Watermelon Farming Information Guide for Beginners
This article watermelon farming information guide for beginners will be a guide to anyone that wishes to live the life of a millionaire farmer by farming watermelon especially in Nigeria.
It chronologically from the first chapter to the last gives to the reader the guide and the steps to follow in farming tths plant in other to meet success no matter the situation, provided you follow the guidelines.
Watermelon being the type of fruit loved by many is known by many too to be produced or farmed only in the Northern Nigeria, but my word in this e-book has come to prove this wrong.
This plant can be grown successfully even in other parts of Nigeria, be it in the east, west or south. All you need to do is to do everything right at the right time and you are bound to get the same result as those in the North.
The right thing to do is to know-know what to do and the right time to do it and you are sure to succeed.
There are some basic knowledge about watermelon and Agro-Business that any interested farmer who wishes to make extra cash from it must have.
- One, it must not be planted for commercial purposes during any time when there is too much rainfall as it do not thrive during this period.
- Two, it should not be planted in a waterlogged area.
- And three, if you are planting it for commercial purposes, you must surely take adequate care of it that you are bound to apply fertilizer, treatment chemicals.
- Then finally, you must make sure that your land is fertile.
Watermelon is not grown in the North alone. I have personally grown these plants in the east and am still in the business which pays handsomely.
So, there is no more excuse for you to pass over this opportunity.
Watermelon farming information guide: tools and materials needed
Materials; these are all the needed substances that required for your watermelon and farming business. Such as;
4. Treatment chemicals
5. Solid fertilizer/composts/animal droppings
Tools; these are the devices required for your watermelon and cucumber farming to aid your task. Such tools are;
1. Plastic plates/nylon/cement bag
2. Knapsack sprayer
Sourcing For Some Materials and Tools
Some if not all of the materials and tools listed above are available in the respective local markets near you. All you need to do is to seek the nearest agro-chemical shop near you and ask for these materials and tools.
Watermelon farming information guide; land for farming
To some people, sourcing for land has been one of their major challenge with regards to starting agro-business in a large scale. But this is because they lacked the information on how to source for land.
Don’t get scared!
Because you don’t need to buy a land or own one before you could run your own agro-business.
You can get land for your watermelon and cucumber agro-business throughgovernmentagencies or from individualscommunities that has available land.
Community Rural Lands
Most communities around us has some large expanse of land that are yet developed. These land spaces can be leased out at a very cheap price by the community or the person taking care of the land like the Igwe, Orba, Obidepending on your location. All you need to do is to approach them and talk with them about how many acres of land you need to see if it is available.
This is one of the easy and cheapest ways to obtain land for your watermelon agro-business.all you need to do is to ask first and see if it shall be given to you.
When I started my watermelon and cucumber agro-business I was lucky to get a large expanse of land from a friend, but as I said, it was luck and it can also come to you. If not, try leasing from individual communities. It is sometimes free or cheap as the case may be.
There are government agencies that offer land lease services to farmers in Nigeria. They have their offices almost around the 36 states in the federation. These agencies include:
1. River Basin Development Authority (RBDA)
2. Ministry of Agriculture
3. Land Settlement Scheme
All you need to do is to find the out about any of these agencies offices around you and then go to them. When you do, they will tell where they have available land for lease.
Acquiring land from these agencies is as easy as ABCD. They feel very happy to see someone that wants to venture into agro-business and are always ready to help you out. But you wouldn’t know until you go close to them. Some of them will even offer to till your land for you with tractor at a very cheap rate.
The leasing price for one acre of land “close to 15 plots” with these agencies is as low as N3000 to N4000 for the period of 8months or so. It is very cheap and affordable.
These Are Some of the Office Locations of These Agencies in Some States
|Agency||Area of operation||Location|
1. Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority
|The whole ofAnambra and Imo state||Owerri|
2. Benin-OwenaRiver Basin Development Authority
|The whole ofBendel andOndo state excluding those parts ofBendel drained by the Benin,escravos,forcados andramos river creek system||Benin|
3. Ogun-OshunRiver Basin Development Authority
|The whole ofoy, ogun andlagos state||Abeokuta|
There are a lot more but since I don’t know your location, it would be better you type the keyword in Google and get the first hand information.
