Rice is one of the most popular food products in Nigeria and this shows the importance of Planting Operations for Rice Farming . It is eaten by virtually every household in Nigeria. The masses take it as the first resort when it comes to feeding.
The demand for rice is so high and the supply is just rising steadily when it should follow suit with the demand. It is scarce for any party or occasion to take place without rice being shared during reception. That is the extent to which rice is needed in the country.
Meanwhile, just a bit of the rice in supply was grown or cultivated in Nigeria. Most were imported from Neighboring countries, perhaps via illegal smuggling. We are improving the economy of other countries while ours is in relegation.
There is no way 99 of 100 Nigerians won’t eat rice and this is the reason there is a large market for it. Rice farming would make anyone in Nigeria a millionaire only if we are ready for it.
Till today, the importation of rice is our major for making rice sufficient in the country. Moreover, the recent case on disapproving rice importation has given more muse for investors and farmers to delve into rice farming in Nigeria. Imagine having been blessed with this solidity and still not investing in the production and processing of rice.
This is the reason you need to learn more about this aspect of agriculture. I have narrowed down a whole lot of explanations on Rice planting in Nigeria.
Requirement for rice farming
Capital: Make sure you have an agreeable and sufficient amount of capital to start your rice business. Also, make sure you are working towards that capital when writing a business plan for your rice farming business. This will help you track your cost of farming and plan your capital well.
Seed: Healthy and viable seeds should be purchased and used for cultivating the crops. Make sure that the seeds are good enough to improve your yield by 5-10 % later on. Also, it should germinate fast and should not harbor pest and diseases.
How To Start Rice Farming
Site Selection and Land clearing:
The first step to rice farming is site selection and preparation. That site must agree to the factors that helps rice to grow very well. Most importantly rice grows very well in swampy areas or clay loamy soil. Any soil that will support rice farming must have high water retaining capacity.
To get them ready for planting, clear via the mechanical or manual method. Make sure there is a proper irrigation system to wet the land or make use of downpour if you are in the rainy season. This helps to soften the soil and keeps it just rice-like for planting.
Try to soften the land a bit. If the land is a bit of a swampy area, there might not be a need for this but if it is the other way, make sure you plough the soil so that the root of the rice can hold the soil or earth together.
Also, make sure that you are maintaining the structure and texture of the soil. This means that you have to practice harrowing to smoothen the soil after plowing. You can also make use of a leveler to return the plowed land back to shape.
Planting Operations for Rice Farming
Rice is planted via both seeds and seedlings. However, most farmers prefer planting seeds directly in Nigeria instead of seedlings.
The process involved in planting seeds starts from putting the seeds in water for 24 hours and then wrapping them in a towel to keep them dry again for another 24 hours. After which you can now start sowing via broadcast method. That is spreading the seeds on the soil.
Irrigation should follow suit and don’t forget to fertilize your soil as well. This will boost yield later on.
If you think you will start with seedlings, then you should transplant from a nursery bed. However, you should maintain some factors when doing that. The root of the seedlings should be 2-3cm under the soil but irrigation first to keep the soil soft enough. While spacing should be about spacing 20x20cm.
The next step is to practice agronomy on your farm. Caring for your farm will make things very easy to do.
Firstly you should apply fertilizer 35 days after planting and also some weeks to harvesting. This improved the nutrient availability of the soil.
The next one is to weed the soil to prevent competition. These weeds might sometimes cause some of your seeds or growing rice to die. Those that didn’t die will most likely have issues with growing, hence low yields.
Yay, it is time to harvest your rice. After about 3-5, depending on variety, you should be able to harvest your rice. Once the leaves become brown, then you can start harvesting your rice.
You can even choose to go all the way to processing and packaging your rice in sacks. If not, work with rice processing companies and supply them with your harvested rice.
Marketing your rice farming business
Finally, marketing is the sole of every business. People have to know that you cultivate rice before choosing to buy from you. Although the market is very large in Nigeria, no one will ever lose from this kind of business.
Make sure you have your customer outlined out before planting. This will make things extra easy for you to sell.
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