How to Start Pepper Farming in Nigeria is aimed at bringing to your perusal the procedures involved in starting pepper farming from beginning to end.
- Land preparation for pepper farming
- Seed Selection and Hardening for pepper farming
- Plant Seeds in Nursery Bed for a proper pepper farming
- Weed Control and Mulching ensures a healthy pepper farming
Pepper is a vegetable that is widely consumed in Nigeria, and globally. Its significance to human health cannot be overemphasized.
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Pepper has various species but Trinidad Scorpion and Bell Pepper are most suitable for cultivation in Nigeria.
Pepper is a very rich source of vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, folate, and lots more.
Eating pepper helps improve eyesight, prevents anemia, prevents cancerous growth, burns body calories, and performs other functions in the human body.
Pepper demands well-drained fertile loamy soil, sunlight, and consistent water for optimal growth. Therefore, can be planted anywhere in the country.
In Nigeria, a large sum of pepper consumed is from the North, where the Irrigation system is being adapted to supply water to pepper plants consistently.
Pepper Farming is an extremely lucrative business because pepper is a cogent recipe for most cooked meals.
It is added to rice, beans, yam, stew, soup, and so many others. Growing pepper is more rewarding than you could ever imagine.
Ever considered venturing into this business?
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How to Start Pepper Farming in Nigeria:
1. Land preparation for pepper farming
Purchase or lease a land preferably with fertile loamy soil. Ensure your land is located in a sunny environment (avoid shades that could hinder sunlight rays).
Divide land into Nursery Bed and Main Field. Prepare the ground by clearing grasses and loosening the soil with hand trowels and hoes. Also, soil pH should be within the range of 6-7. Add compost manure to boost soil fertility.
Avoid using nitrogen-concentrated fertilizer on your farmland as this could make your crop more susceptible to pests and diseases. Treat soil with insecticides and fungicides to prevent pests and diseases attack on your crop.
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2. Seed Selection and Hardening for pepper farming
As earlier stated, pepper varies in species. They include; freshno chilies, cascabel, poblano, Trinidad scorpion, bell pepper, cayenne, and lots more.
Of all these species, Trinidad scorpion and bell pepper are most suitable for cultivation in Nigeria. They are mostly found across Nigeria. Before planting your pepper seeds, harden them by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions.
This process is aimed at making seeds adaptive to nature (environment), thereby increasing their productivity. In the daytime, set seeds in a sheltered environment outdoors for about 7 days.
3. Plant Seeds in Nursery Bed for a proper pepper farming
Spread your pepper seeds on the soil. Soil should be covered with dry grasses to prevent soil loss of moisture and seeds from being eaten by birds.
Pepper loves warmth. Therefore, should be planted in mid-day when the soil is quite warm to reduce seed tension.
Transplanting is carried out at about 6 weeks of seed growth on nursery beds. At this point, you transfer seedlings to the main field you have prepared.
Transplanting of pepper seedlings should be done the same day they are uprooted from the nursery bed to prevent dehydration.
Pepper seedlings are very fragile and tender. Therefore, should be handled with care. Open the soil with a small knife or cutlass, insert the seedling about 2 inches deep into the hole and cover with soil.
Ensure a proper spacing of about 15 to 20 inches apart. Stake taller pepper seedlings to avoid stems breaking, due to strong winds or heavy fruit load.
Water your pepper plant consistently, at least weekly. During extreme heat and drought, water them more to ensure healthy pepper farming and boost growth. Also, add compost to boost pepper growth.
5. Weed Control and Mulching ensures a healthy pepper farming
Weeding is carried out after 8 weeks of transplant. It is essential to weed in order to prevent unhealthy competition of unwanted grasses with pepper plants for soil nutrients, space, water, and lots more.
Mulching (covering of topsoil) should be carried out when the soil is warm. It will help reduce weed growth, conserve soil nutrients, and keep the soil warm for optimal growth of pepper.
Pepper is harvested maturely and immaturely. However, mature pepper has a better taste and flavor compared to immature ones. To harvest the peppers, do not pull them off by hand. Cut them off with hand pruners and store them in a basket.
Pepper is widely consumed in Nigeria. Therefore, locating buyers isn’t a challenge. Pepper is a perishable product.
This is why, it is advisable to look for potential buyers/markets before harvesting, so as not to run into a loss or reduce the quality of your product owing to late patronage.
We hope this was helpful!