How To Start A Lucrative Cucumber Farming Business: The Complete Guide
The value of agriculture to the development of various economies, especially countries in Africa, like Nigeria, has continued to give way to the accelerated growth of several agribusiness sectors. One of such is Cucumber farming.
According to statista, Cucumbers are the 8th most grown vegetable crops around the world; right after Maize, Sugar Beet, Cassava, Tomatoes, Water Melons, Sweet Potatoes, and Dry Onions.
Its large production rate—about 779,000 tons in 2014 alone—is in direct proportion to the crop’s local and international demand, making its production for local retail or export a lucrative one for people to venture into.
Cucumber farming is the cultivation of the Cucumber vegetable crop for consumption and industrial use. Cucumbers, also known as Cucumis sativus, is a creeping vine that sprouts cucumiform fruits that are used as vegetables. They are also scientifically considered as a fruit since they contain enclosed seeds and develop from a flower.
Business Opportunities In Cucumber Farming
1). Source Of Food:
Cucumbers are a great source of food and water, as they contain 96% water and can be consumed raw in the form of salad or pickled.
Cucumbers are used in cosmetic industry for the production of soaps, lotions, shampoos, and fragrances.
- They are vegetables, but scientifically known as fruits
- Cucumbers can keep you hydrated since they contain 96% water
- It relieves pain
- Prevents constipation
- Protects against aging
- The smell of cucumber helps people relax
- Keeps the heart healthy
- They are antioxidants
- Cucumbers get rid of bad breath
- Most of the flavor in a cucumber comes from the seeds
- They are full of B vitamins and carbohydrates, and so, gives people energy
- The waxy coating on the outside of a smooth cucumber skin can erase ink
- Cucumbers have a whole lot of vitamin C in them
- The cucumber fruit appears 8 to 10 weeks after planting, and one plant produces between 25 to 125 fruit
- Cucumber is propagated via seed
- Cucumber is mostly consumed raw or pickled in salads
- China is the largest manufacturer of cucumbers worldwide
- Cucumbers are propagated via seed
1). Slicing Cucumbers:
These Cucumbers are grown to be eaten fresh. They usually mature on vines with large leaves that provide shading and are mainly eaten in the unripe green form, since the ripe yellow variant usually gets bitter and sour.
2). Pickling Cucumbers:
3). Burpless Cucumbers:
Setting Up Your Cucumber Farming Business
The first step to planting cucumbers is to acquire a rich farmland. The soil on this land should preferably be sandy-loam and drained, as Cucumbers will usually be planted in raised beds of around 6 inches high. The soil should also have a good amount of organic matter in it, especially manure, as these will give the plants the nutrients they require.
The farmland should also be well exposed to sunlight, as Cucumbers require enough warmth to grow right.
2). Planting The Cucumbers:
The cucumbers can first be planted in biodegradable seed pots, indoors, to ensure the roots will not be damaged before being taken outdoors. During planting, a space of about 40 cm should be left between each and should be planted about 2.5 cm deep.
If more than one row will be planted, they can be spaced at around 90 cm.
3). Tending To The Crops:
While you should weed frequently, be careful not to go below a certain cm that would compromise your crop’s growth. To ensure they get juicy and firm, water them weekly. This contributes to the crops’ water content.
After about 50 to 60 days after planting, the cucumbers would have grown to a suitable size that’s large enough for harvest. They are best harvested when they’re still green, because when they turn yellow, the flavor and quality of the fruit decline, making it bitter, sour, or even worse.
Challenges Of Cucumber Farming
Some of the challenges of cucumber farming in Nigeria and many parts of Africa include:
- Lack of experience
- Land tenure insecurity
- Low and unstable investment in agricultural research
- Financial Constraints
- Storage Constraints
- Farm Inputs Constraints
- Infrastructural Constraints
- Marketing Constraints
The demand for cucumbers worldwide, its relatively short germination period, and its market opportunities make cucumber farming a lucrative agribusiness to venture into in Nigeria and many other parts of the world.
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What are your thoughts on how to start cucumber farming in Nigeria, Africa, or any other part of the world? Let me know by leaving a comment below.