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How To Start Ugu Farming (Fluted Pumpkin) Business In Nigeria And Make The Best Income In One Month

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ugu leaves

The awareness in the creation of income through ugu farming (pumpkin leaf) has turned out to be a huge business success recently in Nigeria.

In the past times, a lot of people who did pumpkin planting were planting it for personal use only (subsistence farming).  However, thanks to technology and spread of civilization, many people have discovered business opportunities in ugu farming and have begun their own farm. You too can begin yours and still make money from it.

The word “ugu” originated from the Eastern tribe of Nigeria by a group of people called “the Igbos’”. The pumpkin leave is also referred to as “nkong ubong” in Akwa Ibom State. It is a yummy green vegetable gotten from the planting of ugu seeds. Ugu is popularly used to cook soups and pottage foods in many parts of the country. People also extract its fluid (mixing it with other things such as maltina drink, milk, tomatoes etc.) to consume for medicinal purposes.

How To Start Ugu Farming (Fluted Pumpkin) Business In Nigeria And Make The Best Income In One Month

The ready market for ugu cannot be argued because it is widely consumed; food business is good business.

Why Should You Venture Into The Ugu Farming Business?

  • Vegetables are generally high in demand because of its rate of consumption. In Nigeria, ugu leaves are the highest consumed vegetable seconded by waterleaf. This makes the market for these greens very high.
  • It requires a short-term planting period. This means that you can easily get ROI (return on investment) in the shortest possible time.
  • It sells regardless of the season you plant it.
  • It requires little to no experience to start.
  • You will make good profit because you can plant it 3 times in a year.

Land Preparation In Ugu Farming

The ugu plant does so well on a sandy-loamy soil. You can begin by first clearing away every debris and stump from the farmland you are using. After doing that, till the soil till it is easy for quick penetration of roots, well aerated and can lead to proper germination of the seed. Add the organic manure(pig dung, goat, chicken, cow etc.) to the soil if that is what you are using.
You can equally opt to making bed for your ugu plant. The manure you add to it must have been already treated.

Preparing Ugu Seeds For Planting

To prepare your ugu seed for planting, cut the ugu pod in half, take out its seeds and sundry them for only a day or two, never allow them to become over dried in other to maintain the life of the seed. Successful drying of the seeds helps them to be:

  • resist pest that can eat them in the soil,
  • Avoid decaying.

Never make the mistake of sun drying the seeds that are sprouting, the sun will burn them all.

Panting Of Ugu Vegetable

Now that the soil is ready; you can plant. You should do this very early in the morning or late evening when the weather is cool and calm. Plant 2-3 seeds per hole.
Dig a hole of 4-5cm into the soil and plant the ugu by placing it with the mouth buried into the soil. Cover the hole with little sand; make sure the ugu is well covered to prevent exposure to the sun. The seed spacing should be between 500cm-1m. A hectare of land will require 10,000 seeds but an acre will require only 4,000 seeds.
It gets interesting:
Do you know that you can get four seedlings out of a single ugu seed? Here is how to do it;

  • Take a bucket and fill it with a mixture of saw dust and compost manure, put in the ugu seeds and cover. You should bring them out after 5-7 days, then break the seedlings into 2 sides each and further cut them into 2 with knife but make sure each has roots in them.
  • Plant them again in your bucket and then transfer them to your main farmland on the 8 day after which they must have germinated.

Irrigation In Ugu Farm

After you are done planting the seeds, start irrigating the ugu farm every two days in the morning and evening. You should only stop irrigation when the rains come but do not stop irrigation during dry season or drought.
In fact using an intensive irrigation system is required during this period.
You can drill a well or borehole as a cheap source of water. But if your farm is situated beside a river bank, you are lucky as this is an added advantage to you. I recommend you try out the drip and sprinkler irrigation.

Weeding/Pest Control

You need to start weeding as early as possible, because if you delay weeding, the vegie leaves will turn yellow in colour as the weeds feed on the nutrients on the soil too. Ugu leaves that are deficient in nitrogen can change their colour from green to yellow too.
Manual weeding is best because the use of herbicides may not be successful due to the crawling nature of the ugu plant; it has a pattern of covering the ground.
Extra care should be taken to avoid trampling on the ugu plant because to successfully do weeding a second time, you will have to lift each ugu leave up.
A lot of diseases that take its toil on ugu are usually transmitted airborne and most of the insects are boring ones e.g. caterpillar.
To eradicate pest and insect, you should mix fungicide and insecticide in small quantity. Examples of such insecticides to use for effective control include but not limited to scorpion, sharp shooter, and maxi-force etc.
Organically, you can make use of a mixture of neem oil and water to spray on your ugu plant or you soak neem leaves in water for 10 or more days and sprinkle on your farm evenly.

