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Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 1:49am On Mar 28, 2018
PREREQUISTES TO MICRO-SCALE AGRICULTURAL BUSINESS

1.1 Introduction

1.2 The Alpha and the Omega, Business is Business

1.3 Farming for retirees
1.31 KEY: Crop Farming with Drip, Mulch and Fertigation
1.311 Drip Irrigation
1.312 Mulch
1.3121 Mulch, Net, Covers and Optics (Physics)
1.313 Fertigation
1.32 NUGGET: High yield cucumber Farm - 18 cukes per vine
1.33 CASE STUDY: VETRA, A Failed Vegetable Farm

1.4 Cooperative Societies, and Small Groups

1.5 Conclusion
- - - - End - - - -

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PROJECT: 20 ha Veggie Farm

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Veggie site: River side Vs Not River nearby



FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Can one plot of land be used for cultivating vegetables, especially cucumber? Could you give a summary of the cost and possible yield?

2. I do not want to cultivate cucumber, but my interest is in tomato. What advice can you give me to do it right? When should I cultivate it?

3. Can I cultivate one plot of tomato and make a reasonable profit?

4. I do not want to work too hard. I believe green leaves and root crops might be easier. What are my chances of making quick profit with them?

5. I do not have enough time to monitor my farm, can I still cultivate vegetables? If not, what can I do?

6. Many newbies fail daily, even more often we hear that farmers with experience fail from time to time. Is Agriculture really profitable?

7. The first casualty when setting a farm is mulch. Why can't we just cut it out?

8. Why can't we eradicate drip?

9. The truth is that most of us cannot afford N1,000,000 to open a farm. What should we do? How can we start with N100,000 to N200,000?

10. Can I use government land with irrigation system? We are forming a group at a River Basin. Do you advise me to take it?

11. Could you assist youths without a good source of income to raise the required start up cost for just 1 plot of land?

12. What kind of cucumber/tomato/pepper/watermelon variety should I cultivate?

13. Our forefathers depend on only rain; yet, they do not lack food. Why can't we use rain? Or how can we use rain?

14. Half of my cucumber, watermelon, and okra seeds did not germinate well, and they were not attacked by insects. What could have happened?

My Other Thread(s):
Solid Mineral in Nigeria (Guidelines On Exploring, Mining, & Exporting Gold)
Learn about exploring, exploiting, and export solid minerals.



DISCLAIMER: Please, follow my suggestions at your own risk. I am not liable for any damage or loss as a result of using any of my techniques. The truth is you may use them wrongly.
- - - - - - - - - - - -

For more inquiry
1. Download and install Telegram on your android or apple device.
2. Open your web browser and click on https:///fluentinfor
3. Someone will attend to you.

Best of luck!

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Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 1:53am On Mar 28, 2018
1.1 Introduction :

Agriculture is a big business. There are various aspects of the business and various set up levels - micro to commercial scales. One big lesson I have learned is that food and water are necessities for human survival; therefore, they are not luxuries. However, it beats my imagination why food is scarce and not available in many parts of Africa. Selling food is a great way to improve wealth. So, why have we failed in this area as a nation?

Why do we need to stop a working system? I still do not understand why the template released by Chief Obafemi Awolowo was destroyed. Who destroyed the working system? Why was it destroyed? Should we return to these systems again, and use recent technology to fine- tune them? Is it possible? Or are Awolowo's systems failed ones which were total waste of resources too?

There are other systems. Obasanjo's Operation Feed the Nation is worth looking into. What went wrong? Also, did Babangida's Structural Adjustment Program have a good plan for food production?

Maybe Nigerians do not understand the state of their land. Do Nigerians feel they are OK and need no help? I am of the opinion that not until one realises s(he) needs help and desires to deliver himself/herself from himself/herself that he can realise the true state s(he) is.

My character is a seed just like the seeds I sow on my farms. We sow and reap exactly the kind of our seeds. What are our thoughts? What do we put in our kids? Do we really think we are on the way to success?

These series of threads which will bring out issues and questions will be in form of discussion. The approach is to bring out answers from contributors to our challenges. Let the Big 4 and Management Consulting firm staff in the Business Strategy units come in here and drop scenarios and comments which will move Nigeria Forward. Let the ordinary farmer in the village drop comments in the way s(he) understands because we need to move this nation forward.