Watermelon farming information guide;land preparation
Once you have obtained land and ready for your agro-business, the next thing to do is to get the land ready for planting. This can be done using two different approaches viz:
1. Traditional Means
2. Mechanical Means
Traditional means of land preparation
This method is the one used by most farmers in the rural areas which involves clearing, gathering and burning of the bushy part of the land and then making hips or ridges where the crop will be planted.
This approach takes a lot of time and labor and is not recommended for you because you are expected to run your agro-business in a commercial scale. Since you are expected to work on a fairly large farmland, this approach will be energy, time and cash consuming. So it is not advisable to use this means.
Mechanical Means of Land Preparation
This is the recommended approach as it is very easy and fast means to use. If you are lucky enough to get a land that is free from trees and tree roots, you are expected to hire the service of a tractor which will help you till your land.
The tractor will turn the soil very well and this will help the plant in your farm to do well, as the crops planted on tilled soil tends to do better than the ones planted on untilled soil.
If for instance after tilling your land with tractor and you happen to see many grasses that were not well covered with soil in the land, it isadviceable that you use herbicide to kill-off these weeds before planting or immediately after planting (0-2days after) before germination.
Watermelon takes minimum of 4days to germinate whereas, cucumber takes 3. Therefore, if you are applying herbicide on the 3rd or 4th day after planting, then you are wrong as this will give you a catastrophic result.
Note: getting tractor services is easy. They are looking for work to do, but in case you choose to make ridges on your own, this is what you should do. Make ridges in your farm giving space of like 4feet between each ridge. This is because watermelon is a cover creeping plant and it is not good for it to creep on top of each other. This will help to reduce labor since you will be working on a large expanse of land. But tractor is better.
Watermelon farming information guide; planting
All things being equal, watermelon can be planted anytime of the year. But because of differences in weather condition and non availability of some needed materials in some areas, watermelon even other plants cannot be grown in other parts of Nigeria as it is grown in the north.
This does not mean that it can only be grown in the north; this is where most people get it wrong. Watermelon and cucumber can be grown in other parts of Nigeria successfully. The only advantage with northern part of Nigeria is that it can be grown anytime since there is too much sunlight and functional irrigation service.
Being that watermelon and thrives better in moderate rainfall and fair sunshine, this plant can do very well in the east, west and south too. Therefore, our concern will be with the planting seasons in the east, west and south since it can be grown anytime in the north.
Planting Seasons in the East, West and South
Well, sometimes in the weather in this areas are not predictable, but it is also known that some periods are characterized by too much rainfall where as some with much sunshine.
Therefore, it is not advisable to plant especially watermelon during any of this period since in one case there will be no sunshine for the plant and in the other there will be no irrigation source.
So, it is best to plant watermelon and cucumber in the east, west and south Nigeria when rainfall is approaching and when it is going. During this time both rain and sunshine is moderate in this area.
When rainfall is approaching: this can also be referred as early planting season. This season is between the last weeks of February to the 1stweek of March. It is advisable to plant the two crops watermelon and cucumber during this time.
When rainfall is going: this is the late planting period. This period ranges from the last week of August to the 1st and 2nd week of September.
There is no particular date during these periods, you just have to watch the weather to make sure that there is no too much rainfall, and then you can plant your watermelon and cucumber.
Planting Season in the North
Watermelon and cucumber can be planted anytime in the north since there is always sunshine for the plant and steady and functional irrigation services. This is the reason most people think that watermelon and cucumber can only be planted in the north.
Watermelon farming information guide; Seeds
There are a lot of varieties of watermelon seeds that overly thrives well in the type of soil we have here. But from my experience in watermelon and cucumber agro-business, I have always and only used the product TECHNISM (kaolak pastaque).