Fertilizer Application

You should apply livestock or human dung on the farm before planting, after the 4th, 5th week and 6th week. If you’d prefer inorganic fertilizer, I recommend NPK 15 15 15 and urea. But organic fertilizer has proven to be the safest and the best in maximizing productivity.
Since harvesting is done consistently, there is need to add enough quantity of manure so that the ugu can keep growing well.

Profitability In Ugu Farming

Ugu farming is a very lucrative business when you follow the proper farming management practice. You can make as much as 100 times your investment as returns.
If you spend N300,000 on an acre of land to plant ugu, you can get up to N800,000 in profit. You can do the planting once after that you will be harvesting every 3 days or 3 times a week for about 3 months.
Within a month, excluding land and other costs, you can make the money you invested.
It gets better:
No part of the ugu plant is waste, because:

  • The fresh leaves can be harvested for sale and the hard ones can be used for cooking varieties of soups as well. This kind of soup is a delicacy amongst Akwa Ibom people. The hard ugu is cut, pounded and washed with water, leaving only the leaves for cooking.
  • Ugu seeds can be boiled and eaten as food
  • The pods can be sold for money. You can bring the seeds out and sell it that way. A seed is sold for the price of N50 or more depending on location and season. Imagine if each pod is to contain 10,000 seeds or more. A pod contains an average of 58 seeds; it can be more for the bigger pods, up to 100 and 40 for the smaller pods.

After each sale, you can restock your farm or expanding by keeping aside some of the healthiest seeds out of your harvested pods.
To maximize profits, ugu farming is practised during the dry season. During this period, you can make 4 times the amount you would have made during raining season. This is why majority of ugu farmers prepare themselves for aggressive dry season.

How Long Would It Take Before Clearing My Ugu Farm?

Only a few farmers plant ugu for the pods. If you plan to do this too, harvesting of the ugu plant should be reduced to only 3 times. If you plan to harvest every bit of the plant, you should be careful in harvesting the pods when they are out so as not to destroy them. You should only cut the ugu that have flowers because they will never fruit. You can clear the area for another planting period after the pods are matured.

Harvesting

You should begin harvesting two weeks after planting or when the green stems are long;
How can I harvest properly? Easy, use your hand to cut the stem a little distance away from the bottom of the stem. Endeavor to position your hands where you have the nodes and you can cut.
You can use a knife to cut if you are an inexperienced hand cutter. The pod becomes ripe for harvest when the tendrils are dried; sometimes they fall off on their own. But if they do not fall, you have to cut them off.
A single stem of ugu can produce 1 pod or more and if the pollination was done properly, there are chances that about 75% of the stem will produce.

Marketability

Look around you. The market potential is huge because people will come looking for you to buy. Do you know that the demand for this yummy vegie is 10times higher than its supply? You can easily get buyers by reaching out to bukas, market women, hotels, restaurants, and eateries to sell to, they buy in bulk.
Feed your ugu plant to grow well because consumers prefer ugu that are fresh, dark green with wide or big leaves.

Ugu Farming With Other Vegetables

You can plant other greens like waterleaf, scent leaf, curry leaf, spinach etc. on the ugu farm without worries. This will also provide profits because they don’t command different treatment other than the ones given to ugu vegetable.
If you are planting the hybrid seed of ugu, you don’t have to create a trellis for the ugu plant because they are well positioned to grow underground but if you are going for the local breeds, you have to do trellis on them if indeed you need the pods.

Benefits Of Ugu Leaves And Seeds

  • Ugu boosts the haemoglobin levels in the human body, that’s why most locals call it ‘blood tonic’.
  • It reduces cholesterol and contains antioxidants.
  • Ugu contains elements that lower glucose. This prevents diabetes
  • The oil extracted from the seeds is good in semen improvement.

