Guide On How To Start A Profitable Sorghum Farming Business In Nigeria
Sorghum farming is quite profitable because it presents lots of business opportunities. It can be profitable if you apply all the necessary guidelines. You can start a profitable sorghum farming business when you can implement the guidelines we will talk about below.
The truth is that Nigeria cultivates sorghum very well. Statistics show that Nigeria ranks as the world’s third largest producers of sorghum. The only countries ahead of Nigeria in sorghum production are U.S and India. That has got to mean something there.
According to Edom S, “Statistics have shown that over 5.5 million hectares of land in Nigeria is currently occupied with sorghum cultivation which accounts for the production of 2.7 to 2.8 million tonnes annually. Asides that, Nigeria’s sorghum output yielded about 35% overall as at 2007, and in West Africa, the country accounts for about 71% of the sorghum production output.”
When we tell you to start a profitable sorghum farming business in Nigeria, there are salient points that back up our claims. Despite the fact that the US tops the list of producers of sorghum, they only use it for the production of feeds for animals. Nigeria, on the other hand, uses theirs for many things, feed production inclusive. Well, we will talk about them when we discuss the opportunities in sorghum farming.
Generally, sorghum plants have low maintenance needs. By implication, arid and semi-arid temperatures are perfect for them. Many states in Nigeria, especially in the north, are perfect for its production.
Well, in this article, we will be looking at how you can start a profitable sorghum farming in Nigeria. More so, we will look at the various opportunities in the business.
Business Opportunities In Sorghum Farming
This is arguably the most important use of sorghum. Little wonder the US focus on this particular use. The fact that the grass of sorghum is rich in protein and contains good fat makes it a great feed most herbivorous animals. More so, the grains can also be processed into mash used by birds.
Therefore, the sale of these feed items mentioned above represents a huge business opportunity.
The production food from any source will always be a source of good business for the producers pending the level of production. Sorghum is not left out.
Sorghum can be processed into flour used for baking and can be used for other baking purposes. It can be sold as sorghum rice and the syrup in it can be extracted and sold as sweeteners.
This is another reason you should start a profitable sorghum farming business in Nigeria.
Sorghum is a maltose-rich crop. This ingredient is the primary ingredient breweries need to produce non-alcoholic drinks. You know drinks like the malt we drink and others.
It doesn’t stop there. It can also be used to produce beer powder and lager beer. What you need to do is to ferment the ingredient.
How To Start A Profitable Sorghum Farming Business In Nigeria
Research the business
When you want to start a profitable sorghum farming business in Nigeria, you will need to find out all you can about the business. You need to understand the low points and the high points and these will guide your farming of the product.
Choose a planting date
From you’re your studies above through all the means available to you, you will have to understand the time for planting. This means that you will need to choose a time to plant your sorghum crop.
Alright, let us help out as I believe this one of the means to find out all you need to know. Other than that, you may just be reading for knowledge.
The best time to plant your sorghum crops will be between September and mid-October. The reason for choosing these dates is that the soil will neither be too moist or too dry. That is the soil that best suits the crop.
Prepare your land
Away from the planting date, you will need a perfect farmland to actually grow the crop. It does not grow in all farm types. The temperature needed for the production of sorghum is 15°c.
More so, sorghum is alkaline tolerant. A soil with a PH level of 6.0 to 8.5 is perfect for its growth. The clay percentage of the soil should be as low as possible. The maximum should be between 10% and 30%.
When you need to start a profitable sorghum farming business, you will need to be very careful with planting. You will need to understand the intricacies involved in farming.
You will need to till the ground using either human labor or farm machinery such as disk plow or harrow. Of course, the machinery will always be better alternatives.
You will need to plant the right seeds if you want the yield to be high. There are various types of sorghum and in every type of sorghum, there are varieties too. There is always the potentials to have new seeds and each new hybrid is always better than the last.
There is absolutely no comparison between the new seeds and the native seeds. It is expected of you to carefully select the seeds that can adapt best to the climatic conditions of your area.
For sorghum crop, as it is with most crops, you will need to apply fertilizers before or during planting and reapply fertilizers weeks after planting. You can use NPK fertilizers or other appropriate fertilizers and you apply in moist soil. Irrigate before application if it is in dry soil.
You are expected to reapply fertilizers 5-7 weeks after initial planting so as to enable the crops to grow faster and bring greater yield.
Weed and pest control
To control the weed and pest in the sorghum farm which is necessary if you want to start a profitable sorghum farming business, you will need to use pesticides and insecticides for pests and use herbicides for the weed. Many herbicides and pesticides are in the market. Just pick anyone that suits your purpose and apply using knapsack sprayer or other sprayers.
When your crop is ripe, then the next thing is to harvest. You can harvest your sweet sorghum 13-18 days after milking. You will find out by piercing the grain to check for milk-like liquid. This is for sweet sorghum. You just need to cut off the canes from the bottom, take out leaves and keep the canes aside.
For the grain and forage sorghum, you have to leave a little longer until the grain becomes mature.
You can manually or mechanically harvest. You can use harvesters for large farms and you can simply use sugarcane harvesters.
Bearing in mind that this is not subsistence farming, you will have to understand that the end product will be marketing. You are producing to make money and that is why it is referred to as a farming business. Sorghum is quite lucrative because each kilogram sells for 120 to 250 naira in Nigeria. you could earn a lot if you have this product.