How To Start A Lucrative Guava Farming Business in Nigeria: The Complete Guide
Guavas, popularly known as the tropic apple, are one of the most popular tropical fruits that can be grown worldwide. By growing guava fruits, one can easily earn a major profit.
Production of guava is predominant in India, Pakistan, Brazil, and Mexico. Other producing nations include China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cuba, Israel, Sri Lanka, Sudan, South Africa, El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. Most of the guava fruits produced are eaten as fresh fruits in the country of origin. World production of guavas amounted to 46.5 million tons in 2019, with India taking the lead at 41% of the total value. Some other big suppliers were China (10%) and Thailand (7%).
Nigeria is currently among the world’s top ten guava manufacturers, accounting for up to 795,000 metric tons per year.
Guava is a seasonal, tropical fruit that can be grown anywhere in the world. It is widely sought after since it cannot be found all the time on the market. More so, it has lots of health benefits and provides lots of vital nutrients. This makes it one of the not lucrative agricultural businesses to embark on.
While the market capacity for most tropical fruits and vegetables in Nigeria is relatively big, supply typically falls short of demand because of the gross underdevelopment agro sector and weak fiscal policies in place. Notwithstanding, concerning guava, the number of farmers engaged in each year’s guava farming is on the rising side because only one tree of guava can yield great fruits, and the market demand is strong.
Therefore, whether you are looking into an extensive or intense planting of guava, this article will guide you to make the right decision that will lead to a successful harvest and sales.
What Is Guava?
Guava is a tropical plant with dark green, elongated leaves growing on trees. The plant is a small pink, a five-petalled flower with several stamens. Depending on the specific specie, the fruit can appear in various colours. Standard guava, also known as yellow or lemon guava, is the most widely cultivated and consumed plant. The juicy fruit has a signature sour-sweet taste ideal for use in the beverage and culinary industries.
What Is Guava farming?
Guava farming refers to the process of growing the guava plant from the seed form to mature cultivars, to the harvesting stage. Naturally, the guava plant is a 3-year plant usually propagated from the seeds or via vegetative propagation.
Business Opportunities Associated with Guava Farming Business
1). The food/beverage industry:
Guava fruits are mostly consumed directly but also suitable for processing into jam, juice, jellies, nectar wine and fruit leather, among other products. The delicious fruit has a distinctive sour-sweet taste and is readily employed in the food and beverage industry for producing varieties of ice creams, jams, jellies and fruit salad. It is found in alcoholic drinks and can be made into fruit bars, sauces, desserts, dried snacks and dips.
2). Medicinal uses:
The guava plant has been widely used globally for the treatment of various ailments. The leaves are especially useful for the treatment of conditions such as gastrointestinal disturbances, heart diseases, coughs, ulcers as well as cancer prevention. They also help in male fertility treatment in addition to the treatment of bad breath and body odours. It is, therefore, indispensable for health and traditional medicine.
3). Cosmetic uses:
The cosmetic industry uses guava leaves for the production of daily moisturizers, and lotions that help keep the skin fresh, supple and glowing.
4). Fertilizers and food processing:
Guava waste extracted from the seed during pulping can be applied for processing into animal feeds and other products. Ground waste crushed to powder can be supplemented in bakery products to boost dietary fibre and use in fermentation for ethanol production. The waste is also a high source of crude fibre which are excellent feeds for poultry and other livestock.
Facts and Benefits of Guavas
- Guavas have a great supply of vitamin A and help to improve vision and eye safety.
- Guavas also act as excellent laxatives as one of the best sources of dietary fiber content for citrus fruits and guava seeds.
- Guava leaves are used for traditional medicine for treating many ailments.
- Vitamin B3 and vitamin B6 found in guava are important for brain and mental health processing.
- Guava’s vitamin C content is about 3 to 4 times greater than Orange’s. So, it helps to improve the heart and the immune system.
- They are also important for controlling the body’s oxygen.
- It also lowers blood pressure and maintains the fluid content in the body.
- Guava farming is predominant in China, India, Thailand, Pakistan and Mexico, among others.
- In Nigeria, guava is grown mainly in Gombe, Plateau and Imo states.
- They are good sources of copper which helps regulate metabolism by regulating and absorbing hormone output.
- Guavas are used as a treatment for curing scurvy, the illness caused by the deficiency of vitamin C.
- Guava fights the development of cancerous cells in the body, especially in the prevention of prostate cancers, breast cancers and even oral cancers.
- They are also rich in dietary fibre contents which are excellent for people living with diabetes.