These series will cover both practical and theorical aspects. I predict that they will provide solutions to many challenges and the right policies government should adopt will be recommended. How will this be achieved? If you read this thread and you find it interesting, kindly drop comments. My way of thought and reasoning only cannot do it, but I count on yours. When you disagree with some of my thoughts and you are able to drive home your point, we are heading somewhere. When you can add to some of my thoughts, the end of the tunnel looks brighter.

In this first series, we will discuss the right mind set to doing micro - scale farming. Is farming meant for retirees? Is Agriculture a part time business? Should I just jump into farming because everyone is trying to do it? "When I retire from my civil service job, I plan going into Agriculture to make money", can you really do it? The objectives of this part is to highlight and discuss pre- requisites to succesful micro- scale farming in Nigeria.

Let us travel this journey together.

3 Likes

Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by babniyen(m): 4:23am On Mar 28, 2018
Following very closely. Thanks for this....
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Pavore9: 6:41am On Mar 28, 2018
Nice one.....following.
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by jomolu: 6:52am On Mar 28, 2018
Nice one,lets start now.
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Hallams(m): 7:56am On Mar 28, 2018
Following
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Farouq94(m): 12:24pm On Mar 28, 2018
@fluentinfor the thread on quelea birds and your contribution actually compelled me to swtich from a Guest user of Nairaland to a fully pledged member. What a wealth of knowledge you are Sir! Thank you for sharing and inspiring youngsters like me that there is still hope for this sector. My first farming experience was horrible (story for another day), so I am gearing up for a pilot farm in the coming months and you're already my mentor (in my head grin). I have already learnt an unbelievable amount just from reading your comments and approach to issues.

Once again, thank you very much for your selflessness and effort to change the narrative. I am very excited and can't wait to read up on these topics.

1 Like

Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 1:21pm On Mar 28, 2018
Farouq94:
@fluentinfor the thread on quelea birds and your contribution actually compelled me to swtich from a Guest user of Nairaland to a fully pledged member. What a wealth of knowledge you are Sir! Thank you for sharing and inspiring youngsters like me that there is still hope for this sector. My first farming experience was horrible (story for another day), so I am gearing up for a pilot farm in the coming months and you're already my mentor (in my head grin). I have already learnt an unbelievable amount just from reading your comments and approach to issues.

Once again, thank you very much for your selflessness and effort to change the narrative. I am very excited and can't wait to read up on these topics.

I appreciate your kind words.

Yes, there is hope for Agriculture in Nigeria. You rushed in and rushed out like 99.999% farmers. They turned farmers overnight by listening to agro-chemical sellers and seed sellers. grin

I just keep asking myself. They spent 30 years doing full time job and they think it is farming they will do after retirement. But they never even think for a minute that the same way biology is prerequisite to medicine, is the same way agricultural science is prerequisite to farming. The energy they use in jumping into farming unprepared is equal to the force they always crash.Why don't they jump into becoming doctors and nurses after retirement? Nigerians have no respect for the Agricultural profession.

And most that even seek experts' opinion want to control the expert. They want to shape the expert. So, why can't they just do it themselves. Well, most just want to rush into it. Personally, I will NEVER again set up farm for an individual. Also, I will NEVER consult for individuals. NEVER.

Blessed are those who will actively participate to make this thread a success. Most will not even read it because they are looking for "rank xerox" approach.

If you do not want to crash, please read on and participate in this discussion.

3 Likes

Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 11:13pm On Mar 28, 2018
1.2 The Alpha and the Omega. Business is Business

The beginning and the end of Agricultural businesses in Nigeria is government. Why did I say so? Let us just go through the threads here on nairaland. Comments from over 99.9% are atracks and blames on government. Government suppose to do this. Why is government useless? Why this? Why these? Why that? Why those? Can't government see we need to have this? Why will government not provide those for us? And so on.

We want subsidy. We want fund. We want government to market for us. We would government not sponsor me to go into the bush and farm?

