weeds from dragging nutrients with it, weeding is essential likewise mulching, which should be done around 30 days after planting.
Diseases That Affect Cucumber
The diseases that affect cucumber production are Mosaic, Mildew, and damping-off, you have to monitor the farm and keep a close eye on the growth and leaves of your plant.
The soil must be kept moist by means of water distribution in the furrows of 30 to 40 centimeters of opening and 25 to 30 centimeters of depth, or of irrigation through the system of drip, micro-sprinkler, or conventional sprinkler.
Thinning made with a cutting tool, knife or scissors is also necessary for the plant to become more vigorous. Keep the crop clean to prevent weed attacks.
This is the time that the farmer harvests the cucumber while it is yet to ripen (still green and hard). You don’t want to harvest when your cucumber is already ripe, and that will amount to loss as it gets spoilt quickly once ripens.
It normally takes up to 70 days to mature at most so you should make sure you make your calculations. Also, you should avoid dropping the cucumber as it will affect the cucumber internally which could cause swelling and you know any spot on the cucumber is a NO for customers, so wash gently and neatly arrange them in a sack for sale.
This is the moment every farmer wants, it is like Christmas, so for every farmer’s hard work, it is expected that he makes profits.
You need to have made logistics plans before even harvesting, so you are expected to have made contacts with those involved before you harvest and move the product to them.
FAQs on Cucumber Production
Depending on the season, a 40-kg bag of cucumbers costs between N4,000 – N9,000 in an open market.
It takes approximately 55-70 days for cucumbers to grow to full maturity. However, weather conditions, plant variety and soil nutrients may affect this estimate.
Cucumbers require a low level of nitrogen in their fertilizers; the potassium and phosphorus levels may be high. In commercial fertilizer formulas, the NPK levels should be 5-10-10. If this is not available a 4-4-4 rate is advised.
Of course, you can if you really love cucumbers, though extra maintenance would be needed for this.
You can grow cucumbers together with tomatoes, corn, peas, beans, and lentils. Asides from tomatoes and corns, these legumes have a similar root system to cucumbers.
Sage, potatoes, and melons are not companion crops to cucumbers hence, should not be cultivated alongside each other.
Cucumbers can be planted outdoors on a farm or indoors in a greenhouse.
Cucumber seeds and tendrils do not require much maintenance; the 70-day max. growth curve of cucumbers also makes them relatively easy to maintain.
The cultivation of the cucumber, of which the cucumber is the fruit, is simple and does not require much care. Cultural treatments include irrigation, weeding, and cutting, with the cutting of sprouts that appear.
It is not recommended to spray the plant with insecticides, because, as it has female or male flowers, the cucumber depends on the cross-pollination carried out by insects such as bees, which transport pollen.
A small space for planting – including pots about 50 centimeters high and 30 centimeters in diameter – is sufficient for the development of the vegetable.
Cucumber production occurs throughout the year in regions with a subtropical climate and achieves good retail prices.