A good way of creating so much wealth in Nigeria is through farming, but farming is often neglected and looked with disdain as a job for local people.
Beans farming is one of the few viable ways of feeding the Nation and making good money as a person despite your age. Beans is one of the most loved food in Nigeria, and without doubts so many household have grown fond of inculcating this proteinous food to the daily meal of their families. Beans is the most common and most affordable source of protein for families in Nigeria.
Beans can be enjoyed in different ways in Nigeria, such as making it in form of bean ball (akara), beans cake (moi-moi), and it can be mixed with other staple foods such as rice, plantain, potatoes, corn, etc…to produce a nice delicious combo.
With our growing population in Nigeria, consumption rate for beans has increased, and as a result the production of beans is of essence to feed the growing demands of the nation.
How To Start Your Beans Farming Business in Nigeria
1. Get an fertile land: The new agricultural regulations in Nigeria enables farmers to have lands on lease for a number of years. This has simplified the buying of lands for agriculture.
Beans grows in good loamy soil, and fortunately for Nigerians, we are blessed with good soil for beans farming. Also, while choosing the farmland to use, avoid areas with high rainfall, concentrate your farming in the SE or SW regions in Nigeria. You can start with an acre of land to five acres of land to give you the commercial production you need.
After getting a land, you have to prepare the land by clearing it, properly plowing the land by using a tractor to plow the land, this helps to loosen the soil and make it easy for beans roots to grow without hindrance.
2. Select good seeds: You can choose the white beans or brown beans for planting. Choose healthy ones, not damaged or broken beans for best results. Also choose beans of the same size and plant together.
3. Planting your beans: Beans can be planted 4cm deep into the soil and the planting season should be timed, so as to get a good harvest season in such a way that planting will coincide with the period of the year with low rain fail and harvest will fall during sunny seasons. This periods will enable the crops to escape pests and enable the farmers to harvest the crops in good condition.
April is the period of the year that favors beans planting, also June through August is advisable too.
Within two weeks of planting, the beans starts sprouting and within a month you start seeing the pods.
But with the introduction of irrigation system, you can be assured of good output when you plant beans any time of the year.
4. Apply fertilizers: This may not be necessary in the initial stage of planting, because beans grows in normal soil fertility, but animal droppings such as cow, poultry and goats can be used to boost soil fertility, and this can be applied after the beans is germinated.
5. Control weeds: As unwanted as weeds are we can’t avoid them from growing on our farmland, but we can protect our crops especially in the germinating stage from them. We need to carefully remove the weeds so it doesn’t take up the nutrients the crops need to produce good harvest.
Weeding should be done in the first two weeks of planting, then also at intervals till the six weeks when the crops must have covered the ground.
6. Prevent diseases: Beans gets infected by different diseases such as fungal, viral disease and bacteria, these affect different stages of the crop growth.
Some of such diseases includes Root Rot, Stem Rot, Mosaic virus, Fusarium Wilt, Damping off, Scab, Bacteria blight etc. Some of these diseases affects the roots and some the leaves which can prevent the crops from producing good yield.
General measures to control diseases in beans farming
- Try as much as you can to plant unaffected seeds.
- Practice crops rotation.
- Use fungicide and herbicide to kill some of the disease.
- Plough the top soil to remove any pathogens.
- Treat your seeds before planting.
Generally with careful seed selection, you will avoid some of the diseases.
How to control pests in beans farming
At different stages of the crops growth, from the germinating stage to the storage level, pests has been a major challenge for people engaging in beans farming.
Pests could do so much damage to your crops, if not properly managed, the damage results can be as high as 80%.
Some of the pests are:
- Aphid: this pest causes damage to the crops and also transmits mosaic virus, it damages your crops by sucking the sap from the leaves and pods.
It’s of note, not to control the pests until it’s large enough to threaten infesting the entire crops. But the crops that has been infested can be removed from others, fed to animals or burnt
- Podsucking bugs: as the name implies, the bugs attacks the pods and sucks the sap from it, this will make the pods shivel and dry up prematurely. These pests can be controlled using pesticides.
- Thrips: These pests attacks the flowering stage for beans, and can cause the flowers not to pod nor produce any flower. These pest causes total damage on the crops because it makes the plant unproductive. Thrips can be controlled with insecticide or other chemicals.
- Weevil: This pest is the commonest, everyone is used to seeing round the beans. Even though beans weevil is harmless to humans, it can do so much damage on the stored beans. To control beans weevil, you can store your beans by freezing it to prevent any weevil eggs from growing, and you can also add dry pepper to the storage can of the beans before closing the lid. These are the two sure ways to preserve the beans from weevils.
Necessary Farm Tools in Beans Cultivation
Different farm tools can be used depending on the size of the land and the financial capacity of the owner. Tractors, spraying machies, wheelbarrows, cutlasses etc. can be brought or leased from different sources.
With the introduction of mechanized farming, mini and walking tractors can plow hectares of farmlands within hours of using it.
Marketing your beans produce
According to research, Nigeria has the highest volume of beans production, yet the volume we consume as a nation is more than what we produce, which makes the country occasionally import beans for consumption.
The market for beans is always readily available for anyone who wants to go into beans farming. Due to the different ways of preparing beans, every family (rich or poor) consumes it every month. This makes the demand of beans to remain constant in the market. Don’t forget branding and packaging is key to increase in sales. Beans can be packaged with different measurements and sold for good profits.
How profitable is beans farming?
The beautiful part of beans farming is you make so much money on it. Aside the initial stress that may be encountered as a first timer, the joys of profits made will encourage you.
It’s advisable to start your farmland with five hectares of lands, as bean seeds worth N40,000 can produce up to 140bags of beans for you at harvest. Pending on the current prize of beans, 140bags at 100kg per bag, calculating all bags, can fetch you your first million naira.
Note that you can get cheap labour to do the stress of planting, weeding, and harvesting for you.
Note the following:
With a lease of 5 hectares of land for farming, you can start your beans farming.
- Financing: Agriculture has taken a new shape in Nigeria, as both Federal government, State government, Commercial banks and private investors are financing the agricultural sector.
Funds can be sources through proposal written to the Bank of Industry, commercial banks like First bank, Cooperative Societies, Agricultural Development Trust Fund Credit and other approachable investors that are looking for good ways to invest their money.
- Beans takes about three months to grow and mature and with mechanized farming, you can grow beans all year round and make enough profit for the year.
- Beans can be planted with potatoes which helps in repelling beans weevils from infesting on the beans.
Nigeria is the largest producer of beans in West Africa and also the highest consumers of the same product. Therefore, there is a large market for beans farming in Nigeria. Going into this business can make you good income and might even make you an employer of labour.
About The Writer : This was written by Salome Precious, senior content developer at MyAfribusiness.com. She is an accountant by training and a business enthusiast by passion.
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