Funny you didnt ask government to fund most of your projects for 50 years, but as soon as you retired, government is useless and should sponsor your farm projects. Is there not something wrong with this kind of way of thought?

Business is Business
I have re- programed my line of thought. Business is Business. I make my plans without subsidies from government. It is why I do not get moved or act when I hear government is distributing subsidized fertiliser or input. Why should I?


To Be a Billionaire, Think like a Billionnaire
If Dangote, Otedola, Adeleke, the Dantatas, Alakija, Adenuga etc decide to move into Agriculture, would they ever wait for government subsidies? Lol. Rather, start learning where they take their cuts from, which is tax relieves. Think like a billionaire.

I think every government program for Agriculture may not work. So, I do not bother myself to join any unprofitable program by the so called alpha and omega. Would billionaires borrow money from all these agricultural loan schemes? I am just wondering. Hmmm. Not sure if I should approach any but my trust for government is zero; hence, it is dead in my world. Government is dead.

Let us move back to 1960 to 70. How did Awolowo get it done? I still ask myself. How did farmers clear their farmlands during that period to plant cocoa, cashew, rubber, palm, coconut etc. seedlings? How was Awolowo able to pull together the teams that trained these uneducated farmers who did not even know what cocoa looks like to cultivate it? Yet over 90% of the cash crop they planted are what are still available today. Hmmmm!

Our characters and nature is our seeds. Both Awolowo and those farmers of those days seem to have a godly nature. Why blame govermment when your mind is corrupt. You know within yourself if you see a terrible short corner to take and make it, you would take it, and you know it is wrong. Your nature does not want to farm, but you are doing it because you think it is the last option for you. Why would you not get frustrated?

Advice:
Go into farming if you have passion for it. At old age, go into it if it is your hobby. Write business plans free from any government subsidy or intervention.

When buying land, pick locatioms you wouldnt need the joint help of other farmers. For example, pick farmland you can drive to easily. Not that after purchsse, you are the first to get to farmers association meetings every Thursday to plead with your colleagues to assist with expansion of the road to your farm. Other farmers do not even want it because they do not want their land cut off for road expansion. You are already a failure if you are a victim of issues like this.

You better learn the prerequisites to farming in Nigeria before you become a victim.


Government, Back Off!
Your primary job is to formulate good policies for businesses in Nigeria, and not to get involved in businesses. Get your hands off completely every business include oil. The day you are bold enough to remove your hands off NNPC is the day Nigeria is liberated. Take it or leave it. Any government who sells NNPC is the government for this nation. Can't we all see that corruption's headquarters is NNPC? The president had to make himself the minister of peteoleum. grin He religated himself, and it is obvious he is the right candidate for the job grin . Funny approach. No governemnt has ever thought of selling off NNPC.

How I wish Obasanjo had not sold of NITEL. Do we think we can ever have nairaland and be sharing knowlege like this? Do we think we can ever have the opportunity to tweet Chibok girls #BringBackOurGirls? Do we think Mr. President would still use the same forceful approach used in 1983? Human right violation at its peak. Communication is freedom of speech. NITEL was the evil tool used to curb it in those days, and the reason those military men took advantage of the situation. Goverment, get your hands off business 100%. Stop pretending you are making money for Nigeria while we know you are after your pockets. And funny, you behave like fools exporting our money to develop more those developed countries. Are you not crazy? Do you think you are smart? No! You are all fools. Mumu is your names. First grade mumu. And no one can deliver you from your "mumu- lism". Stop doing our job.

We keep shouting about Abacha's loot. Do we ever think we can recover all his loot? Now, if Abacha was alive today, I would ask him: Is it worth the stress? Oga Sanni, did you spend one part of the billions you kept for yourself? Did your generation spend one part of the billions too? Oga Sanni, list A to Z of all you used for yourself and your family, is it up to N100 billion naira? So, why did you loot billions of dollars? You just wasted your energy on that unprofitable task, and you destroyed your name in the history of Nigeria. Well, I choose NEVER to follow that route. NEVER.

Is it only oga Sanni? I wish we had had social media during 1985 to 2003. Hmmm! Then, we would understand how much we made from oil during Gulf War. Oga in Niger, now acting elders states man, how far? Can you honestly say you did what was right and just when you were the leader? Do you really think you are fit to act like an elder to Nigerians?

