How To Start Date Palm Farming Business In Nigeria: Your Simple Guide
Date palm farming in Nigeria is a great agribusiness opportunity with the potential to earn you millions of naira in revenue. The date palm is believed to have been introduced into Nigeria by Arab traders in the early 8th century. You can see that the history of date palm in Nigeria is not what just started today. Date palm farming is better carried out in the arid region of Northern Nigeria. You need to know that date palm farming is now very profitable and lucrative in Nigeria.
The reason for this is that many homes have come to see the date fruit as an alternative to sugar and honey. In the northern parts of Nigeria where date palm is cultivated, it is called dabino. Dates are mostly grown for their nutritious value and also as a great source of sugar. The date palm farming business is not what you should ignore at this point in time in Nigeria.
Date fruit contains large amount of calcium, iron, nicotine acid, as well as potassium. In Nigeria, most people consume dates in firm of snacks. Globally, Iran is the major producer and exporter of dates. Starting your date farming business in Nigeria requires good knowledge of the production practices of date palm.
Where Is Date Palm Grown In Nigeria?
Date palm farming is carried out in the Northern region of Nigeria from latitude 100 N in the Sudan savannah and the Sahel regions. It will interest you to know that dates production is carried out in the northern Nigerian states. The northern states include, Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Jigawa, kebbi, Yobe, Borno,Gombe, Adamawa, and Bauchi. Dates farms in Nigeria are found majorly in the above listed states.
You will find the date palms growing zone in Nigeria within the North West and the North East. The North Central is the marginal date palm producing zone in Nigeria. Within the North Central, you will only have a single harvesting season unlike what you get in the core Northern states. In the Southern states, the date palm can only grow vegetative but cannot bear fruits.
So, when planning on how to start your date palm farming in Nigeria, you need to consider any of the aforementioned states. Although the date palm is of the same family with oil palm that grows very well in the South, they very different when it comes to weather requirements. You should not make the mistake of starting your date palm farming in southern Nigeria.
It will also interest you to know that Nigeria is the only country in the world with two harvesting seasons. This means that the date palm trees have two cycles in Nigeria and only one in every other producing country in the world. You should also know that the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) have produced different varieties of seedlings for better yield.
Where To Buy Dates In Nigeria In A Large Quantity
If you are concerned about where to buy dates in Nigeria, you can get it from the major malls within Nigeria. You can also go directly to the farmers so as to buy your dates fresh and of god quality as well. So, for large quantity of dates, you can buy them in Jigawa, Gombe, Kebbi, Bauchi, etc.
Why Date Palm Farming In Nigeria
You may be asking why you should invest your money in date palm farming business in Nigeria. Well, the answer is simple; you will be making lots of profits from this highly lucrative economic crop in Nigeria. You need to know that despite the double harvesting season in Nigeria, we produce less than 20% of what is consumed in the country.
This means that more than 80% of the total date palm fruit consumed in Nigeria is imported. So, you can see that there is a huge business opportunity in date palm farming business in Nigeria. According to Hamza Abdulhameed Mohammed, the officer in charge of the date palm research institution in Dutse, Jigawa state, he said they have come up with variety of seedlings that are capable of making Nigeria the leading country in date palm production in the world.
This is the more reason why you need to tap into this date palm farming business at this point in time. You will be better placed to enjoy the forthcoming improved seedlings for your date farming business in Nigeria. Your profits will be so huge since the market is big in Nigeria.
Requirements for Starting your Date Palm Farming in Nigeria
For your dates production in Nigeria to be successful, there are certain things you need to put in place. Date palm farming business requires good background knowledge of the business. This article provides you with the right information to succeed in your dates production in Nigeria. Below are the major requirements for successful date palm farming in Nigeria.
Well detailed business plan
You are not advised to venture into date palm farming business in Nigeria without a good business plan. So, before starting your dates production in Nigeria, make sure you have your business plan handy. Your business plan will serve as a guide in the course of your date palm farming business.
It is while you are drafting your business plan that you will get to know where to sell dates in Nigeria, where to buy dates in Nigeria, date palms growing zone in Nigeria, etc. Your business plan will help you to know more about date palm farming business.
Aside from being your guide, the business plan will also assist you in seeking for loan to start your date palm farming business. You need to understand that your date palm farming business plan is very indispensable for the success of your business.
Land selection and preparation
You should prepare the land within the dry season; say two months before the rain starts. It is very important that you plough the soil well enough to ensure that it is loosened enough. Although date palm grows in a wide variety of soil, the soil type is sandy loam soil that is rich in organic matter. You need to ensure that you select a land from the North East or North West for double harvest in one year.
It is very much acceptable for you to start your date palm farming business in the North Central. The only disadvantage is that you will only harvest once in a year.
Date planting/seed propagation
You should know that date palms are either male or female; hence you will need the two for your plant to bear fruit. Because you need a male and female tree it will be very risky for you to start your farming from the seeds. This is because it will take years before you can know the gender of the trees.
It will be better for you to purchase seedlings in the form of cuttings from existing palm as they are properly labeled based on their gender. Date palms are pollinated by wind and not insects or birds, so to ensure pollination you will have to carry out hand pollination.
During the early period of the year, the male date palms will produce sheaths of pollen. You will have to collect the pollen and spread it over the female flowers once the female flowers start blooming. On one hectare of land, you can plant as many as 150 dates and you can divide them into 5 males and 145 females.
Manure application and irrigation
You can make use of organic or inorganic fertilizer for your date palm farming business in Nigeria. The manure application, you should do it during the pre-planting, when the dates are growing, during fruition, and at the ripening stage.
Although date trees do not require too much water, you need to water your date palms during the developing stage for two years. This will help your date plants to bring forth fruit in due season.
Pest and disease control in Date Palm Farming Business
Diseases such as Parlatoria date scale and Coconut rhinoceros beetle is caused by insects while Diplodia is caused by a fungus. You can apply insecticides to control the insects while you make use of Bordeaux mixture for the fungus attack.
Harvest and storage
For the traditional date palms, they reach maturation and harvest time between 6-7 years while hybrid seedlings take up to 4-5 years. You can harvest many times within the season since dates don’t ripe at the time.
Your dates can be stored for as long as a year or beyond, provided you have an effective storage system. Without an effective storage system, your dates can be infested by pests. The best way to store your dates after harvest is to leave them on the bunch of layers of wood-supported mesh wire in a well ventilated room or store.
Marketing your harvested dates
You are advised to seek out buyers before your dates palm reaches the time of harvest. The local stores, malls, commercial and local fruit drink manufacturing industries are good place for you to start. With a very good marketing strategy, you are sure to make good money from date palm farming in Nigeria.
For you well-detailed business plan on date palm farming in Nigeria or any other business niche, contact us on +2347037281050. Your business plan will be ready within 2 weeks of your order.
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