Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) 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 on this website guide the information you need to know.
Read Also: 13 Health Benefits of Cucumbers
Why should you invest in cucumber farming?
There are several good reasons cucumbers have become popular in recent years. This popularity drives the very high consumption rate of cucumbers, which pushes up its demand. All this translates to high profit for the entrepreneur who invests in cucumber farming because the market is very big and ever-present.
The most important reason more people eat cucumbers is their very many health benefits. The intake of this vegetable promotes good health, helps the skin fight the effects of aging, and supports the digestive system.
Cucumbers are useful for weight control, stress management, and they produce rich anti-oxidants which help body cells combat diseases.
Entrepreneurs, too, have a lot to gain from investing in cucumber farming. Cucumber farming is a very lucrative venture in Nigeria at the moment.
Every serious investor should be encouraged to join cucumber farming. The reasons are quite obvious: readily available market all year round, waiting buyers willing to buy your farm produce even before harvest, a large pool of affordable labor willing and waiting for opportunities to earn a living from your business, and it goes on and on.
How to start cucumber farming
Cucumber farming does not require any special farming skills. Cucumbers are low-maintenance, high-yielding plants once you follow good farming practice. Cucumbers are special plants; they need certain conditions to produce to the farmer’s satisfaction.
This is why you must pay attention to this post and commit yourself to getting every bit of useful information you can before you set out to farm. We will start with one of the most important components of a good cucumber farm – land.
Land Acquisition and preparation
On fertile, organically enriched soil, cucumbers grow quite well. It is very easy to grow cucumbers when the soil conditions are suitable. This is why you must make sure to pick a good land which has rich soil texture and gets plenty of sunlight.
Unlike other plants, you cannot cultivate cucumbers anywhere you see land. Cucumbers need sufficient sunlight, water and best soil conditions.
Cucumbers are over 90% water so when you buy or lease a farmland, water should be a priority. Without enough water, your cucumber farming venture is dead on arrival. You cannot depend on rainfall as your source of water because it could be insufficient.
So how do you get good land with access to sufficient water and sunlight? One option is to site your farm close to a waterbed. This is by far your best option.
The alternative is to get land wherever you can and either dig a water-well, sink a bore hole or construct irrigation dams. The cost of setting this up alone could cripple your business especially as a beginner.
When you get a piece land with enough water supply, you can go ahead with land preparation activities like clearing, fertilizer application and ridging.
I should emphasize that after clearing your land, you should apply organic fertilizer (compost) to further enrich the soil. Also mulch the land to keep its water and nutrients.
Growing cucumbers (seed planting)
Apart from sufficient sunlight, water and soil conditions, the next most important factor that will determine how successful your cucumber farming business will be is the variety of seed you plant.
There are different varieties of cucumber and the type you choose will decide the type of harvest you should harvest. So how do you get the best variety?
You remember the guy I told you about at the beginning of this post? The one who makes millions planting cucumbers? He listed 3 important questions to ask when you buy cucumber seeds:
Is it a local or a foreign seed?
Is it an open or a closed seed?
Are the seeds general or hybrid?
These and more are the things you find out before ever purchasing seed for planting. Some seeds can produce 1 tonne of cucumber per hectare each harvest, others can produce 500 kg, 200 kg, even as low as 50 kg. And some can produce up to 2-3 tonnes.
When you plant the seeds, make sure the soil is cool and moist. This is important because excess heat from the sun damages the seeds and makes the cucumber bitter. One thing you don’t want is to grow bitter cucumbers.
The seeds should be sown spaced 18 to 36 inches (45 to 90 cm). This spacing should be applied regardless of the variety of seed.
Depending on variety and size of the fruit, one cucumber plant will typically bear 10 to 20 fruits. To harvest cucumber fruits, you simply use scissors to cut the fruits leaving a short stub attached. Once you harvest, lightly clean and store cucumbers right away.
It is best to pick cucumber fruits the moment they reach picking size.
I would recommend you contact cucumber sellers before the fruits reach picking size. This is to prevent loss due to damage. If you would like to sell your produce by yourself then, the moment you harvest, you clean up the cucumber fruits and convey them the market.
The market is huge. The only loss you could incur could be as a result of damage or bitter fruits.
What makes cucumbers bitter? How do you prevent bitter fruits?
As I said earlier, you don’t want to harvest bitter cucumbers; no one would buy them once they know of the bitter taste. Some of the common causes of bitter cucumbers are:
- Insufficient water supply
- Excessive heat
- Uneven temperature
The only way to avoid bitter cucumbers is to avoid the causes in the first place. Make sure the soil, weather and atmospheric conditions are all met as you go ahead.
Once cucumbers turn bitter, they usually continue that way. If this happens, your best option is to clear out that batch of plants, correct the planting conditions and start over.
Here are more amazing cucumber farming books and other related resources to guide and assist you further: