HOW TO START PROFITABLE CUCUMBER FARM /BUSINESS – PRACTICAL APPROACH

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You can agree with me that there’s a vast sea of opportunities in the Agriculture Industry begging to be explored. One amongst these abundant opportunities is Cucumber farming .

So many people have said a lot about the Nutritional benefits and medicinal qualities of this veggie .
However, here are a few things you may need to know about Cucumbers.

* Cucumbers protect the brain from neurological disorders,

* Reduces risk of Cancer,

* Fights inflammation,

* Contains antioxidant properties like Vitamin C and beta-carotene

* Freshens your breath and eliminates bad breath

* Cucumbers contain multiple B vitamins that helps in management of stress

* Cucumbers support digestive health because of its content of water and fibre

* Cucumbers are low in calories helping you to maintain a healthy weight

* They contain potassium which support healthy heart ,

* Protects skin against aging,

* Relieves pains because of its contents of Flavonoids and tannins.

* Cucumber is a great source of vitamin K making the bones strong.

Just for the records, Cucumber, _Cucumis sativus_ is an edible fruit having a green rind and a crisp watery white flesh good for food.

The Internet can feed you with lots of other advantages and merits of this veggie.

I’m glad you stopped by to get practical insights on how you can make thousands in cucumber farming just within few weeks.

A lot of people go into businesses without any knowledge on the niche, and this cripples the business when challenges surface and they’re unable to handle.

Some farmers always ask me, “what delays our plants from germinating after 4 days of planting?”, “why is my Cucumber bitter?”, “what retards the growth rate, make the fruit small and bland after harvest?”

Now I’m going to share ways you can produce what the consumers are looking for, because that’s the only way you can make cool cash.

This business have good income flow and that’s the reason Fruit producing Farmers keep their cards close to their chests. In this post I’ll share practical insights on ways you can break even in this business.

As I have always done in previous lessons, I’m going to be as practical as possible. I’ll untie the knots to make you understand the real productive steps in growing cucumbers and having a bumpy harvest after 8weeks.

These are the steps;

Step #1

*Conduct a Feasibility Study and Prepare a Business Plan*

A lot of people dive into farming /Agribusiness because they heard it’s a money pumper and as such they don’t bother to carry out feasibility studies to know everything about the business.

Your first response when you see step #1 will definitely be questions. ” Why should I get a Business plan “, “Is it really necessary to conduct feasibility study ? ” Won’t I succeed if I don’t have a Business Plan?

The answers to those questions are already in your lips. Ordinarily when you don’t plan a trip, you’ll obviously miss your route, spend more than budgeted and loose focus. So for your farm projects, it is needful to carry out Financial analysis(Expenses and income projections ), marketing strategy and survey, manpower requirements , Business location and accessibility.

There’s 50% chance you’ll succeed without a Business Plan but then,
the reason you should get a Business plan is to keep you on track while running the project, so that you don’t deviate from the norms of the game like spending much out of your profit and to ensure certain standards are at least maintained. So you need a Business plan to run your farm in a structured and organized manner.

Step #2

*Seed Selection*

There are so many varieties of Cucumber seeds from different companies and countries.
So you have to examine if they are Open pollinated or closed seeds, Local or foreign seeds or is it a Hybrid? This is very crucial because while some seeds produce 1 tonne per Acre, others produce lesser.

However, Some of those seeds are genetically modified and presented as F1(hybrid) species. So it’s important you buy from trusted and viable seed producing companies like http://www.Eastwestseeds.com; http://www.technisem.com or contact seed regulatory body to confirm the seeds you’re buying. (www.seedcouncil.gov.ng).

There are also affiliate Wholesalers like Songhai farms, IITA, AGRO STORY NIG., SEEDWORLD LTD etc where you can get viable seeds, cultivars and seedlings for farming purposes.

Let’s look at the different varieties from different companies .

Step #3

*Land Preparation*

In preparation for a successful cucumber farming
/business, there are certain things you need to do to get the land ready for use.
Ensure you don’t use forests unless it’s your last option. This will help reduce overhead cost of deforestation.

