The importance of agriculture in Nigeria cannot be understated. Farming is a sure way to feed a nation and raise the economic level of the country and its citizens. Nigerian land is great for growing all sorts of crops, but the best way to quickly get your investment back and have a significant income is by growing beans. So if you are looking for a profitable farming business in Nigeria, consider beans farming. Here are five steps in which beans can make you rich.
Step 1. Choose and prepare the land for your bean farm
Beans don’t really like moisture all that much, which is why you should look for semi-dry land with moderate rains and sunny weather. In Nigeria, the best land for growing beans is in the south-east and south-west. The soil should have a slight acidity.
Before planting your seeds, prepare your land by removing the weeds and tree stumps, loosen the earth by plowing. Beans do not require you to make bumps on the soil. You can just plant them straight in the ground.
Step 2. Choose the seeds
There are various types of beans that are being grown in Nigeria, but most popular right now are cowpeas. You can also consider growing soya, kidney, white, black and other varieties of beans.
When you decide on the type, the next thing is to purchase the seeds. Make sure they are all about the same size. Do not take damaged or old ones, if you want to receive the best results.
Beans grow rather fast; you will be able to see the first results of your efforts after only 14 days.
Step 3. Plant and maintain your beans
Take your seeds and plant them with their eye downward 10-15 cm apart from each other, and 3-5 cm deep. Water the ground and ensure regular watering of the land until the first sprouts show. After that, try to avoid getting water on the leaves while watering the plants, as excessive moisture might cause molding.
If your beans of choice are cowpeas, they should be rotated with other types of plants after first or second consecutive cropping. In general, it is not advisable to grow the same plant in one spot for longer than four years.
Fertilize the ground, if you feel like your plants are not getting enough nutritious elements. Use store-bought fertilizer or regular farm compost.
While your plants grow, make sure you weed the ground. Be extra careful not to uproot your beans. If you see pests, don’t be afraid to use pesticides.
You should also know that there are two types of bean plants: bush and pole. Bush type usually produces beans before the pole type, and its seeds all come out at the same time. Pole type produces beans for a period of time of up to two months. However, it might need a little extra support for climbing, so be sure to put up some reticulation to help it climb up.
Step 4. Harvest the crops
After a period of 60 to 100 days has passed, your beans should be ready for harvesting. The trick is not to let them overgrow, as they will become too tough. Harvest your beans by pulling the pods gently from the vines.
All beans come in three different types, and the harvesting process depends on each type.
Snap beans should be harvested at a relatively earlier time. The seeds inside the pod should be slightly immature. It is very important not to miss your window of opportunity. If you harvest them too early, they would not be of the right taste and texture. If you are too late, they might become too tough and tasteless. Try sampling several pods to figure out if they are ready for harvesting.
Shell beans should be harvested when the seeds have already developed inside. You can eat such beans in their fresh or dried form.
Dry beans should be harvested at the final stage of the growing process. You should open the pods and let the seeds inside air out to get dry. If it begins to rain, take your crops inside.
If you want to save the seeds from your crop, leave a couple of plants and don’t touch the seeds on them. Leave them alone and water them only occasionally, especially if the weather is very dry. In the end, pick the brown pods for future use.
Step 5. Package and sell the beans
Dry type of beans is the most suitable for selling, as it is convenient to package it, and it has a much longer shelf life than the other two. The best option is to pack the beans in polyethylene bags and sell by half a kilogram, kilogram or in bulk.
However, you can sell snap and shell beans as well; freeze them, sell fresh on the market or put them in cans.
Proper bean farming can guarantee you up to 100% return of your investment and a hefty income on top of it. While taking about 3 months to grow, beans can be grown all year round and bring in required profits.
Currently, Nigeria mostly imports beans from other African countries, all the while having perfectly good lands for bean planting. It gives you a great opportunity to occupy the empty spot on the market and make a significant profit out of it. So go to the farmers’ market and consider this incredible business opportunity.