Another oga is there in Niger forming good ambassador up and down. Only God knows the hidden truth. I believe your conscience is the tool which will judge you before you leave this earth. Did you really act in the interest of Nigeria when power was handed over to you? If yes, you are free. If not, it is better you speak to your God and ask for forgiveness. To whom more is given, more is expected. However, to whom much more is given, much more is expected.

Hey! Let us stop deceiving ourselves. Nigeria can never get better if we continue like this. Nigeria is doomed to continue falling if we do not act fast. It will get worse daily with the kind of system we have in place. Young men and ladies. Listen to me. Leave Nigeria Now. Nigeria is not ready for you. Young Nigerians, Nigeria is still a failure. Do not waste your time where there is no hope yet. Nigeria is hopeless as of today. No hope. The next change will be more disastrous. And they are coming with another change. Just watch it.

Maybe pastors and imams need to start cursing bad leaders instead of praying for them. Why pray for useless people? Why? Since 1960 our churches snd mosques have been praying for Nigeria, yet, no positive change. Personally, I have stopped praying for Nigeria. I use my energy to pray for myself. But another part of me cannot leave Nigeria. While those who are still praying are on it, let me write and address many issues. Perhaps, it can be a tool which can make Nigeria better. I am hopeful Nigeria will be better very soon.

There is hope. Just watch out for this one signal. The day Nigeria sells off NNPC to credible private sector participants is the start of the journey. I am talking about the kind of NITEL privatisation, and not the kind of POWER privatisation. Government is not ready to handle POWER, and it is why it is what it is. I am sure the main regret of OBJ is not getting POWER right before leaving office.

You may disagree with me. Let us read from you.

Discussions:
1. What did Awolowo really do to improve cash crops in the western part of Nigeria? How did he do it? What about East and north? References needed.
2. Should government really hands off businesses? Should President Buhari start the process of selling off NNPC?
3. Why did Obasanjo get NITEL privatisation right, but failed in Power?
4. Jonathan and Power privatisation. Score him.
5. Emir of Kano under Jonathan did some work in our banking system. What positive and negative effect do they have? References needed.
6. Pastors, Imams, and politics.
7. Any other comment?

1 Like

Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Theflint1(m): 12:18am On Mar 29, 2018
Nice thread chief, following keenly...firm believer in growing a working system independent of the government. Men like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt and J. P. Morgan did it, we too can do it!
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 12:54am On Mar 29, 2018
Theflint1:
Nice thread chief, following keenly...firm believer in growing a working system independent of the government. Men like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt and J. P. Morgan did it, we too can do it!

Good to know your view. And you mentioned just few names. I am just curious why you didn't say the Americans, British, Australians etc did it. I am just really curious if "we" means Nigerians. Or just very few selected people?

Is it the nature of the world that ONLY few selected people rule? Is it that ONLY few think constructively?
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by mikolo80: 2:18am On Mar 29, 2018
when do we get to the micro agric part.we know all these already.solution is what we need.not epistle.
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 7:55am On Mar 29, 2018
mikolo80:
when do we get to the micro agric part.we know all these already.solution is what we need.not epistle.

Your comment does not sound like someone who needs solution. I do not understand what you mean by asking for the micro agric part; however, if it is part 2 or 3 which I mentioned in my first post, you will have to wait. But do I really think it will be useful for you? I do not think so.

Ask yourself the number of threads that have addressed the A to Z of farming vegetable on this forum? Poultry farming, do it right. Yeah! you can make millions of naira using these 10 secrets. And so no. Are you telling me you cannot find anything meaningful and solutions from those threads? Are you saying you are so in hurry to get the A to Zs from me too? Bro/Sis, you have entered the wrong thread if you think the second part is the usual "sharp sharp" threads.

Epistles are used only in the Bible. And guess what? The words do not change; however, there are 0.0000001% (almost zero) set of people who read them with different understanding daily. I understand that this thread will not make sense to you at all.