Well, Follow me as I take you by hand to show you the steps involved which include;

a). Clearing /Deforestation

Clear the land and cut the tall trees. Brush the land to make it bare. I’ll not advice you to do entire bush burning so as not to disrupt the activities of Nitrogen fixing Bacteria /microorganisms as they play important roles .But where you have high vegetation, you can do partial bush burning by packing and heaping in bits and burning them up. The ash can serve as manure too so it’s not bad.
Okay, If you are using bulldozers, be mindful not to totally scoop away the topmost nutrients of the soil.

b) . Ploughing

After Brushing the Land, next is Making of ridges. You can decide to make either long or short Ridges. I actually use Long ridges with height of about 1 foot and width of 3ft. It’ll make mulching much easier. So plough the ground well as cucumbers are best grown on loose soil types.
Ensure to get rid of rhizomes too while ploughing. So at this stage your ridges are ready right?
Cool.

Step #4

*Compost Piling/Manuring*

While ploughing is ongoing, you can begin to make your compost pile. Use Animal dung, wood ash, and gathered grasses . Wet and allow for about a week to decay properly.

So when your compost organic manure is ready, apply on the beds/ridges and mix vigorously with the loose loamy soil.

*Note*
A. – Be mindful and ensure that farms from where you procure the Animal dungs are free from Viral, Bacterial and Fungal infections as this may affect your crops. If you get the dung please sun-dry it for about 72hours to kill any suspected unwanted Microbes. Where you don’t have sunlight, pour Hot water mixed with Ginger, Neem water and garlic and Air-dry for 5-8 days.

B. Please don’t join conventional farmers who use NPK 15:10:10 as soil booster. Use Organic manure. Here’s the big WHY. Cucumbers are made up of about 85-90% water and they retain the chemicals used in growing them. So avoid growing veggies toxic to human body after consumption .

You now know right?

Step #5

*Irrigation*

Depending on your location, you’ll need to have a standby plan for irrigation because you may not see Rainfall. It’s either you use Drip irrigation system, Sprinkler Irrigation (Automated methods) or Irrigate manually using watering Cans and hose pipes. This means you should have a source of Water(Borehole, Flowing stream, Well etc.)

Okay so after applying manure, wet the entire farm in a soggy manner and allow for 24hours to circulate round the farm before planting.

Irrigate your cucumber farm at least 5 times in a week. But If there’s a daily /adequate rainfall, you’ll not have need to irrigate until you see the soil getting dry or dehydrated.

Just like you already know, the Northern and Western part of Nigeria are tropical zones with lesser amount of rainfall and so you don’t need to wait for rain to irrigate your multi million cucumber farm.

So get ready for that too.

In my farm, I actually have someone who’s job is to irrigate using the 2 systems on ground (Both Automated and manual systems).

While irrigating, PLEASE DO NOT do so on a hot afternoon. Irrigation is most effective very early in the morning between 4am and at least 10am and evening between 4pm and 7pm. This depends on the intensity of the Sun. If the Weather is mild, you can do a flow through via your drip tapes,watering Cans etc.

Step #6

*Planting*

So after wetting your ridges or maybe luckily there was rainfall, you go ahead to plant the cucumber seeds. Ensure to face up the pointed side of the seed as you deep your index/pointer finger with the seed not deeper than the second line on your index finger.
Close the opening with loose sand and move to the next 1 foot. This spacing allows you to stake your cucumbers and make your farm look neat .

So at this stage, let’s assume you’re done planting.

After 4 – 6 days, the cucumber will germinate. But if you insert the seeds deeper than the specifications I gave you earlier, it will take time to germinate and at the end not all will survive. This is because the plumule has gotten weak before the sprouting.

Note: If you the capabilities to mulch, please do so before planting.

Step #7

*Staking*

So after 2weeks, the strands of the cucumber will start getting longer, which means you have to stake them.

