How To Start Organic Farming In Nigeria: Beginners Guide
Organic farming has been tipped by many experts to be the future of agriculture all over the world. To define organic farming in simple terms, it simply means the concept of not making use of artificial fertilizer, pesticides, and other artificial treatment in growing your crops. For you to succeed in organic farming in Nigeria, it requires your resilience and dedication.
Organic agriculture is fast becoming a trend because the process involves the production of arable crops through sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. The major chief support of organic farming in Nigeria is the use of organic fertilizers. These organic fertilizers, when compared to the synthetic ones, are better in increasing crop yield and a healthier way of improving soil fertility.
Let us give a more broad definition to organic farming practices. To better define organic farming, we will say that it is the process of naturally producing food crops and rearing of farm animals without any harm to the natural environment. The natural environment comprises human beings, animals, plants, and microorganisms.
In this article, the main objective is to inform you about organic farming practices and how it can be of great benefit and advantage to you. This article provides you with detailed information about the following:
- Advantages of organic farming in Nigeria
- Challenges of organic agriculture in Nigeria
- Organic farming in Nigeria
- Types of organic farming practices
- Benefits of organic farming, and
- How to start an organic farm in Nigeria
Now that you have a better understanding of what organic farming is all about, let us now proceed to know its advantages. Before you venture into organic farming practices, it is quite imperative that you know the many advantages of organic farming.
Advantages Of Organic Farming In Nigeria
These advantages include:
- Organic farming improves soil structure and increases its fertility.
- Because it is environmentally friendly, organic farming in Nigeria prevents the pollution of streams, rivers, and other water bodies.
- In the long run, it will have a great benefit to humans and animals.
- Organic farming allows you to recycle and reuse local resources.
- It will also interest you to know that organic farming helps you to produce highly nutritious food crops.
- Organic agricultural practices also allow you to control pests, weeds, and diseases without making use of chemical methods.
- Even though it is a modern method of farming, organic farming is very cheap to venture into in Nigeria.
- It is highly profitable to farmers both at local and international levels.
You may be asking; how do I start organic farming in Nigeria? The next stop will tell you how you can start organic farming in Nigeria.
How To Start Your Own Organic Farm In Nigeria
On how to start an organic farm, it will amaze as to how easy it can be once you have the required and needed information to guide. You may not be a beginner in the business of agriculture. Even if you are a beginner or you have been a farmer for some time and want to move into organic farming, this information that will be provided will definitely guide you.
Below are the guidelines on how you can start an organic farm:
When it comes to preparing your land for organic farming, there is a need for you to improve the fertility and structure of the soil by adding compost or organic manure like livestock or poultry droppings. It is recommended that you get your organic manure from livestock or poultry birds that have been organically reared.
You should not use manure from animals that eat meat like dogs, cats, etc. During the process of preparing your land for organic farming, composting is a very essential component. In preparing your compost, you will need leaves and food waste, animal and human wastes.
You will allow the above-mentioned materials to decay over a period of a few weeks. After the compost has decayed, you will then plow them into the soil before planting your plants or crops. You can as well add them into the soil during the planting process to improve crop growth and yield.
Planting Your Seeds
Now that you are done with land preparation for your organic farming in Nigeria, the next step is the planting of seeds on your prepared farmland. There are two methods by which you can plant seeds on your farm. You either plant the seeds directly on your farmland or you transplant the seedlings from a nursery.
It is recommended that you plant the seeds on raised beds and you should also make use of good quality seeds when planting. You must also buy your seeds from farms that engage in organic farming practices in Nigeria. Make sure that the whole farming process is organically carried out.
You attract beneficial insects when you plan different crops, especially vegetables on your farm. It is recommended that you engage in intercropping as it has been found to increase soil nutrients. You should water the crops in the morning period because if you water them in the evening, the dampness of the soil may expose your crops to fungal diseases.
For your organic farm, you should make use of drip irrigation as a means of watering your plants on the farm.
Challenges Of Organic Agriculture In Nigeria
In order to be successful in organic farming in Nigeria, you need to identify these challenges of organic agriculture in Nigeria and how to tackle them properly. When it comes to the planting of crops, you should know that weeds are a major problem. As an organic farmer, you need to practice mulching to reduce the growth of weeds in your organic farm.
You make use mulching during the planting stages of the seeds. It more preferable that you make use of organic mulch. Making use of crop rotation that includes cover crops in your organic farm will help control the growth of weeds.
Another challenge that you need to surmount in the course of engaging in organic farming in Nigeria is the issue of pest attack. There are natural ways that you can use to combat pests in your organic farm. The use of natural predators like birds, toads, and frogs can be beneficial in tackling pests in your organic farm in Nigeria.
You can also make use of the bacterium Bacillus thurigiensis as they are known to hinder the digestion of leaf eaters and caterpillars. By making use of crop rotation which is a very important component of organic agricultural practices, you will disrupt the reproductive cycles of these pests in your organic farm.
There are pesticides of natural origin that you can also use to combat pests in your organic farm. These natural pesticides include nicotine sulfate and strychnine. The above-mentioned methods will greatly help you in tackling the challenges of organic agriculture in Nigeria.
You can also rear livestock using organic practices. You can carry out both crop and livestock farming organically. Here, the livestock supplies the crops with organic manure while the pasture from your crop farm can serve as animal feed. In organic agricultural practices, you are not to use drugs or growth stimulants (chemicals) on your livestock. This does not imply that you should not use drugs to treat your animals when they are sick.
Whether you are rearing livestock, planting grains, or tubers, always make sure that your farm products are organic by following the organic farming practices that have been explained in this article.
Contact us at Entrepreneur Nigeria on +2347037281050 for your well-detailed business plan on any business niche of your choice. We make your business plan available just within 2 weeks of your order.
For your contributions and questions regarding starting organic farming in Nigeria, kindly make use of the comment box provided below.