This article is about how that start Ugu farming. Ugu is one of the most eaten vegetables in Nigeria. It is mostly popular among people of the south region in Nigeria. It is regarded as Fluted Pumpkins (Telfaria occidentalis). The business of Ugu farming is very lucrative and there are a lot of advantages that the farmer can generate from this.
You farming requires a certain amount of knowledge unlike just any other vegetable. One you have the knowledge, you can even start planting at the back of your house and still harvest enough to be used for soup. A business start-up that is delving into Ugu farming must have had experience of what can be generated from the business before trying to jump into it.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF UGU
Fluted pumpkins are planted mainly for their leaves which are used as vegetables. These are the benefits of vegetables:
- Ugu is used for improving the potency of different herbs
- It also helps in maintaining the state of convulsion in an infant.
- Ugu also serves as a primary way of solving malaria and increasing immunity against arthritis.
- It helps to improve fertility in a woman
- It serves as a traditional concoction for liver disease, blood pressure etc.
- Most importantly, it is eaten as a vegetable in Africa. It contains several vitamins and minerals for improving body health.
How to start Ugu farming in Nigeria
Below are the steps involved in Ugu farming in Nigeria:
Suitable Site And Land Preparation
An Ugu farm should is one farm that you can locate anywhere that has a long soil with good drainage. It should also be a place that is easily accessible by most people. And you should create a demarcation or Buried to keep the area away from passers by because Ugu is one of those that can easily be stolen due to being accepted by virtually everyone.
Also, write out a business plan in accordance with the site. This makes things extremely easy when real planting has started. Such that your farm will have the required size and capital for what you grow.
So, get a suitable site that has several Ugu supporting factors and generate a lot of potential later on.
Seed Selection for Ugu Farming
The source of propagation of Ugu is Ugu seeds and they are very easy to get. Purchase viable Ugu seeds from a very good company and then use it as the case for buying. Viable seeds are said to have exclusive properties which allow them to be pest and disease resistant. They don’t harbor weeds like the unhealthy seeds. The unhealthy seeds are mostly popular and you should be wary of it.
Land Preparation for Ugu farming
Now that you have your site, the next step is to prepare your land for planting. This is another step that might destroy your farm yields if you are not careful.
To clear your land, you can ask for the help of laborers, most of who will make use of crude tools. But you can also make use of farm machines or Animal power. Make sure the land is free of weeds, grass and pebbles or stones.
After which you should try to soften soil using plows and arrows. This will also allow you to mix the soil easily and keep things together. Also, the soil will have easy aeration and percolation of water.
Finally, do not forget to add manure to the soil. Manure is another thing that can help the crops to grow faster. This will add extra nutrients to the soil and nutrients that are required for planting. Let’s see how planting looks.
Firstly, you have to get a nursery bed ready before you can try planting. You should never start from bare land when you can easily start from the nursery. This is the same process used for other vegetables and it isn’t something new at all. If you like you can make use of pots as well to start planting before now transplanting the young seedlings.
Normally, Ugu is planted at the time when the rainy season has started. Early April is for clearing the land and by late May, planting will resume. This does not mean that this crop can not be planted at the time. However, that is only if there is a good irrigation and water maintenance system. Ugu needs a lot of water to survive but not water looking soil.
After you are done with planting the nursery, you can now transplant. Transplant to the ridges is known as GTE normal land with a spacing of about 5 cm between each other. Also, make sure that the soil around the root is soft and covered with grass or try mulching to prevent transpiration.
Weeding the ugu farm
The next step is for you to get unwanted plants out of the farm. They will only reduce the proximity of your crops from growing very well. You need adequate nutrients and these weeds will never allow that. They will always give birth to more weeds and grow faster that your own crop.
Ugu is very easy to harvest. the Return on investment is also very high and fast since it matures in a basketball month depending on the available factors in that vicinity. Make sure you have a ready made market to sell to before choosing to harvest and don’t love the yield in the market for too long because it might destroy the land.