Beans is one of the staple foods in Nigeria and other many other countries in West Africa. It is one of the most consumed foodstuffs after other favourites like Rice and Cassava. Unfortunately, in spite of the massive consumption and demand for beans in the country, a significant proportion of the beans consumed in Nigeria are imported from neighbouring countries. This means the generation of revenue and employment for neighbouring countries in spite of the fact that our Nigerian soil is highly favourable for beans farming.
The question now is why are many entrepreneurs, farmers and unemployed youths not going into the available market for beans in spite of the huge demand for its consumption?
Research has shown that lands located in the South East region and South West region of Nigeria are highly suitable for beans farming. This article provides information on how to go into beans business in Nigeria; from the farm to the market. Read on below:
Steps to take when starting a Beans Business in Nigeria
Obtain a Suitable Farm Land
When looking for farmland for beans farming in Nigeria, ensure that you select a location with suitable climate for optimum growth and performance. Factors to consider include the amount of rainfall in the place. Beans are known for not growing so well in areas with excess rainfall. Select an area with moderate but well-distributed rainfall. Bear in mind also that you need dry weather during the harvest of beans crop. The climbing type of beans tends to yield well in areas with high rainfall while the dwarf type of beans yields more with high soil moisture levels.
The suitable soil type for beans farming in Nigeria ranges from light to moderately heavy. The soil should also have much organic matter. This would allow for neutral pH and good drainage. Common beans are also sensitive to salt; therefore, you must avoid salty areas.
There are different farming equipments you will need for beans farming. It all depends on the size of the land and the capital you have at your disposal. If you are looking to farm beans on a large scale, that is commercial farming, it has to be mechanized. You will need equipments such as tractors (mini or walking), wheelbarrows, spraying machines, cutlass, etc. The use of tractors helps reduce labour and time spent. For example, a tractor can plough a hectare of land in no less than five hours. If you are thinking of mechanized bean farming, it is advisable to buy these tools. Prices of the mini or walking tractor vary from about 2 million to 800, 000 respectively. However, if you are starting beans farming on a small scale, you can always pay for manual labourers to ease the work.
Select the Right Seeds
The varieties of beans suitable for the Nigerian soil and climate are The White Beans and The Red Beans. Make sure you select the best variety so as to enable you to have a good harvest. Ensure you manually select the seeds too. Manually selecting the seeds is so you will be sure to plant only the best and most healthy seeds. The planting seeds come in various sizes such as 1kg, 5kg and 10kg.
Beans can either be planted in rows or blocks, with a space of 6 inches between each seed. Each bean seed is to be planted 2 inches deep into the soil and after which you cover it with the soft surface soil. If possible, make sure the eyes of the seed faces the ground. Under favourable environmental conditions, the bean seed should begin to sprout within six days of planting and then grow into a good sprout within two weeks.
Beans grow well in normal soil and most times, do not need the boost of fertilizer. You should only add fertilizers when the levels of soil fertility are low. The most suitable fertilizers for beans are those that are highly rich in nitrogen.
When applying high nitrogen fertilizer, you need to apply it moderately to achieve high yield. It is also advisable you use manure such as animal droppings from cattle, poultry and goats.
Weeding is very essential to the growth of beans. Weed properly and not harshly in order to avoid disturbing the roots of the beans.
Although a substantial quantity of beans found in the Nigerian markets is gotten from the northern regions of Nigeria, beans can be grown in any part of the country.
The return on investment on beans farming in Nigeria is now even more profitable especially with the introduction of mechanized farming by Nigerian farmers.
Below are expenses that can be incurred when bean farming: These costs include:
Procuring beans seed
Lease of tractor
Finance is a major challenge for all Nigerian farmers including those who want to go into beans farming. The federal government, however, makes available many intervention funds. This is also made available through commercial banks in Nigeria. Through this, Nigerian farmers can now have access to funds for starting up or expanding farm business.
Availability of Market
Beans are available all year round in Nigeria. The demand for beans by Nigeria’s population grows even higher and does not look like it’s going to decrease anytime soon. Beans are sold in open Nigerian markets, food stores and malls. Beans are sold in big bags (for wholesale) and small cups (for retail)
Packaging and selling of beans
With the advent of shopping malls in Nigeria, beans are now available in small packs from 1kg to 5kg packets. You can get beans from a reliable farmer and then sell to Nigerian markets or stores. Whoever you choose to purchase beans from, make sure you lookout for the onset of weevil attack. You will notice this with the presence of small holes in beans seeds and dusty grains as it indicates that weevils are boring holes in the seeds.