Of course, it is an epistle because I know it is only a micro fraction that will grab meaningful lessons from it and use them to make their lives better. Why do you think I used the adjective "micro" and not "small" for the title of this thread?

I have decided to do something you for. What I will give you may help you or shatter you. Send me an email and let me know what exactly you want - "sharp sharp". If it is A to Z "hurry in, and crash desperately" you want, I will find one for you. If it is "rank xerox" you need, I just need to check my arsenal. But I know that you will never be contented with all the sharp sharp methods you are looking for. You will always want more sharp sharp thing like Oliver Twist. Why? Cos there is no answer in the sharp sharp things you are desperately looking for.

Sit down, read, study, meditate, and get knowledge. Ask God for a mind to process the materials you read. Then, use wisdom to make it applicable to your case. The more cases you solve, the more you understand the issue. This is how you do it. Knowledge first, wisdom next and, followed by understanding. And if you feel you do not need God, it is your right and free will to do whatsoever you want. smiley

I just hope this reply is not an epistle again for you; else, I still have one word response too, but which you may not like.
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Theflint1(m): 9:03am On Mar 29, 2018
fluentinfor:


Good to know your view. And you mentioned just few names. I am just curious why you didn't say the Americans, British, Australians etc did it. I am just really curious if "we" means Nigerians. Or just very few selected people?

Is it the nature of the world that ONLY few selected people rule? Is it that ONLY few think constructively?
Mentioning individuals and not nations makes the responsibility of charting this change more personal, more like be the change you want to see and this is should be a collective responsibility, not for a select few.
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 11:07am On Mar 29, 2018
Theflint1:
Mentioning individuals and not nations makes the responsibility of charting this change more personal, more like be the change you want to see and this is should be a collective responsibility, not for a select few.


[See below]. Duplicated post.
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 11:08am On Mar 29, 2018
Theflint1:
Mentioning individuals and not nations makes the responsibility of charting this change more personal, more like be the change you want to see and this is should be a collective responsibility, not for a select few.

Exactly you are right. The way it is suppose to be is what you have written. And this is the focus of this thread. I am trying to get new comers psychologically ready.

Unfortunately, ONLY micro number will KEY into this. And these micro figure if they can locate one another may metamorphose into "the select few" you mentioned. What is the result? These select few will hijack vital areas in politics, economy, business etc. All others are "mumus" who just follow follow. And then, they bring templates. A to Z procedures. Election time, free rice distribution. Manipulation in the highest order. Whose fault?

In business, the few select monopolize all areas when the majority slack.

COMPETITION is the only way out. To compete well is to be adequately prepared. It is like trying to fight Brock Lesnar unprepared. grin

I only pray majority reading this thread will take a step back and return to the basics I am sharing. It is never too late.
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Scholastica010(f): 11:43am On Mar 29, 2018
My able Boss. Right from the days of VCF on telegram, I've always enjoyed your debates. More data subscription to your phone Sir.
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 2:11pm On Mar 29, 2018
1.3 Farming for Retirees

Grey hair, they say is wisdom. Yes, I believe it.

I am not against farming after retirement, infact, it is very good. Even Baba Obasanjo retired to farm. Olufalae too did the same. And there are many ex generals who have farms, including Mr. President who has a ranch in Daura. Daura has become a real household name for retirement. Lol. Even youths are vexing and have promised to send Baba back to Daura. Lol. Anyway, this isn't a political thread.

The truth is that government "no send" retirees. You must send yourselves. Honestly, it is farming as hobby you suppose to do but Naija is what it is. Therefore, I advise you to "send yourselves".

Farm with Ease
Retirees must learn how to farm with ease. Remember, you have limited strength unlike when you were younger. Leave improvisation for the youths. Papa and mama, you cannot afford to lose your pension fund because you want to cut costs. No!

Let your wisdom work for you. Sit down and learn the theorical aspect very well. You have no where to go. Just pick materials up and study. If you are over 60 and reading this, it means you can carry out proper research online. This is the time to focus more on your research after your morning devotions instead of arguing and debating politics. Lol.

Let technology work for you. You need it more than the youths. Papa and mama " start small, grow big" is not for you. Why? Your strength diminishes daily. Therefore, start with substantial units so that when you downsize in some few years later because of your strength, it will not affect you negatively. Also, do not start too big.