IN CONCLUSION
A lot of people don’t bother to raise beds which are not bad depending on the kind of soil and environment. Beds may not be necessary in some parts of Nigeria. But for proper management and increased profits (ROI), raising of beds cannot be ignored.
If you have 30 beds, and carry out harvest every 3 weeks on a single, you make an average of N8,000. Now, 30 multiplied by N8000 is equal to N240,000. You too can achieve that even more if you determine.

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Agriculture

5 Costly Mistakes You Should Avoid When Going Into Agriculture Business In Africa

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5 Costly Mistakes You Should Avoid When Going Into Agriculture Business In Africa

Agribusiness is now a goldmine as more investors and non-governmental are becoming interested in it. It has the capability of saving a nation’s economy from crashing when other sources of revenue fail.

There are so many agribusinesses that are capable of making you a millionaire with little risks of failure unlike other types of businesses. Irrespective of the fact that agribusinesses involve lesser risks, anyone that wants to embark on it also needs to be cautious of some mistakes to avoid.

In this article we’ll be sharing 5 mistakes any potential agribusiness man or lady should avoid.

5 Mistake You Should Avoid When Going Into Agribusiness In Nigeria

Just like every business, in agribusiness, some certain mistakes should be avoided by any business person that wants to enjoy the maximum profits from his investments.
No matter how awesome your agribusiness idea is there are still potentials of it failing if the right steps are not taken and mistakes avoided.
See these 5 mistakes to avoid as a potential agribusiness person:

– Avoid seeing yourself as a mere farmer

There is a wide difference between the word ‘farmer’ and ‘agribusiness’ and the later is the greater. The world has graduated from the stage of ‘mere farming’ to an advanced and mechanised farming stage or better still, agribusiness.

5 Costly Mistakes You Should Avoid When Going Into Agriculture Business In Africa


As someone interested in agribusiness,you should take the job as a business and not as a mere cultivation of plants or rearing of animals and you’ll see the biz soaring high. A mere cassava farmer won’t think of better ways to package his garri before pushing it into the market for sales. This also applies to other crops and even the livestock.
In business, any and every interested fellow can produce a particular product but it takes wisdom to push the product to the consumers.

– Producing without having buyers

Many people just hear of an interesting business idea and rush into it without thinking of their target audience or customers. Avoid venturing into a business unless you’re sure of the target market and how profitable it’ll be.
Also, be conscious of the factor that business success varies with location and what favours in the Northern Nigeria might be a different story in the Eastern. If you’d be venturing into cassava farming, please check out these 7 top cassava buying companies in Nigeria.

– Not doing large scale and mechanised farming

Upgrading from the status of a mere farmer to an agribusiness man or woman also involves changing the farming tools. Our fore fathers used hoes, cutlasses and other crude materials and the results were not impressive. Most of them cultivated just enough food to feed their families but agribusiness involves cultivating more than enough.
You should be focused on cultivating crops that would yield you impressive profits at the end of every farming cycle.

– Not doing enough market research or avoiding it entirely

This is one of the problems of agricultural marketing in Nigeria and care should be taken against it. To many farmers, agriculture only involves buying a land and cultivating the crop. Well, that’s agriculture but when you talk about agribusiness, that case is much more different. Before planting a crop, conduct proper market research and determine the internal and external factors that can potentially affect your business.

This will include both the negative and positive factors that have the potential of impacting your business in the future. It also includes seeking for possible customers, identifying competitors and ways of beating them.

– Thinking agribusiness is a get rich quick scheme

Agribusiness is not like lottery or betting games that can turn someone into a millionaire overnight. Agribusiness will eventually turn you into a millionaire but not magically, you’ll need to be committed in the business for some years. Every legitimate business requires patience and consistency.

It might also involve trial and error and mistakes, all these are there to teach you. Also, businesses loses are not inevitable and can happen to anyone at anytime.

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Agriculture

Top 9 Most Amazing Importance Of Fish Farming In Nigeria You Should Know

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Top 9 Most Amazing Importance Of Fish Farming In Nigeria You Should Know

Fish farming is no doubt a very lucrative business which Nigerians should give much consideration, and there are a lot of benefits attached to the business.

Also known as aquaculture, it is surely a step forward in the agricultural business industry of Nigeria. It also is a bit above the agricultural problems in the country, which increases its advantages.

