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How to start commercial Okra farming in Nigeria



Starting commercial okra farming in Nigeria is a very profitable venture. A lot of Nigerians eat Okra. Okra is used in the preparation of soups.

Actually it is not too really difficult to be successful in okra farming. All you just need to do is to cultivate your okra crop scientifically. Farming itself is science and you should take it as a very serious business venture. On this article we are going to discuss how you can start successful commercial okra farming in Nigeria. The following is how to start a successful okra farm;

 

Secure a very good fertile farmland: Before you actually secure a farmland for your okra farm, make sure you carry out a soil test. This soil test will really show how fertile the soil is. The soil test will also show the pH, nutrients and microbial count of the soil. Make sure that your farmland is fertile. By peradventure if you cannot get a fertile farmland you can add manure, microbial inoculants and fertilizers to the soil in other to make it fertile.

 

The preparation of the Farmland: If you really want to make good money from okra farming you actually need to prepare your farmland. The preparation of the farmland involves felling of trees, de-stumping, ploughing, harrowing and also ridging. Loose the soil with no hard pans. Ridges can be helpful to your okra crop. If your farmland is big, mechanized farmland preparation is quicker and is much more efficient than the use of manual labor.

 

The Installation of drip irrigation: It is advisable to use drip irrigation for the okra farm. With this drip irrigation you can farm all year round with ease. Actually this is called brain fed farming. Rain fed farming only allows you to farm only when it is raining. During the rainy season periods the prices of okra are always very low and you can experience glut. If you are not careful it can lead to loss.

With drip irrigation you can easily apply fertilizers and other nutrients to your okra plants through the emitters of the drip tapes. This process is actually called fertigation, if done in the right way it can increase the yield of your crops by 40-200%.

 

Purchase good okra seeds: Most of the okra seeds sold in Nigeria are expired and they are not fit for farming. Make sure you get your seeds from accredited seeds dealers. From my little experience hybrid seeds actually perform better than open pollinated seeds. Make sure you plant the variety of okra eaten by the people around your farm. The okra seeds can be soak in a solution of potassium humate to increase the germination rate. Also you can use biofertilisers and microbial inoculants to improve the germination rate of your okra.

 

Purchase other farm inputs: Some of the inputs your okra farm will need are fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides etc. Make sure you buy your inputs from good farm inputs sellers.  

 

Weeding your Okra farm: Without been told weeds can reduce your yield by 98%. Also weeds harbor diseases and pests. Make sure your okra farm is weed free. To make weeding very easy for you there are small mechanized weeders you can use.

 

Fertilizing the Okra: You can use bio-fertilisers, manure, microbial inoculants and humates if your okra farming is based on organic farming principles. If your okra farming is based on inorganic farming principles you can use fertilizers like NPK, urea, DAP, calcium nitrate and potassium nitrate etc. Make sure you purchase your fertilizers from accredited dealers.

 

The application of pesticides: The application of pesticides depends on your methods of farming whether you are an organic okra farmer or an inorganic okra farmer. There are a lot of good organic pesticides and also a lot of good inorganic pesticides. All you need to do is to decide on the products you want. Most of these organic pesticides are really more effective for prevention. Make sure you apply the pesticides according to the instructions.

 

Harvesting of the Okra: Harvesting the okra every two to three days will help to increase the yield and also the well being of the okra plant. 

 

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