Vegetable Farming as a Palliation to Poverty in Nigeria

You will definitely agree with me that the rate or degree of poverty in Nigeria is alarming; the rich are getting richer while the poor are struggling hard with no limits.

The price of staple food has hiked ridiculously, an average salary earner is now gradually becoming poor as his income no longer suffice his basic needs not to talk of the family. Nigerians are choked and confused as the economy is in the state of moribund.

The Government is trying their possible best to ensure this threat is nipped in the bud, but the situation has been seriously debilitated from the past administration. One of the glamorous responses of the government to ameliorate the sinking economy is the rejuvenation of the agricultural sector of the country, the government are calling upon the ebullient youths to actively participate in Agriculture to make it a means of diversify the economy from the big brother, OIL.

However, the youths are deterred by the startup capital need to kick start the venture. Undoubtedly, agriculture is a capital consuming project because anything worth doing at all is worth doing fine and well.  To enjoy the potential prospects of the field, huge capital is required; this is where the government intervention is needed – in form of subsidies on farm implement, fertilizer, pesticides and other production factors to make the field interesting and lively.

However, in contrast to the above mentioned needs the government might not respond fully to this call. It is left to the potential agripreneur to sort for his or her way. Remember, no matter how big or magnanimous your dream is, there is always a smaller version of it you can cling on and make it grow to its actual magnitude. It is even advisable to start a business as small as possible and watch it grow into an empire.

Agriculture, unlike other fields, is dynamic is nature. There are different aspects one can delve into with relatively low startup capital. Vegetable farming is one aspect of agriculture where millions can be made unnoticed. Vegetables, examples are Pumpkin leaves (UGWU), Jute (EWEDU), Celosia, Water melon, Cucumber, are widely consumed in Nigeria today at a very stable price, the price never falls.

As a vegetable farmer, you have successful delved your source of income into a more reliable, secure and stable one. You make money monthly with no obstruction or competition if you operate on irrigation level, which is mostly advised. Vegetables have short gestation period, like a month, meaning you harvest a month after sowing.

Vegetables are widely accepted as they are nutritious and recommended by health practitioners. This makes the market open and booming. Vegetable seeds are never expensive; they can be procured locally and planted. The land is never a problem as there are cheap farm settlements one can apply for. It is less time consuming, it doesn’t require much attention. Once it has been planted, the farmer will spend less than 3 hours their daily to irrigate and add fertilizer. However, the farmer can hire a labour to help in that and when the harvesting time comes; the farmer with the buyer goes to the farm together. The beautiful thing there is that it is the buyers that will harvest it the farmer just give price and the transaction is done and dusted.

Common vegetables and their gestation period

  • Pumpkin leaves (Ugwu): this can be harvest as early as a month after planting, and this continues till the next 6 months on just a single ugwu plant.Click HERE to learn how to plant it.
  • Watermelon: this takes just 80 days to be harvested and it really fetch cool money, ask any watermelon farmer. Click HERE
  •   Jute(Ewedu) : this as well takes a month to harvest.
  •    Cucumber: this also can be harvested 30-45 days after planting depending on the variety.

Note: this is achievable when proper land preparation method is done, adequate supply of water, timely fertilizer application and effective pest and disease control.

I hope as you are reading, you have started planning how to get your own farm. Good, but don’t procrastinate, start up as soon as possible and begin to live like a king.

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