So many people are asking, “…what are the importance of fish?” and fish farming! Well, next time you’re asked to list four importance of fish farming, or looking for the importance of fish farming pdf, it wouldn’t be an issue again.

We will talk about all these now!
To start with, we have been for ages bygone, catching and processing the fish products we consume from the market, but thanks to the invention of the ponds and frozen fish, we no longer do this. One of the core benefits of the fish farming business to Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Gambia, Tanzania, Chad and other countries who engage in them is the fact that it provides us with ready meat. Yea… that is one of the core benefits of fish farming.

Generally, the aquaculture economic benefits are so much. The economic importance of fish cannot be overlooked. Starting from the provision of food, to the source of revenue and more, the fish is generally a great gift of nature to man.

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Benefits Of Fish Farming In Nigeria

There are so many benefits attached to this new innovation and we will see a few of them below.

– Provision of food

This is one of the core benefits of the fish, provision of food. Take away food from a nation and watch it wither away, that is why you need to make sure everyone has enough for themselves. The only way to do this is to directly or indirectly get involved in agriculture.

Fish contains proteins, vitamin D, omega-3 and a lot of other amazing and rare nutrients. Its place in our balanced diet cannot be underlooked as it is a perfect replacement for meats, especially in places that have low budget for that. Many people have concurred to preferring fish to mutton, pork and beef which means it is a great choice too.

Government and related agencies need to fund loans that will help more people move into this long-overlooked business for the general profits of the nation.

– Source of income

One of the major problems facing Africa is unemployment, yet we are sitting atop a lot of opportunities. The fish farming has helped many families generate revenue and jobs for themselves, as well as employ others. The famous Ibru family is an example of this. They own one of the biggest fishing companies in the country and are doing fine.
You too can queue in to tap from the niche.

– Stable supply on demand

Thanks to the fish farmers and fish farming, you can now have access to your favorite specie of fish on demand. You no longer have to go long distances to get catfish when someone in your neighborhood has the farm.

– It is a top consumer’s choice

Generally, fish is more affordable than most meat and maybe that explains why people rush it more  than the meat. Schools and boarding houses adopt fishes as a compulsory part of their diets and that also increases its popularity.

– High source of revenue

By properly investing N2,000,000 into the fish farming business, one should make nothing less than N3,000,000 after a period of six months. You need to be very familiar with the business before moving into it to make sure you benefit fully.

– Steady growth pattern

Like other domesticated animals, you can hasten the growth of your fish by giving them the right diet. This means they will be readily available on demand and also make you more money.

– No environmental hazard

You can set up your fish pond everywhere without contributing to the pollution of the environment, unlike industries and factories that dominate everywhere. This is also another huge advantage.

– Easy addition to the other farm activities

You can run a mutual agricultural establishment, whereby proceeds from your other products will be used to cater for the fish. This generally reduces the cost of running the farm and makes things easier for the farmer.

– Easy to maintain

If you’re good in the trade, you will know that they are very easy to maintain. Their feeding don’t cost much and you have to invest wisely to make sure they eat just what is enough for them.

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Agriculture

Top 10 Agribusinesses That Can Make You So Much Money In Africa

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Top 10 Agribusinesses That Can Make You So Much Money In Africa

Agribusinesses are capable of making every committed business person a millionaire in this 20th century.
There are innovative business ideas in agriculture that you can start if you want to become a millionaire depending on your area expertise and target market. Virtually all businesses are lucrative, whether online or offline, big or small or what have you. To be successful in any business, you need to consistent and focused even in bad times. Perhaps the hardest stage of every business is the start-upstage because it requires getting the business in the faces of entirely new people.Agribusiness simply means the business of agricultural production and was coined in 1957 by Goldberg and Davis. It includes the breeding, production and distribution/supply of farm seeds and products. It also covers the marketing and sales of farm machinery. In summary, any business that is based on agriculture is an agribusiness.

Importance of Agribusiness

What if I tell you that agribusinesses are the most important types of business will you be surprised? Well agribusinesses are one of the moist importance businesses because every other work we do is to help us eat and carryout other activities. There are so many importance of agribusinesses to both the individuals and the economy of any nation.

Top 10 Agribusinesses That Can Make You So Much Money In Africa

Agriculture is the source of food to many nations and agribusiness makes this possible by easing the distribution of food to the consumers. The economy of many nations depend on agribusiness and it has provided a source of income to millions of individuals all over the world.

