How to Start Rice Farming in Nigeria is aimed at bringing to your perusal the procedures involved in starting rice farming from beginning to end.
- Land Preparation for rice farming
- Choose the Best Seed Variety for your rice farming
- Plant Seeds in Nursery Bed
- Fertilizer Application
- Weeding to ensure a healthy rice farming
Rice is a common cereal widely consumed across the globe. Rice varies in species (long grain and short grain). They originate from the grass species Oryza sativa (Asian rice) and Oryza glaberrima (African rice).
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Rice farming is best in areas with high rainfall and swamp. Rice is prepared into delicious delicacies such as jollof rice, fried rice, coconut rice, tuwo shinkafa, rice flour fufu, and lots more.
The demand for rice is extremely high owing to its high nutritional content and health benefit it proffers to the human body. Rice is a very rich source of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, vitamins, copper, manganese, etc.
It helps in the prevention of constipation, control of blood pressure, protection against cancerous growth, control of disease occurrence, and lots more.
Ever considered venturing into Rice Farming in Nigeria?
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1. Land Preparation for rice farming
Acquire a land situated in a swampy environment. Divide land into Nursery bed and Main Field. The main field should be waterlogged. Ensure soil pH level is not acidic.
Soil types should be fertile loamy and have good water retention capacity. Get the land prepared by clearing all debris and grasses.
Prepare Nursery Bed, plow, and till soil surface for transplanting of your rice seedlings to the main field.
Add compost manure to the soil to boost its fertility. Also, treat soil with insecticide and fungicide to curb pests and diseases that attack your rice plant. Level land after tilling to establish seedlings more easily.
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2. Choose the Best Seed Variety for your rice farming
High-yield rice production requires a manual selection of seeds. Failure to select seeds by local farmers has resulted in low farm yields in recent times.
Healthy seeds, produce healthy yields. This is why it is very essential to go for the best seed variety that suits your environment.
Good seeds are resistant to pests and diseases attack, viable, produce uniform plant stand, are prolific, and exhibit more vigorous early plant growth.
Proficient seeds could be gotten from agricultural organizations, such as the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), etc.
3. Plant Seeds in Nursery Bed
Sow seeds on seedbed and sprinkle with water 2times a day for 5days. Cover soil surface with banana leaves to help conserve soil moisture. After two to three weeks, your seedlings will be ready for transplant.
Research has proven that transplanted rice matures faster compared to non-transplanted ones. This is why it is very essential to go through this stage.
Transplanting should be carried out the same day seedlings are uprooted from the nursery bed.
Transfer seedlings to the main field you have prepared. Solarize the soil i.e. cover the soil with a transparent polythene sheet to help conserve soil temperature and repel soil-borne diseases.
This is because many soil-borne pathogens and nematodes attack transplanted rice. Solarization helps increases rice yield by about 36%. Therefore, never fail to solarize your rice farm.
5. Fertilizer Application
Fertilizer is essential to boost your rice plant growth. Please note that each growth stage of the rice plants requires special nutrients.
This is why it is essential to have your soil tested by specialists before fertilizer is applied. Organic fertilizer is often used but in different proportions in each stage of rice growth.
Therefore, it is advisable to spray fertilizer as recommended by specialists in the right proportion.
6. Weeding to ensure a healthy rice farming
After about 5-6weeks of transplanting, removal of unwanted grasses should be carried out on your rice farm. This is done to curb unhealthy competition for space, water, and other nutrients with your rice plant.
Weeding could be done mechanically or chemically by spraying herbicides. Some farmers tend to weed twice before harvesting.
Depending on the variety, Rice often gets ready for harvest within 16-17 weeks of cultivation. When rice is ready for harvest, its color changes from green to light brown.
Harvesting involves cutting, stacking, handling, threshing, cleaning, and hauling. Good harvest methods help maximize grain yield and prevent grain deterioration.
Harvesting is carried out manually by cutting the rice crop with sickles/knives or mechanically by using reapers and harvesters. During this process, rice grains are separated from the husks, cleaned, and dried.
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The demand for rice is extremely high in the market. Therefore, after all, harvesting processes put rice in sack bags, and locate the nearest market/potential buyers to sell your produce.
We hope this was helpful!