- Guava contains more fibre than pineapple
- A guava plant can last 40 years
- There are about 150 varieties of guava
- The largest known guava plantation is situated in Brazil
Types of Guavas
Based on appearance and properties, the guava varieties are categorized as follows:
1). Cultivars With Pink to Red Flesh
These are the most common Guavas cultivars found worldwide. More than ten varieties of red-to-pink-fleshed cultivars exist. “Beaumont,” “Ka Hua Kula,” “Red Indian” and “Ruby X” are varieties common in India, Africa and parts of America.
2). Cultivars With White Flesh
These are the fleshy cultivars which are crisp, crunchy or fluffy. There are over twelve varieties. “Indonesian Sweet White” guavas have large fruits with thick, smooth, tasty flesh. “Giant Bangkok” or “Donrom” guavas have fruits with a strong greenish-white flesh weighing over one pound. Guavas called “Mexican Cream” are small to medium-sized yellow-skinned fruits with a very soft creamy flavour.
3). Yellow-Fleshed Fruit
There is only one known form of yellow-fleshed tropical guava — the “Detwiler” cultivar. The tree produces large crops of 3-inch greenish-yellow fruits with distinct medium-sweet yellow-to-salmon flesh and is found mainly in America.
How to Start A Guava Farming Business in Nigeria: Step-By-Step Guide
Before you embark on any agro-business, it is necessary that you carry out adequate background research, have a feasible business plan as well as a financial structure. When all these modalities have been put in place, then you are good to begin.
1). Site selection:
Guava fruits are hardy, and can be cultivated in well-drained, moist, and aerated loamy soils over a wide range of soil types. Do not plant the seeds of guava in water-logged areas, because the roots could decay due to water stagnation. It is best to plant on a soil with a pH of 5.0-6.8 for optimal growth. Before starting the commercial manufacturing of guava, it is recommended that you conduct a soil test to identify any soil deficiencies that may affect the growth or fruiting of the guava plants.
2). Land preparation:
Clear the land and thoroughly plough the fields to maximize soil fertility. The farmyard manure is a good choice for growing the plant, but when you cannot obtain enough manure from the farmyard, you can always use green manure.
Carefully remove any tree stumps that could prevent the guava roots from reaching deep into the soil. Also, apply herbicides and fumigants to the soil to mitigate any plant pathogen that may affect the plant later.
Guava can either be propagated by seed or by vegetative means. Experts recommend that you grow the seedlings to produce high quality and yield quantities. If you adopt vegetative propagation, the grafting, air-layering, budding or cutting method may be used. The best vegetative propagation process for commercial guava farming is air-layering. While in nursery beds, stooping or mound layering is the cheapest method for rapid multiplication of the plant.
4). Fertilizer and manure application in guava farming:
Guava plants react positively to manures, but inorganic fertilizers may also be added to the crop. Ensure that the fertilizer is applied is to the base of the plants, and that you apply only the recommended dose. You could also administer Nitrogen in two doses.
Irrigation is needed for the cultivation of guava, particularly during the dry season. Drip irrigation is advised in the cultivation of guava because it aids in fruit production and yielding. Watering of plants should be performed slowly to prevent water saturation that can cause the roots to rot.
Weeding should be performed three times a year in the early years and reduced to twice as the trees mature. Weeds can reduce the fruit quality and quantity, so you should weed the field manually, or use herbicides. Whatever method you choose, keep the crops away from damage.
7). Harvesting of fruits:
Vegetatively propagated guava plants usually take up to 3 years to produce fruits. In other situations, when the plants are grown from seedlings, it may take an average of 4 years to bear fruits. Picking should be done as soon as the fruits ripen so you can pick the fruit manually or use plucking machines.
After your harvest, marketing follows. You can either sell directly to traders or supply wholesale to fruit markets and vendors.
Challenges of Guava Farming Business in Nigeria
Some challenges to guava farming in Nigeria include:
- Poor loan structure system
- Lack of improved seed varieties
- Pest and diseases
- Storage problems
- The fluctuating cost of inputs such as seed, fertiliser and labour
- Lack of access to the international market
- The high cost of transportation
- Unfavourable weather conditions
- Guava takes a lot of time to yield fruits
- It is perishable and could rot quickly if not stored properly
- It required a lot of efforts and workforce to process
To Sum It Up
The guava fruit’s nutritional and economic potential remains grossly unexploited in Nigeria. A multisectoral approach from government bodies, policymakers, farmers, processors and researchers should be set up to promote guava production and processing in the country to boost its economy and better domestic yield.
The guava farming business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your ability to build a wide supply chain network. If you’re looking for a supply chain business to venture into, the guava farming business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.
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