Determine how big your strength can take now and make provision for it. For example, if you can cultivate 20 hectares of maize, try to get prepared both psychologically and financially for it. But do pilot on a very small scale of like 1 or 2 acres to see how it goes. After the pilot and you see you are ready, shoot on.

Never listen to hustling consultants. Never. Your grey hair is your strength, so use it well.
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Ezekiella: 2:54pm On Mar 29, 2018
Following with so much interest
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 6:57pm On Mar 29, 2018
1.31 KEY: Crop Farming with Drip, Mulch and Fertigation

Identify crazy tasks on farms. Let's say you decide to cultivate tomatoes which everyone is interested in, you will need to identify tedious tasks you do not want to get physically involved in.

I have identified the following:

1. Irrigation - furrow, sprinkler or drip. I have decided to choose drip just for this discussion. Presently, i have 70% sprinkler on my farms as I changed my style completely for 2018 planting season.
2. Weeding - Weeder, organic mulch, plastic mulch or herbicide.
3. Fertilizer Application - Fertigation

If you can solve these three tasks successfully, you definitely have higher chance of running a profitable farm.

Many consider using these 3 most essential tech luxury on farms. I just laugh at many. I have received too many emails and I can still tell you that over 99% are not ready for micro farming system here.

The Truth
2 million naira is just around $5,000 (N370 = $1). And tell me, do you honestly think $5,000 is a huge money in the world of Agriculture? Seriously, let us be honest with ourselves. It is not too much to spend $25,000 to set up properly a micro scale farm. It is the honest truth. It is even more expensive for us because we need to pay for shipping cost since we do not produce most of the equipment here. It is cheaper to open a farm in a developed nation than in an under developed nation. I am not sure Nigeria is a developing nation and I will not call her underdeveloped. In short, I am confused which category to put her. Even Bill Gates recognised the talents in Nigeria and how he has made up his mind with his wife to invest more than the $1.6 billion already in Nigeria. He is just telling us to sit tight. And this is the truth.

Nigeria is a poor nation but she is suppose to be extremely rich. Just accept it. How many people can afford N2 million naira on this forum to set up a good vegetable farm? I am not saying you need exactly N2 million naira because every business has got its financial requirements. If you do not have the total amount of cash to start, do not go into it. Leave it alone. Do not listen to that man who tells you to manage using hose to irrigate and that he will assist you. After you have started, you will see his funny attitide coming up. And he will start manipulating you. You think he is an illiterate because he did not go to school, but i tell you that he is more educated than you because you will be like a real mumu by the time he handles you well. You will keep panicking when he speaks. So, do not fall a victim to such mess.

It is my hard earned cash
Obviously, it is. I am proud of you; however, you need to set a standard for yourself in order not to fall. You cannot afford to go the hard ways of improvisation like the youths. Come on! Even, youths are wiser now as they do not want to grow old quickly on farm. Who wants to kill himself? Who does not want to enjoy his fruits of labor?
Yeah, it is your hard earned cash; hence, you need to sit down and remove all tedious jobs.

There are many threads on the topics of drip and most are "drip for sale" grin Well, I will just give you vital information to assist you make better decisions.
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 7:22pm On Mar 29, 2018
1.311 Drip Irrigation

I have written about this previously, and here is the link.
https://www.nairaland.com/4063065/new-cucumber-farm/1#64142306



Which type of drip?
There are two kinds of drip irrigation systems. One that has embedded emmiters and one that you drill holes into by yourself and fix emitters on the holes. Embedded is cheaper; hence, it is what you should use.

Thickness
I recommend you pick 0.3mm and above. 0.2mm is too common in Nigeria. It is ok for gravity fed systems but if you are usig pressure like me, the day you set it up is the day it starts bursting here and there. It is too light for my kind of work. In short, you can only enjoy it in its first season. After, you will not like it again. Better to take 0.4mm but 0.3mm is ok. The thicker the drip, the more expensive it is.

Rate of Flow:
Anything 1L/hr is ok but I prefer you choose 2L/hr and above.

