Pineapple farming in Nigeria or pineapple plantation is another agro-investment opportunity that is worth considering. Pineapple can be sold for domestic consumption and for the production of fruit juices.
It is one those fruits that are highly demanded by Nigerians as part of their daily meals. When you are planning to go into pineapple farming, it is better to choose a good breed both in terms of taste and yield.
Some breed of pineapple taste sour even when on the outside it is very ripe but a particular breed known as queen pineapple taste delicious and sweet even when the back of the fruit are not even very yellowish.
That is one of the reasons why there is a ready market for this pineapple type.
Since your target is to be able to produce and sell, your best bet is to go for the nice breeds that are highly demanded in the Nigerian market.
Although pineapple farming is not a quick way to make money, they provide a sustainable means of making money for a period of up to ten years once they start fruiting if properly managed and maintained.
Apart from producing pineapple for local consumption and for the juice making industry in the country, pineapples can as well be exported outside the shores of Nigeria to make money. Pineapple is a cherished fruit all over the world as a result of natural thirst, nutritional values and health benefits.
Nigerian climatic condition and soil is favorable to the growth of pineapple. If you think you want to invest in pineapple farming for commercial purposes, we have provided below tips on how you can establish a successful pineapple farm.
How to establish a successful pineapple farm in Nigeria
Secure a suitable and fertile land
The size of the pineapple farm you want to establish will determine the size of the land you would need. You can either buy the plot of land or rent it.
Your choice of land determines to a great extent how successful your pineapple farm will be. You need to check the soil texture.
Pineapple thrives best on sandy soil with sufficient supply of nutrients, great water retention capacity and in a humid environment.
Prepare The Farmland
When you have secured a suitable land for the cultivation of pineapples, clear the land and remove all tree trumps from the farm area to make for easy cultivation. The next stage is to plough the land and prepare raised beds or ridges for planting of the pineapple suckers.
Your choice of land for pineapple farming must be a location with equitable distribution of rainfall especially during the early part of the rainy season.
Having equitable distribution at the early stage of the raining season is required for a good yield and a god tasting pineapple during the harvest period. During the period that the land is being prepared for planting, any possible insect attackers should be eliminated by overturning t5hem and exposing them to the harsh effects of the sun.
You can hire laborers to do manual ploughing for you or if you can hire a tractor in your area get one to help you plough the farm land to get it ready for planting.
Choose suitable specie of pineapple
A number of pineapple species that are suitable for commercial farming are: the Smooth pineapple also known as Smooth Leaf Cayenne pineapple; Pure Gold pineapple-this pineapple specie is newly developed and The Gold Crown pineapple specie.
Pineapple can be planted through two different ways. It can be planted by sucker of by the crown. Pineapple sucker is different from the crown.
The sucker is the outgrowth by the side of a pineapple and it takes about nine months for a sucker to grow while the crown takes roughly 12 months to develop.
Commercial Pineapple Farming
You can plant pineapple at your backyard but if you want to go into commercial pineapple farming, there are few things you need to take into consideration.
You must choice a suitable land and ensure that the soil condition is suitable for pineapple farming. Ensure that the soil is well drained and the topography of the land is not sloppy. If you have to plant on a sloppy land area, try to make your ridges across the slop to prevent the erosion of soil nutrient.
The soils must be well drained and loose to help the tender roots penetrate easily into the soil for easy access to available nutrients.
Ensure the suckers or crowns you use for planting are healthy and from a desirable specie to get a great yield. You also need to use a suitable spacing to ensure that the pineapple have enough nutrient to support its growth.
Proper spacing is also helpful especially when the wedding time comes. It as well makes for easy access and movement round the farm. A hectare of land should have roughly 50,000 plants.
Pineapple farming is a great way to invest in agro-business. It would yield fast money but it ensures steady and sustainable income for the farmer when the harvest time comes.
Source: OK Sprout