Walnut farming is not taken as a serious business in Zimbabwe. Those that are farming walnuts are doing it as subsistence farming. Nobody has an idea or wants to embark on walnut farming in Zimbabwe. But do you know that walnut farming is very lucrative? Yes is very lucrative, As you keep reading this article you will find out information that will encourage you to start growing walnuts.
What Are Walnuts
Walnut is a nut fruit which belongs to the family of “Jugland aceae”, They are very edible, rounded and on a seed in hard tusks which grows in walnut trees.
What Are The Benefits Of Walnuts?
The following are some of the benefits of walnuts;
1. Walnuts can be used in reducing risk of diabetes.
2. Walnuts contains omega-3 fatty acids which are good in the body.
3. Walnuts has antioxidants which boost immune system.
4. It can be used in controlling diabetes.
5. It helps in management of weight.
Walnuts are not those crops that grows by cultivation annually, Their growth is based on trees & their maturity takes lots of time. Walnut farming should be considered as a long term business & not a get rich quick business, In fact growing walnuts should be consider as an investment. But bear it in mind that once it starts bearing fruits you will expect it harvest each year. Major walnuts producing countries are the USA, China, Mexico, Iran, Turkey, Ukraine, and we hope that Zimbabwe will join the list soon.
HOW TO START A LUCRATIVE WALNUT FARMING IN Zimbabwe
(1) Land Preparation: The land needs to be cleared and be prepared for planting by ploughing the soil, So that it will be easy for planting. The soil pH should be about 6.0 to 7.5, and this pH will result to good productivity. Provide (Add) the soil will boron and zinc. Soil needed should be sandy-loam or clay-loam rich in organic matter.
(2) Planting: There are various propagation method which can be carried out when planting walnuts; it can be through seeds, grafting or budding methods. Seeds method are mostly preferred to be the best, you can use the walnuts seedlings as rootstock. Below are the spacing in walnut farming:
Seedlings can be 12 × 12m
Budding 10 × 10m
Grafting 8 × 8m
The spacing depends on the practices, whether you are doing mixed cropping or inter cropping. You need to care for your trees if you need good result and good productivity.
(3) Weeding: The weeding should be done as early as the appear on the soil surface, This is to prevent them from reducing the farm nutrient. Weeding can be done twice a year, it can be chemical or by mechanical weed control.
(4) Application Of Fertilizers And Manure: Add Manures when preparing the soil, and the plants need good manure & fertilizers for growth. It is very important to apply fertilizer at the beginning of rainy season and as soon as it ends, This should be done twice a year.
(5) Controlling Pest And Diseases: Preventive measures should be taken against pest & diseases. One of the ways of preventing them is to select good quality resistant seeds, you can also use insecticides & pesticides to prevent them, And lastly, Weed on time to avoid disease occurance.
(6) Harvesting: Some walnuts takes 4 to 5 years to start bearing fruits (That should be grafted plants), while mainly, the walnuts planted by seedlings can take 8 to 10 years for harvest. And as soon as they are matured, the seeds will start falling on their own. Collect the seeds and spread under the sun for 3 to 4 days, Now remove the flesh and store in a cool dry place, the shell should be cracked in order to remove the nut. Now market your products.
Walnut farming in Zimbabwe is very lucrative. The potential profits involves in this business as soon as they start bearing fruits is very huge. Walnut farming is a long term business, How profitable walnut farming business is, depends on You!!!