Size:
16mm diameter is more appropriate.

Spacing:
Most people choose 30cm emitter spacing but really I do not know why. When they want to cultivate another crop that needs more spacing, they tell you to skip the next emitter. If you have 1,000m drip, this is like 3,333 emitters which should handle 3,333 plants. But skipping every other emitter slashed it to 1,667 plants. And it means you keep wasting fuel on the other 1,667 spaces you skipped. Also, you will be discouraged to use fertigation as you will waste fertilizer on 1,667 spaces feeding weed. Well, do not just go for 30cm. I know most sellers will just tell you 30cm bla bla bla. Know about the kinds of crops you want to cultivate. If it is cucumber and you are in a downy mildew infected area, choose 40cm or 50cm. If you are the type who cultivates cucumber, tomato and watermelon, 50cm is more appropriate. You can imagine using 30cm to cultivate watermelon. You will have to skip every 2 emitters and plant on every other.

Fertigation:
Learn how to use it. It saves you so much. All those 1 inch venturis will take you no where in my own opinion. Well, the cheapest kit is still venturi but it works under minimum of 2 bar. Gravity will not work as it is around 0.2bar.

Filter:
I avoid using it except the water source is terribly dirty. Filter reduces pressure so much but I always have it around and I just remove the disc or mesh inside when I do not need it. When i need it, I fix it. Use 120 to 130 mesh filter.

I always cut my drip into 40m length which means my beds are usually 40cm length. Many times I have used 50 - 60m if i have high water pressure.

Main Line
This is the line that runs across the top of all your beds where the drip lines are connected to and where fertigation not and filter are connected. Many use 1 inch. If you have more than one acre, I suggest you use minimum of 2 inches. Infact, if you use mud pump of 3 inches, do not reduce it. Lay 3 inches across your farm as this will give you super volume of water and the pressure wil be high. You may be able to irrigate half of your farm at once or maybe your whole farm at once.

Connectors:
Valve connectors to the main pipes (make sure it has valve, do not buy the ones without valve. What I see around are those without valves). Seller are not farmers, they buy what they profit more on.

End caps:
Insist on buying this too. I have used sticks only to tie the end of my lines but they aren't the best.

Connectors of drip lines:
I doubt if sellers give you this. But you will have bursts, so you need these to connect your lines without leakags.

How many drip lines do I need per acre?
My recommendation is 1 km per plot. If cucumber, it is around 1km per plot. If watermelon, it may be around 1/4km to 1/2km per plot depending on your spacing. So, it is a wrong question to ask how many km do I need per acre. Very wrong and naive question. It is cos the buyers are naive is the reason sellers customized 4km per acre. To know what quantity you need for a particular crop, you must know the spacing you need. The bed spacing, row spacing, and most importantly, your arithmetic must be sound.

For example watermelon:
1 acre = 4,000 sqm.
Let say your beds are 40m long.
Let's say you make your beds 80cm and walk path 40cm, you will have around 83 beds. You then have two lines per bed. So, you have 166 lines. In total, you need 6,666m (6.6km.) But many sellers tell you need 4km just because they also do not know or because they do not want the wahala of explaining too much. . Ok. If you make your beds 1m width, and path way 50cm, you need less. So, this is it. You must know what you are doing and not just dive into farming like a Jaguar.

I am a very busy person and may not be able to attend to every inquiry as I receive too many mails daily.

Hope this helps.


I have received hundreds of thank you emails just for this post. Many are able to import themselves and have been able to cut down their expenses. However, you must realise that buying yourself in order to get good bargsin might mean buying in bulk. In the other sense, if you cannot importx this post should make you negotiate better with local sellers especially nairaland sellers.

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Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 12:34pm On Mar 31, 2018
1.312 Mulch

Two secrets to high yield are:

A) Keeping weed out of farm
B) Feeding plants well.

Mulch will keep weed out of your farm. It is frustrating how workers damage drip tapes when weeding. They do not know the cost; hence, they do not care. They no send you joor.

If you are an organic farmer and you use microorganisms to improve your soil condition, mulch is essential. You just need to apply microorganisms one time, and the population increases daily with mulch. You will hardly have challenges with diseases.

