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Tips on how to start commercial Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) farming in Nigeria




Ugwu which is also known as fluted pumpkin is a crop that is widely adapted to humid and semi-humid areas. This vegetable plant known as Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) requires an adequate amount of moisture within the range of 80-150mm per annum. Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) requires a short duration of sunshine.

Ugwu leaves are really sensitive to the high intensity of light. In Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) farming the most ideal temperature lies between 20-29◦c for optimum growth and yields. This plant really does well when planted on loamy soils, although it also grows well in sandy-loam soils with a pH range of 6.5-7.5.


The uses of Ugwu (fluted pumpkin)

         1. Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) serves as a source of food.

         2. Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) serves as a source of income.

        3. Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) is also a source of Vitamins.



Steps on how to start commercial Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) farming in Nigeria

Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) is propagated by seeds that are preserved from harvested fruit pods. The Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) seeds are planted on the soil with good tillage plowed and harrowed. This Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) seeds are sown 2 to 3 per hole. Without been told the broadcasting of seeds are never practiced in vegetable (fluted pumpkin) because this can expose the seeds to rodents and insect attack. In many parts of southern Nigeria, the sowing of Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) is done when the raining season start which is between March-April, this is done in seeds beds or ridges. Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) is really a widely cultivated crop in gardens and plots in subsistence and commercial scale. Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) is usually sown directly into the field and it does not require a nursery for successful cultivation.

The spacing of plant: The Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) seeds should be sown at a spacing of 45 x 6.0cm in seedbeds or ridges. The staking of the Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) is done using bamboo sticks to promote the growth of the plant.

The plant nutrient requirement: This vegetable requires an adequate supply of calcium, magnesium, potassium and Nitrogen for optimum growth. The Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) also requires a regular supply of single or compound fertilizers that contain the necessary nutrients.

Weed control in Ugwu (fluted pumpkin): The weeding can be done regularly to prevent the weeds from competing with the Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) plants in the plot. Also the weeding can easily be done manually or mechanically.

The harvesting: The harvesting of the mature fruits in Ugwu (fluted pumpkin) is actually done when the mature pods in the plants has become strong and the leaves has started to wither off from the remaining pods on the staked materials that is used for supporting the plant during the early stage of growth.

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