Groundnut farming in Nigeria is a goldmine. Groundnut is the source of the popular groundnut oil used in cooking virtually every food in a Nigerian household. Also, groundnut is eaten with several foods in Nigeria.
Nigeria is the highest producer of groundnut in Africa. This has placed groundnut farming in Nigeria on a top stop in agriculture. It is usually grown in the North but extends to the southern part a bit. That is only if the area is said to be arid or semi arid. Looking at these states
SITE SELECTION FOR THE GROUNDNUT FARMING
Choose a perfect place to grow your groundnut plants. Go for a place with Sandy loamy soil with a good drainage of PH 6-7, moderately acidic soil. The area they are being planted should have an average of 500 – 1000 mm rainfall. These are crops that require a warm temperature to survive during growth but the soil should be about 300 C hot.
After selecting your site with those prerequisites above. You will need to clear the land and make it free of any debris. This is usually done with a perfect weeding machine. After which you bury those under the ground. Don’t forget to create ridges as well. If you like you can make preparations to plant other companion crops with groundnuts such as guinea corn, maize and nitrogen fixing crops etc. They help to improve the nutrient availability of the soil which is very important for the growth of groundnut.
Also you need to apply organic manure and fertilizers needed to be applied on the soil to improve the nutrient availability. You can leave decay substances on the soil about 2 weeks before planting. Also, you can make use of NPK fertilizers to add nutrients to the soil.
PLANTING THE GROUNDNUT
You can start planting with the start of the rainy season. This is usually within the March/April period. Then you look for viable seeds that can not easily be attacked by pests and diseases. Preferable you buy your seeds from a reliable store.
Before planting male sure the soil is a bit moist or there is the sign of a recent rain. Then drill a small hole of about 6 cm depth in the ridges after which you can now add 2 to 3 seeds into it.
Care for your Groundnut Farm
Application of fertilizer to groundnut farm
Apply as much fertilizer as possible on your farm and make sure the fertilizer is applied in adequate proportion. Over application of fertilizers can kill the soil.
How to weed a groundnut farming business
Another important part of post planting operations or caring for your plants is weeding. Remove unwanted plants growing in your farm because they will have a competitive effect on each of your crops. Although groundnut is one seed that doesn’t have a lot of infinity for weeds but once you notice them it is preferable you get them out. You can make use of chemicals like herbicides.
Pest and diseases of groundnut
Groundnuts are destroyed by several pests and diseases. Pest like aphids, caterpillars and beetles should be dealt with using the required insecticide. Look out for Groundnut rosette disease. This can destroy your whole yield within a blink of an eye. Some of the symptoms you should look out for are yellowing leaves, stunted growth and the death of most premature plants. This is another reason you should not allow weeds in your farm because they can harbor pests and disease.
Harvesting your groundnut farming business
After 4-5 month of planting, the leaves of the crops begin to turn brown and this means that you approached the right time to harvest. This might be the most difficult part of groundnut planting but the reward is quite big enough to work through it. It is also important that you harvest at the required time. If you are leaving your groundnut in the soil for too long, it might decay and you would lose all your yields.
First, you start by irrigating the soil of your groundnut farming business to keep that soil soft enough. Then you start to cut the root of the plant carefully tobaccos losing York groundnut. After Which you can spread all the harvested crop in a mat, then place them in the soil until it is dry enough. Finally clean up your harvested groundnut with a towel or soft cloth. Pack them in a box to keep them safe from pests.
You can sell your groundnut farming business directly from the gate of your farm. However, if you are one of those farmers that wants to sell around the country or you are a wholesale farmer then you should store properly until you have successfully sold all the groundnuts. If possible, highlight a list of customers or demands made in order to make sure that you are not losing most of your yields.
Also, if you would like to process it and eject oil out of your groundnut, then you should do so. Groundnut oils are used for cooking by virtually every household and you can also make your own share of the revenue from that area.
Get a mechanical Press to eject the oil out of the groundnut and then feed the remains of the groundnut to livestocks. If you don’t have livestock, sell to livestock farmers and still make another amount from this.
Groundnut farming is a profitable business in Nigeria. It has a lot of nutritious and health benefits. The key note that you should look out for groundnut planting is that you should always look out for disease resistant seeds instead of cheap, unhealthy seeds.
I hope by reading this, you have learnt the basis about groundnut farming and how you can make optimum profit from it.