My guide on how to start carrot farming in Nigeria is to help prospective carrot farmers with no experience in the step-by-step guidance they need.
Agricultural practice is increasing in Nigeria, and carrot farming is one of the most lucrative agricultural enterprises in the country. This is due to the high consumption rate in the country, as it is used for food and as a major ingredient in beauty products, among other things.
So, what then are the steps to start carrot farming in Nigeria? The stages include planning and budgeting, farmland acquisition, farmland cultivation, purchase of a variety of carrot seeds, planting, irrigation and or mulching, weeding and pest/disease control, and finally harvesting.
It is believed that carrot farming thrives in just a particular region in Nigeria. It used to be true but with recent technological innovations and inventions, carrot farming can be practiced in any part of Nigeria.
Without further ado, let’s get starting with our discussion on how you can start carrot farming in Nigeria.
How To Start Carrot Farming In Nigeria
Carrot is one of the most consumed vegetables in Nigeria because of its edibility and health benefits among several other reasons. Farming carrots does not take long compared to other plants; within 70-80 days, your carrot is fully germinated and ready to harvest.
Following are the steps you can take to begin your venture in onion cultivation in Nigeria;
Step 1: Planning and Budgeting
There is an adage in Nigeria, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Planning and budgeting are important aspects of farming. You must make proper preparation and carry out adequate research to gather sufficient information.
During this phase, you can surf the internet to source information by reading informative pieces just like this one. Alternatively, you can meet face-to-face with expert carrot farmers to get first-hand information and practical experiences as well.
Budgeting is to create a plan on how you will spend your resources to actualize your farming endeavors.
Step 2: Acquire a Farmland
The next step you are to take is to get farmland. Don’t be fooled by the myth that carrot is best farmed in certain areas of the country. Carrots can be planted in any part of the country as long as you adhere to the guidelines and principles involved.
So, follow the step below to acquire farmland. They are
In this phase, you look at your finance and make be realistic about the budget you need to get farmland. Because the size or quality of farmland you can buy or lease is dependent on your budget.
Make your Findings
The next thing is to put yourself out there to find farmland that is in line with your budget. You can either buy or rent the farmland. You should do your homework to acquire farmland that suits you and the type of farming you want to do.
Purchase the Farmland
After your search and you’ve finally settled for the farmland that fits your budget and your choice, go ahead and purchase it, or rent depending on the one that best suits you.
Step 3: Cultivate the Farmland
Now that you’ve acquired your farmland, the next course of action is to cultivate the land in preparation for planting. This process includes testing the soil, improving it, tilling the soil and ensuring proper fencing (if there is a need).
The steps to cultivate the farmland are:
Clear the land
Here, you are to clear the land of bushes, and unwanted plants, including dirt and debris on the farmland. Depending on the size of your farmland, you can use simple farm tools like cutlass and rake, or you can go for sophisticated farm machines.
Level the Field
You have to level the fields so that there are no visible slopes within the farmland. This will help you to minimize unevenness as much as possible.
Water the Farmland
It is important that you evenly apply water all over the farmland to keep the land as moist as possible, but don’t flood the land and prevent any running water to avoid nutrient leaching.
Make the Farm Beds/Ridges
Once you are done clearing the land and ridding it of unwanted plants and debris, you’ll make farm beds or ridges.
You can use simple farm tools such as hoe to make farm beds/ridges. However, if the farmland is large, you can use plows to dig up, mix, and overturn the soil, and harrows to break the soil into smaller particles if the farmland is really large.
The beds should be narrow and shallow trenches either horizontally or vertically along with the farmland, where the carrots will be planted. Also, keep the field moist at all times.
Step 4: Purchase a Variety of Carrot Seeds from Agro-Shops
You should visit a certified agro shop where you will purchase your carrot seeds. It is best to avoid buying from roadside sellers. One of the best carrot variety seeds to buy is Touchon Mega.
Step 5: Planting
Carrots best thrive on loose soil, so avoid using water-logged, rocky and clay soil. Ensure the farm beds are moist by the time you want to plant your carrot seeds. So, it is best to water the field at least 24 hours before planting.
To successfully plant your carrot seeds, you should
Plant Late Evening or Early Morning
The best time to plant your carrot seed is late in the evening or very early in the morning. The reason has been that the soil will be moist and the temperature is moderate.
Put seeds in the Furrow (Hole)
You should make a hole on the farm bed/ridges where you will put the seeds. Pinch the carrot seeds (at least 2, at most 3) and pour them into the holes created on the farm bed. Make sure the furrow depth is 4cm, at most 5cm.
Cover the Carrot seeds in the Furrow (Hole)
Once you are done putting the seeds in the hole, you should cover the seed with the soil to avoid exposing the seed to sunlight, being blown away by the wind, washed away by water force, or picked by birds and rodents.
Water after Planting
After you cover the seedlings and are done planting, you should water immediately after covering the seeds. This will help maintain soil moisture and provide the seed with water to begin the germination process.