Top Money Making Agriculture Business Ideas That Can Make You A Millionaire

Every agricultural business is lucrative has the possibility of making you a millionaire when taken to a larger scale but you can choose from any of these if you’re looking for a place to invest. There are more than a million types of agribusiness or agribusiness examples that are very lucrative in Africa.

List of lucrative agribusinesses

Some lucrative agribusinesses that you can venture into as a farmer are:

– Cucumber farming

Cucumbers are widely cultivated plants in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. They is a creeping vine that bear cucumiform fruits that are used as vegetables. Cucumbers are loved because of their health benefits and high water content. Cucumbers are widely eaten vegetables but not many farmers are cultivating them presently. In other words, the demand for cucumbers among consumers is higher than the supply so it’ll be a great business for any farmer.

– Fish farming

As the health institutions are ringing bells on the dangers of red meats to humans more people are now changing their diets to the fishes. They are now see more benefits of eating fishes. Running a fish pond will be a very nice idea for any farmer because of the many amazing benefits of fish farming.

– Grasscutter farming

The demand for grasscutters is becoming high of recent and people are now going into the business. In the previous years, most of the eaten grasscutter meats where animals caught by hunters but the whole story has changed. You can make as much as ₦2 million in a year or more as a grasscutter farmer depending on the size of your colony.

– Palm farming

The palm tree has more than a hundred uses and all the parts care useful in producing many amazing things. The leaves can be used for making brooms, wine can be gotten from the juice, it can be used in making baskets, it can be used in making palm oil and many more. The nature of the palm fruit business requires some years so it’s more of a long term business. However, when your palms start maturing, you can make good money annually from the palm tree.

– Pig farming

Starting a piggery is another lucrative business you can engage in as a farmer. Running a piggery is better when combined with another type of farming because pigs generally eat any type of food including spoilt ones. You can give them foods from a local restaurant or eatery, factories, farms and what have you.

– Poultry farming

Who doesn’t love chickens? Well I don’t know about you  it I love them. Poultry farming simply means the process of raising domesticated birds like chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese for the purpose of farming meat or eggs for food. There is more to poultry farming other than raising the regular chickens you an also include other birds like the quails and turkeys.
Poultry farming is very lucrative and always in high demand among consumers. The meats and eggs are high sources of proteins. You can start a poultry farm with any capital and expand with time.

– Snail farming

Snail farming is also known as veliciculture and heliculture and it simply means the process of  raising land snails specifically for human use. The snails are edible and can be used for preparing different dishes in Nigeria and other parts of the world. Snails are also grown because of the snail slime which can be used for the production of cosmetics.

– Snake farming

You might be shocked on hearing this but don’t be yet, do you know that you can make good money from a snake farming business? Snakes are very dangerous animals but can fetch you millions of Naira annually. The snake venom are used in the production of anti-venom while the skins are very useful in the production of original belts and other wears.

– Tomato farming

Tomatoes are edible, often red, berry of the nightshade Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as the tomato plants. The earliest species originated in western South America but is now very popular in all parts of the world. Tomato are very good sources of folate, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K. The are also one of the best natural ingredients for preventing stroke.

– Ugu farming

The pumpkin or ugu in Igbo language is a widely eaten vegetable in the West African region. It is used for cooking different foods and can also be eaten raw. The ugu leaf is the most consumed vegetable in Nigeria followed by the waterleaf and this makes the demand for it very high.
Ugu generally matures in a very short period of time so you’ll also get your ROI in a very short time unlike some other farm products and sells regardless of season.

– Watermelon farming

Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant originally from Africa and is cultivated for its fruit. The watermelon like the cucumber has a high demand among consumers but the suppliers are little. A watermelon fruit can be sold for as much as ₦800 – ₦1,000 in the local markets.
The watermelon contains an amino acid called citrulline that increases the nitric oxide levels in the body. The nitric oxide helps your blood vessels expand, which in turn lowers the blood pressure.

In conclusion

Agribusinesses are very lucrative and any interested individual can engage in it. Starting an agribusiness also has many advantages and an easy access to loans is one of them. Many firms are out to sponsor anyone interested in venturing into agribusinesses any you can partake from any of the loans and grants available.

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