And so using Bamboo beams, stake the Cucumber plant and use ropes/twines to connect strands to bamboo. Staking is actually important. When you don’t stake, the Cucumber will not produce well. Staking is essential ,as it makes the Fruits/veggies retain their greenish colour unlike when you leave them on the ground, they turn white on that part.

Step #8

*Pruning*

This is optional. The only reason I prune is to make room for multiple stems/strands to enable the cucumber produce more than expected. But I must tell you that this is technically done else you damage the Cucumber plants and they’ll wither away. Unless you’re an expert, otherwise try it on Small portion of the farm to test run it.

Step #9

*Use of Pesticides /Insecticides*

People must have told you the efficacy of Pesticides and insecticides. Oh yes they get rid of pests before you can say Jack but they have adverse effects on the plant growth and fruit edibility. They are toxic as the plants retains the moisture content of the chemicals as they are sprayed on them.

Again, when you spray chemicals, they kill those useful insects and flies responsible for pollination and I guess you know what will happen when pollination doesn’t take place. Flowering will not take place.

If you’re being disturbed by farm pests, there is an organic concoction I formulated that you can use in getting rid of them. This is first hand information, you may not get it elsewhere.

*ORGANIC CONCOCTION*

Boil some quantity of Neem leaves and Moringa leaves. Mix handful quantity of dried/mashed plantain leaves, ground ginger, garlic in the water.
Pour solution in your knapsack sprayer and spray the farm every 3days.
It handles beetles, thrips, Aphids, spider, mite, caterpillars, etc.

So, few weeks after staking , the plant will start flowering(normally yellow in colour )and fruiting sets in. Two weeks after fruiting commenced, the size will continue to increase until it’s ready for harvest.

It’s getting to the peak and interesting too. The farmer always want to hear about the marketing side of the story because that’s the side that brings the money.

Step #10

*Harvesting Style and Patterns*

This is another important aspect of Cucumber farming many are ignorant of. I harvest 5-6 times in a portion of Land which could be attributed to:
a. Variety grown
b. Management
c. Harvesting Pattern

The question is, how do I achieve 5-6 times bumpy harvest?

It’s a normal trend for one to harvest once and the Cucumber plants will wither. Okay I’ll share what works for me over the years:

a. If you plug directly from the nodes, you’re telling the plant that the yield you’ve gotten is enough for you. So, leave out ½ inch strand on the cucumber.

b. Another thing is, start harvesting from the bottom as the fruit matures.

c. Don’t harvest any Cucumber that’s not yet matured. Give it time

d. Lastly, while harvesting, give the Cucumber stems/strand way to climb more. Add manure to supply nutrients if you can and irrigate.

To harvest cucumber fruits, use scissors to cut the fruits leaving a short stump attached or carefully plug with your hands.

Your cucumber is Ready for the Market. What next?

MARKETING OF YOUR CUCUMBERS

Almost everyone wants his or her farm produce to be marketed and on time so as to avoid deterioration of perishable ones.

We have talked about various steps in cucumber farming.
Have you taken a deep breath to think about the market penetration strategy?

As always, I’m going to be as realistic as possible because I suffered a lot marketing my farm produce few years ago while running a cucumber farm and I don’t want you to make such mistakes. Those years were years of ignorance!

Your market include your very family members, friends and every other person. Start telling them what you have, even before harvest.

Sign up with online/social media platforms for sales of Agro produce anywhere in Africa and the world.

And so to make your cool cash from growing Cucumber, target your consumers and know when and where they need the produce.

Do not neglect the selling power of ordinary market women .

Knowing when people have need of things will help you know the exact season to produce.

Here’s what works :

Lots of farmers grow cucumbers during the rainy season (between April and September) because cucumber actually needs water for growth, right?
But I make more money in the dry Season than rainy season because I practice irrigation system of commercial Agriculture during drought. You got it right?

So you find out that the demand for cucumber is higher in dry season than rainy season and sadly enough, not too many people produce during dry season. This could be because they are ignorant about it or that they don’t have access to automated irrigation system. So when you plant cucumbers between October and March… You’ll make higher profits.
At this point, any price tag you put in will be accepted by the consumers and off takers.

