Pineapple farming : untapped goldmine in Nigeria.
Pineapple farming in Nigeria is the current money spinner, but undoubtedly an untapped goldmine. This sweet fruit also referred to as “bananas cosmosus” is actually as sweet as the profit that it generates for any entrepreneur that invests in this agribusiness goldmine.
Pineapple can be sold for domestic consumption and for the production of fruit juices. However, aside producing pineapples for local consumption and for the juice making industry in the country, exporting of pineapples outside the shores of Nigeria is as well a good business.
To be noted that some specie of pineapple taste sour even when it is fully ripe but a particular breed known as queen pineapple tastes delicious and sweet even when the fruit is not fully ripe. Thus, when planning to embark on pineapple farming, you should endeavor to choose a specie that tastes good and as well yields optimally.
How profitable is pineapple farming in Nigeria
Undoubtedly, pineapple has a worldwide appeal and is well known for its enormous nutritional and health benefits. Thus, thousands of fruit juices are produced with pineapple and the producers of these fruit juices are always on the look out for pineapple farms where they could source their raw materials.
A quick survey in the local market around you as to the price of pineapple will clearly reveal to you that pineapple is an edible gold and pineapple farming in Nigeria is worth the chase.
The major focus of this post is on the cultivation of pineapple and the viability of this agribusiness venture. But before we dive right into the processes involved in pineapple farming in Nigeria and how to make the most out of this venture, it is thus worthy of mention that the Nigerian soil and weather conditions are generally suitable for pineapple farming.
Pineapple season in Nigeria
Although pineapple can tolerate cold temperatures for a short period during nights, its growth unarguably gets stunted and the fruits become acidic when it is exposed to lower temperature for a longer time.
Thus, while preparing the soil for planting, it is recommended that you plant the pineapple in a temperature ranging from 65°F – 95°F.
This is so because pineapples need a mild and relatively same temperature all throughout the year and perform optimally on an elevated, particularly dry soil.
Improved varieties of pineapple can bear fruits within 12 to 16 months, depending especially on the variety in question and the environmental condition.
During harvest, you would notice that dry season fruits of pineapple mature early when compared to the rainy season ones. To know whether the dry season pineapple fruits are ready for harvest, check if the pineapple’s ‘eye’ has turned pale green. On the other hand, pineapples are considered ready for harvest in the rainy season when the fruits turn light yellow at the base.
Notably, pineapple farms yield best products from July to August. Pineapples harvested between December and January are known as ‘Heiron’.
How To Start Pineapple Farming In Nigeria
1) Choose A Good Farmland – Making a good selection of the farmland to cultivate pineapple is the right step to getting started. Though it has been noted that the Nigerian soil is suitable for pineapple farming, it is recommended that you still check the soil textures because pineapple perform optimally on sandy soils with ample nutrients, good water retention qualities, coupled with humid conditions of the farmland in question.
2) Prepare the Farmland – The chosen farmland should be cleared of stumps and then prepared by properly ploughing or raising some beds for the actual planting.
You can either plough the farmland manually by engaging the services of laborers or mechanically with a tractor but it is not the best practise to plant on a flat ground.
While preparing the pineapple farmland, you should also bear in mind that the crop requires a place with evenly distributed rainfall especially during the early periods of planting. This is very essential as it eventually helps to get ample yields as well as sweet produce at the end of the day.
3) Choose the Desired Pineapple Specie – You can go ahead and source for the desired pineapple specie that you want to cultivate after the farmland preparation.
Some of the most notable and desirable species suitable for commercial pineapple farming includes ; the smooth (smooth leaf cayenne) pineapple, the gold brown or the newly developed “pure gold pineapple specie”.
It is worthy of note that there are two basic ways of planting pineapple. Thus, you can either plant the sucker or the crown, this also goes to show that the sucker is not the same as the crown.
The sucker is actually the shoot-out by the side of a pineapple. It usually takes lesser time to grow of about nine (9) months as against the crown which takes up to a year and two months. More so, sourcing for the sucker is way easier than getting the crown.
4) Commercial Pineapple Farming – If you intend to embark on large scale pineapple farming, which is actually what we’re recommending then there are certain things to put in place before planting. As earlier noted, choosing a suitable soil that is well drained is very paramount. If the farmland is sloppy, then making ridges to guide against erosion is advised.
More so, ensure that the soil is not only well drained but as well soft to enable the roots of the crops have easy access to the ground inorder to obtain the requisite nutrients from the soil.
Also, endeavor to pay closer attention to the parts of the pineapples to be planted because it really goes a long in determining the time span it would take your crops to eventually germinate. As such, most of the ones to be cultivated should be gotten about 6 – 8 weeks after harvesting and then, have them exposed go the sun for about a week, this practice helps to kill off some likely parasites that may end up attacking then when eventually planted.
How many pineapples per acre
In pineapple farming in Nigeria, adequate spacing is advised inorder to ensure proper growth since it affords them much room to absorb just enough nutrients required for their yield and ultimate performance.
Additionally, good spacing assists in weeding and inspection of the plants to make sure that it is free from attack of pests and insects. A hectare of land should contain about 50,000 plants.
Pineapple farming in Nigeria is not a quick way of money making but is unarguably, a sure path to creating a sustainable stream of income over time. Pineapple farming is a great way to invest in agro-business. Thus, if managed properly as a business, pineapple farming has the potential of helping entrepreneurs attain financial stability in a short while.