How To Start Almond Farming In Nigeria Or Africa: The Complete Guide

How To Start Almond Farming In Nigeria Or Africa: The Complete Guide | Image Source: Pixabay

The almond farming business has proven to be a success over the years for farmers, traders, and countries involved in its production as it has a vast international market and more yield overtime.

From 2018 into 2019, the consumption of almonds amounted to about 1.29 million metric tons worldwide. This was an increase from 2013 into 2014 where only about one million metric tons was consumed globally in the previous year.

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In terms of most significant producers of almond, the United States of America comes in first with an average production rate of 2 million metric tonnes, especially as 80% of the World’s Almonds Come From California, and the US itself is responsible for the export of about 73.1% of in-shell almonds.

Asides the United States, almonds are also vastly grown in other countries like Spain, Italy, and Australia.

The growing and processing of the almond fruit is faced with various difficulties that affect both the small and large scale production in Nigeria. The washing, drying, cracking of the nuts and winnowing proves difficult because of inadequate facilities.

While almond farming in Nigeria is still, its international appeal creates a huge opportunity for exporters who want to go into its production and trade as the profit margins could be almost 70-100%

If you’re looking for how to start almond farming in Nigeria, read on.

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What Is Almond? 

Almond which is of the genus Prunus dulcis is a species of tree which is native to southwestern Asia. Almond is also the name of the edible seed of this tree. The fruit of the almond tree is a drupe; it consists of an outer hull and a hard shell with its seed.

Almond is classified with the peach fruit in subgenus Amygdalus but is distinguished from the other by ridges which appear on the shell surrounding the seed.


What Is Almond Farming?

Almond farming refers to planting and growing of the almond tree in small or large scale for the consumption of almond for personal or commercial purposes.

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Business Opportunities In Almond Farming

1). Oil Production:

Almonds are a rich source of edible oil high in vitamin E.

2). Source Of Food:

Sweet almonds are the familiar, edible type consumed as nuts and used in cooking.

3). Flavour Production:

The oil of bitter almonds is used in the manufacture of flavouring extracts for foods and liquours.

4). Almond Flour:

Almonds can be ground and their oils extracted, then the remains are turned into flour which provides quality when used in baking.

5). Almond Butter:

Almonds can be ground into a pastry and then processed into butter

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Facts And Benefits Of Almond

  • Almonds are the most commonly consumed nuts in the world.
  • Almonds have a long storage life; they can be refrigerated for up to 2 years.
  • Almonds are excellent cholesterol regulators.
  • Almond isn’t a nut but rather the seed of fruit growing on the almond tree
  • There are around 30 varieties of almonds, almonds are healthy for consumption, but only 10 undergo production for consumption purposes.
  • 80% of the world’s almonds are grown in California
  • Almost half the percentage of the world’s almonds are used in the production of chocolates
  • Almond can take up to 5 years to produce fruits; it can take up to 12 years before it reaches its capacity

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Types Of Almond

1). Bitter Almonds: 

Almonds in their processed form, are used to make almond extracts and other almond-flavoured products, such as almond liqueurs.

2). Carmel Almonds:

Carmel almonds are popular and given their classification as a distinct variety. These type of almonds are soft-shelled and can be both blanched and roasted. They can quickly be processed and are therefore used in manufactured goods, eaten on their own and can be substituted for other varieties, such as nonpareil almonds.

3). Green Almonds: 

Green almonds as their name implies have a green furry covering, much like a peach. The coating is the fruit while the almond is the seed within. The green almond can be eaten whole while it is still green.

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How To Start Almond Farming In Nigeria: Step By Step Guide

1). Site Selection: 

Starting up an almond farm requires proper analysis in terms of location to prevent possible production hindrance or growth difficulty further. Almonds are natives of arid tropical places such as the Middle East and do not do well in different conditions, especially cold weather. A farmer might consider situating his almond farm in states like Borno, Benue, Kastina or even Sokoto.

2). Land Preparation:

The farmland should be cleared of unwanted plant substance and other materials and groomed adequately to a level tilled plane. Adding manure at this point wouldn’t be necessary except organic fertilizer like compost.

3). Planting:

Start by planting the seed in the right environment. Once it has started to germinate, add water to the soil and let the seeds soak overnight.

Farming can be done in a pot or the ground. It should be done in large numbers as it may be likely for some seeds not to grow.

Dispose of any grain that shows signs of mould. If planting in a pot, it could be done this way; fill a few small flowerpots with soil, plant the seeds around two inches beneath the surface of the earth with the cracks pointing upward. Let it be positioned in an area with sunlight.

4). Pests And Diseases:

Weeds are not a massive concern for old, established almond trees, but they can be a severe threat to seedlings. Therefore weeding should be done often to prevent plant competition as well as prevent overcrowding.

Insecticides and pesticides should be used to prevent pests like orange worms from the plants. The spray time should be timed with the spring hatching season to kill the insects before they are chanced to do significant damage.

5). Management:

Water generously. Immediately after planting, almond trees should be adequately irrigated with at least a gallon of water to hydrate the soil thoroughly. After this initial watering, maintain a regular watering schedule as the tree grows. Almond trees thrive in hot climates, but watering is vital to keep the growing plant healthy.

Water each almond plant at least once in a week unless it rains. Mature trees can survive on two or three inches of water without rain, but growing plants will usually require more.

6). Fertilization:

Fertilizing should be done in spring. Once it is the growing season, this can be done to boost plant increase. For young trees, small doses of Nitrogen can be used every few weeks throughout the growing season. On the other hand, mature trees use about two pounds of urea or 30 pounds of manure and this application should be made once. Water the plants immediately. 

7). Harvesting:

Harvest the almonds when ripe. The moment the exposed almond husks have a dry, brown exterior, they are ready for collection. Almonds are harvested between July and October, once the external fruit has dried and cracked open.

The tree should be shaken, and then the fallen almonds gathered, being careful to throw out any rotten ones you come across. Sometimes, the fruit may fall without the tree being shaken. Unless they begin to rot, these nuts are still edible.

After harvesting, it is advisable to freeze the almond husks for 1-2 weeks to kill any residual pests.

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Challenges Of Almond Farming In Nigeria

Here are some challenges that can affect starting almond farming in Nigeria, Africa, or many other places around the world:

  • Pest and diseases
  • Lack of government support
  • Lack of funding for large scale production
  • Lack of a highly favourable market
  • Lack of highly equipped storage facilities 
  • Lack of efficient production mechanisms
  • Not popularly known
  • Absence of a vast ready market
  • Poor funding of research activities
  • Bush burning
  • Lack of capital for large scale production
  • Lack of easy access to the international market
  • Instability of the international market price
  • Lack of adequate widespread knowledge on how to produce high-quality products
  • Lack of funds to import international standard processing machinery
  • Thieves and criminals

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To Sum It Up

The almond farming business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your own ability to build a wide supply chain network. If you’re looking for a farming business to venture into, the almond farming business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.

See Also: How To Start A Lucrative Walnut Farming Business In Nigeria: The Complete Guide


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