That’s also a marketing strategy for you.

I have found this article to be helpful with regards to the season to produce in order to have a bumpy harvest.

👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽
https://mynaijanaira.com/organic-agriculture-in-nigeria/

You can also choose to export your Agro produce because it commands higher revenue. That’s another marketing strategy too. Samuel Chinedu, Founder, http://www.nextnaijaentrepreneur.com (a business blog) can point you in the right direction with regards to export of your farm produce and satisfy your Business related challenges and fears.

There are other marketing strategies which include:

1. Making your produce as fresh as possible .

2. Leveraging social media as a winning tool for marketing your produce as I mentioned earlier.

3. Telling everyone about what you have and why they need it.

4. Reducing your price slightly at infancy. ( Promo sales) etc.

So when you follow all I’ve mentioned above, you’ll market your produce, even before they are ready for the market.

Feel free to share your experience and expectations!

Go, start now! So many people are in need of good Cucumbers.

👍🏼

Goodluck E. U. Edoziem

Categories VEGETABLE FARMING

16 thoughts on “HOW TO START PROFITABLE CUCUMBER FARM /BUSINESS – PRACTICAL APPROACH

  1. Good morning, I read a post on one site, I think https://opportunitytracks.com, about getting a business plan for cucumber farming, will I still need a business plan if I just want to start a small scale farm

    Like

  2. Good write-up I have gained a lot God bless you sir

    Like

  3. Ajibose Grace oluwaseun April 9, 2021 — 4:22 am

    Fantastic articles, am interested in the business where and how can I get good seed, I leave in Nigeria, Ogun State, songo OTA to be presisde. Behind Obasanjo farm. My phone number is 08087671168. The meaning of this words please mulch, pruning, neem leaves. Thanks

    Like

  4. Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the netthe easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about worries that they just don’tknow about. You managed to hit the nail upon the topas well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal.Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

    Like

  5. Thanks for the information. My plot was used for keeping cow a year ago. Can i still apply manure .

    Like

  6. Thanks, I really enjoyed the post.
    Regarding your step #9 use of pesticides/insecticide
    Can we use the organic concoction for cowpea (beans)

    Like

  7. Am inlike of this, but how to start is the problem

    Like

  8. Hi Blessing,
    Good to know you’re in Owerri. I aslo was invited for a farm setup at Mbano and Mgbidi, Imo state.
    I’m glad you got from my blog post. I could send you good seeds you want and guide you practically. Just connect with me on Whatsapp now. Click
    https://wa.me/2349022528687 or call 09022528687

    I’m expecting you .

    Like

  9. Just came across dx post now l reside in owerri imo state where can l get viable hybrid seeds u mentioned tnx for d write-up expecting ur favourable response

    Like

    1. Hi Blessing,
      I’m glad you got from my blog post. I could send you good seeds to any state in Nigeria and beyond. Just connect with me on Whatsapp now. Click
      https://wa.me/2349022528687 or call 09022528687

      I’m expecting you .

      Like

  10. Annie paul Joseph March 24, 2020 — 12:07 pm

    I just came across this interesting write up now,I must say it is very helpful to me cos I’m about starting my cucumber farm. and where can I get good seeds. I’m in Ikot ekpene,Akwa Ibom State.

    Like

    1. Hi Annie,
      I’m glad you got from my blog post. I could send you good seeds to any state in Nigeria and beyond. Just connect with me on Whatsapp now. Click
      https://wa.me/2349022528687 or call 09022528687

      I’m expecting you .

      Like

  11. Please where can I get cucumber seeds?

    Like

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Get the seeds you need, click https://wa.me/+2348130536188 to chat with our representative.

      Thanks

      Like

  12. this is a fantastic and very educative write up. this is what one can call the A, B, C of the cucumber farming. God bless you sir. Will definitively get back to you.

    Like

    1. You’re welcome. We are glad you got so much value from the practical insight shared. Next thing is to run with same message of sustainable, reliable and profitable cucumber farming.

      Best Regards,

      Goodluck E. U. Edoziem

      Agrostory.

      Like

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