Do you want to start a watermelon farming business? Are you interested in setting up a watermelon farm? This article will give you the best requirements for starting a watermelon farming business.
When you’re looking for a source of hydration during a sunny day, watermelon is a very good source of water. With soft, succulent flesh, watermelon is one of the fruits Nigerians and Africans love to eat and its demand is on the increase.
So if you’re looking at starting a watermelon farm, you know that finding the market for your product will not be a problem.
Let’s go into the details of what it will take to start a watermelon farm:
Capital seems to be the only factor holding so many people down from starting any business. So, it should relieve the mind to know that watermelon farming does not require huge capital contrary to what many people think. But gaining the knowledge needed to run a successful watermelon farm is the most important thing.
Your capital will depend largely on the size of farmland and what you want to put in it.
WHAT SHOULD YOUR CAPITAL BE ABLE TO ACQUIRE:
– A fertile farmland
– Watermelon Seeds
– An irrigation system. Since watermelon needs a lot of water to grow.
– Buying equipment. It depends on the size of the farmland, a small farmland does not require many equipments.
– Buying of fertilizers and pesticides.
– Hire labours if there is a need. If you are running a small farmland then you don’t need to.
For a business like this one, it’s hard to give a figure or an estimate of the total cost. Because it largely depends on the place and time. So a small research will be needed on your part to get an estimate.
WHAT TYPE OF FARMLAND SHOULD YOU GET FOR A WATERMELON FARM:
Watermelon grows well on well-drained loamy soil with a pH ranging from 6 to 6.7. And it needs lots of water so make sure this is in place.
Looking at the size of farmland it totally depends on what you can get at the moment and what you will be able to manage.
WHERE DO I GET THE WATERMELON SEEDS?
The best option here is to meet an existing successful watermelon farmer, that you’ve seen has a good variety and buy the seeds from him.
Another option is to visit the National Agricultural Seeds Council of Nigeria or of your country to find a list of seed producers who can give you quality goods.
After getting the seeds, watermelon is best planted between March and July.
Make sure that your farmland receives enough sunlight.
Fertilizer rich in Nitrogen should be applied to the farmland, regular weeding is advised depending on how weeds grow in the farm.
WHEN TO HARVEST YOUR WATERMELON:
It takes 70 to 90 days for watermelon to reach full maturity. By that time there will be signs to show that they have fully matured, signs like:
– It stops growing
– The underside becomes yellow
– It starts to wither One or more of these signs should tell you that they are ready for harvest.
7 Reasons Why You Should Invest In Watermelon Farming Business
Watermelons are tropical plants which are cultivated and planted in regions with a temperature higher than about 25 °C (77 °F). Watermelon is one of the most cultivated crops in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia And many other countries. In the world, it happens to be the most cultivated crop planted by farmers.
Watermelons require hot temperature for it to grow well. Watermelon farming business is one of the best farming businesses which should be practised by farmers seeking to start a lucrative farming business with low capital.
In this post, you will get to know about 7 key reasons on why you should invest in watermelon farming business in Nigeria or in any part of the world.
Watermelon farming business is profitable and lucrative. This football-sized fruit can be costly when it is sold.
A single fruit can go up for $2 or more depending on the size and freshness of the fruit. The profitability and lucrative nature of the fruit make watermelon farming a type of business with a high return on investment.
2. High Turnover
The watermelon fruit takes 74 days to 95 days to attain maturity status from its planting date. If your land and site are large enough, you could have enough crops in your farm and get to get high returns after the harvest.
3. Easy To Start
You don’t need to have much technical knowledge before you start your own watermelon farming business. As a farmer, it is not compulsory that you
attend a seminar or training before you start this business, it is very easy to start.
Everyone likes the fruit, both adults and children. Watermelon is sweet and delicious, it is a juicy fruit and that is what makes it marketable. The market is in high demand for the fruit.
5. Pest Resistance
Farmers do not need to spend their money to get pesticides because the watermelon fruit is pest resistance.
6. Health And Medicinal Benefits
Watermelon can be used for medicinal purposes. The fruit helps in eye care by preventing and fighting against muscular degeneration. Also, it protects the skin from sunburn and it can be used by athletes, sportsmen & people for muscle building.
7. Low Capital
Prospective farmers can start their watermelon business with a capital of $150 or lower. It doesn’t require much equipment to start the business.
Watermelon production can be easy if the right knowledge is used. Of course, there are challenges in the production of watermelon. In countries with an undeveloped agricultural sector, it can really be challenging to run a successful watermelon farm to produce the fruit given some factors.
FACTORS AFFECTING WATERMELON PRODUCTION:
1) Lack of fertilizer
2) Poor market
3) Lack of improving seeds
4) Lack of pesticides
5) Lack of capital
6) Lack of technology for large-scale production
LET’S DISCUSS THE FACTORS:
1) Lack of fertilizers:
Prices of fertilizers can be too high for most farmers to afford. Even though in some countries the government try to subsidize the prices to see how the farmers can afford them, it still remains a serious problem.
2) Poor market:
In some environment where people don’t see the need to consume this fruit the price can really be low and this can lead to farmers not making enough money from their produce. Also, they can be a small market for the fruit in some places which will demand travelling far to see a market.
3) Lack of improved seeds:
If improve seeds are not used during planting this will have a direct effect on production. The produce will not be as large as it should be. Farmers in some countries find it very difficult to find these improved seeds.
4) Lack of pesticides:
This can be very threatening to watermelon farm as it causes defoliation to farms. Pesticides are needed to apply to the farm and it should be done appropriately to avoid damage to the farm. Though this happens in very few cases it can be devastating when it happens.
5) Lack of capital:
This is the ultimate factor among all the factors on the list. Without enough capital, the production process is going to suffer. Even though watermelon production is not capital intensive it still requires a capital to start.
6) Lack of technology:
It is very difficult to produce watermelon in large
quantity without the use of technology. There is a need to have an irrigation system in farmlands if production is to be at it best.
Watermelon cannot be stored for a long time. This short preservation time posses a serious challenge to farmers.
Challenges Of Watermelon Farming
Just like any other farming, watermelon farming has its own challenges and it is also good to know that there are solutions.
We will talk about the challenges involved in watermelon farming and possible solutions in different cases.
1) PEST: One of the major challenges is pest attack. The most prevalent pest attacks comes from the melon fly. The melonfly can cause serious damage to watermelon farms in some areas. A well-known place for this kind of attack is in Hawai.
This pest can be controlled by using pesticides and other methods like chemical control, protein food bait for female melonfly, cultural control.
The choice of control will depend on the level of infestation as some control methods are better used as prevention.
2) IRRIGATION: Watermelon needs a lot of water to grow. For a small watermelon farm with no irrigation system, the farmer can provide water for the plant manually. But when it is a large farm, that will be very difficult. Most watermelon farmers time their planting season to coincide with the rainy season but sometimes the rain doesn’t come as expected and this can pose a serious problem.
Constructing an irrigation system can be expensive for most farmers.
Sometimes collecting loan from the bank or government can really be of help.
3) IMPROVE SEEDS: Getting improved seeds to plant will increase harvest which will bring more money. In some countries, it can really be difficult finding these improve seeds.
A possible solution is to find any government agricultural program that can assist in the provision of these improved seeds with discount.
Another solution is to meet other watermelon farmers with improved seeds, you can buy from them and can also seek for advice on how to run your watermelon farm.
If you have the intention of starting a watermelon farm don’t let these few challenges scare you, a lot of watermelon farmers are doing fine and you can too. It is also relieving to know that watermelon farming has very few challenges compared to other farming.