Importantly, you have to continuously water the plant each morning and evening until it germinates which takes about 12 to 14 days.
Thin the Carrot Plant
It is important that you thin the carrot after germination or when the size is 2cm which can be between two and four weeks. The essence of thinning is to help the carrots grow to an optimal size and shape.
Step 6: Irrigation
Since the advent of irrigation processes, it has made it possible to plant in any season. Irrigation is vital in carrot farming. So, you have to irrigate your carrot farm; the first irrigation should not be heavy and done immediately after you plant your seeds.
While subsequent irrigations should be done as needed. This is to prevent excess moisture which can cause short carrots with light colour and a larger diameter.
Step 7: Weeding and Pest/Disease Control
It is important to remove weeds to avoid unhealthy competition for space, water, and nutrients with your carrot plants. You have to keep a close eye on the plant to watch out for unwanted plants.
So, weeding should be done 2 weeks after planting. And then, the next weeding should be done between 4 to 5 weeks.
However, you need to be careful not to pull the carrots along with the weeds.
Also, pests and diseases affect carrot plants. That is why you have to control pests and diseases from affecting your carrot plants.
So, to control pests and diseases, you have to fumigate your farm using ideal pesticides and herbicides as recommended by an expert.
Step 8: Harvest
You can harvest your carrots when they are partially developed to meet up with market demands. Otherwise, it is best to live them in the soil until they fully mature, however, to avoid carrots from hardening, they should not be retained at their full maturity stage.
The best time to harvest carrots is when they are about 1.8 cm or larger in diameter at the upper end. You have to use an ordinary or special plow to loosen the soil and pull out the plant.
You have to place the carrots in crates or bags before washing them. After that, carefully wash Carrots and sort them by size before packaging them for sale or consumption.
Carrot Farming (Production) Guide Pdf
You can access the pdf guide here
Video Guide On Carrot Farming In Nigeria
Common Pests and Diseases
Carrots are prone to be affected by diseases and pests. Common pests and diseases of carrot plants are:
- Powdery mildew
- Downy mildew
- Leaf blight
- Leaves yellowing
- Black root rot
- Common scab
- Cavity spot
- Cottony rot
- Presence of brown galls on leaves
- White mould
Nematodes affect the root
What you should do is apply fungicides, plant resistant varieties, and avoid overcrowding of the seeds to curb disease and pest infestation. Also, purchasing seeds that are disease resistant will help a lot.
Major Problems Facing Carrot Farming In Nigeria
Common problems that affect carrot farming in Nigeria are:
Pests and diseases
Carrots are highly prone to pests and diseases. In fact, because of their smell alone attracts pests. That is why you ought to be extremely watchful, and also cautious during irrigation not to overflood the farm.
Getting quality carrot seeds to plant is daunting. Ensure you locate a vendor that sells hybrid seeds or other quality seeds i.e. nates variety, among others.
When carrots are planted too close, they compete for space and end up growing too small, which can cause diseases that affect the carrots as well.
Types/Specie Of Carrots In Nigeria
Carrots have different species. in Nigeria, the common species that are predominantly planted by farmers are:
This variety is generic carrots and it has a deep orange colour. It has rounded shoulders and pointed ends and they grow to about 6-7 inches long. Also, it tolerates heavier and shallower soils and requires a balanced level of soil fertility to grow properly.
Chantenay carrots have short, conical roots that can penetrate clay and rocky soils better than any other carrot variety. Instead of the usually long and slender shape, they become bulky at the shoulders and taper to a point.
Nantes carrots are cylindrical and smooth, with nearly the same diameter from end to end and a blunt rather than a pointed tip. The common variety of this type is Scarlet Nantes, the oldest and most common variety, and the Little Finger carrot, a miniature Nantes-type that only grows to about 3 or 4 inches long.
These carrot varieties are visually pleasing with quality taste. They have very long roots, up to 10 inches long, with high sugar content, and are great for eating fresh.
When Is Carrot Season In Nigeria?
The best season to plant carrots in Nigeria is close to the post-raining season when the rainfall is not heavy. This is usually around August down to the end of the year.
Where To Get Carrot Seeds In Nigeria
Getting carrot seeds in Nigeria is no big deal. Depending on your location, you can visit an agricultural shop near you. Better still, you can look up an agro-eCommerce online retailer as well to order your carrot seeds.
How Much Is A Bag Of Carrots In Nigeria?
The price of a bag of carrots in Nigeria varies, depending on the location you are buying from. Currently, the price of carrot per bag is in the range of 15,000 Naira to 20,000 Naira.
Is Carrot Farming Profitable In Nigeria?
Carrot farming in Nigeria is very profitable. Carrots germinate fully within 3-4 months, and they are ready for harvest. It is very much possible to make more than 50% of the amount you invested in carrot farming from the sale of the product yield.
Carrot farming is a lucrative venture and one to be taken with utmost seriousness considering its high demand in the market presently. All you need do is to acquire sufficient knowledge and be determined to make a living from this venture and within the shortest time possible, you will begin to reap its benefit.