In addition, drip prevents evaporation of water; therefore, you irrigate less. This reduces the cost of buying fuel and oil for powering your irrigation system. You run your pump less which saves some cash on maintenance too.

Vegetables mulch needs constant replacement
Do you expect me to keep buying mulch every 6 months? Normally, 30 microns mulch are recommended. However, it is very cheap where they are manufactured; hence, they do not mind replacing it every 6 months. But when I buy, I must pay shipping cost everytime. Crap! So, I choose the kind of quality which lasts minimum of 5 years. This is what you should do.

Which color should I use?
I hear silver color from most people. Lol. Hey! I need reflection, i need bla bla bla. Who told you silver reflects better than some other colors when it comes to mulch?

Well, you need to make research very well. And I advise all farmers who import to buy a color which you can use for many kinds of crops. For example, you use red for tomato and strawberry, or any other red fruits. Some say they need black to cool soil. Hmmm. Some say they nees black and silver...etc..Well, while you have your style which I do not want to argue with you, just make sure you get a color you can use for many kinds of crops. And get one which will last for 5 to 10 years.

Majority still see mulch as waste of money but seriously, they are not ready yet.

What quantity do I need?
Should I dedicate my next post to making calculation of tge quantity needed for 1 acre? Should I really give the detailed calculation? Hmmm. Let's see. Perhaps, I will keep this calculation to myself. Maybe anyone who is curious to know about it should dig deeper by himself/herself. Lolz.

Well, what do you need 1.5m width mulch for? Sellers don kolo. Honestly. They just want you to buy more by increasing the width. Ok Maybe your style requires 1.5m width, hmmm...the good news is I found a way to reduce the total area I need for any kind of land I want to lay it on.

My observation is that people just buy recklessly because they always listen to sellers who are not farmers. They don't care about you. They care about selling their products.
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by mikolo80: 7:42pm On Mar 31, 2018
fluentinfor:


Your comment does not sound like someone who needs solution. I do not understand what you mean by asking for the micro agric part; however, if it is part 2 or 3 which I mentioned in my first post, you will have to wait. But do I really think it will be useful for you? I do not think so.

Ask yourself the number of threads that have addressed the A to Z of farming vegetable on this forum? Poultry farming, do it right. Yeah! you can make millions of naira using these 10 secrets. And so no. Are you telling me you cannot find anything meaningful and solutions from those threads? Are you saying you are so in hurry to get the A to Zs from me too? Bro/Sis, you have entered the wrong thread if you think the second part is the usual "sharp sharp" threads.

Epistles are used only in the Bible. And guess what? The words do not change; however, there are 0.0000001% (almost zero) set of people who read them with different understanding daily. I understand that this thread will not make sense to you at all.
AT LEAST YOU ARE AWARE THAT YOU DON'T WANT MAJORITY TO GAIN FROM IT
SO KEEP IT UP

Of course, it is an epistle because I know it is only a micro fraction that will grab
CONTINUE

meaningful lessons from it and use them to make their lives better. Why do you think I used the adjective "micro" and not "small" for the title of this thread?

I have decided to do something you for. What I will give you may help you or shatter you. Send me an email and let me know what exactly you want - "sharp sharp". If it is A to Z "hurry in, and crash desperately" you want, I will find one for you. If it is "rank xerox" you need, I just need to check my arsenal. But I know that you will never be contented with all the sharp sharp methods you are looking for. You will always want more sharp sharp thing like Oliver Twist. Why? Cos there is no answer in the sharp sharp things you are desperately looking for.

Sit down, read, study, meditate, and get knowledge. Ask God for a mind to process the materials you read. Then, use wisdom to make it applicable to your case. The more cases you solve, the more you understand the issue. This is how you do it. Knowledge first, wisdom next and, followed by understanding. And if you feel you do not need God, it is your right and free will to do whatsoever you want. smiley

I just hope this reply is not an epistle again for you; else, I still have one word response too, but which you may not like.
WOW ALL THIS FOR ME
I'M FLAGGERBASTED
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Seun(m): 12:47pm On Apr 02, 2018
@fluentinfor: pls continue; this is a lovely thread.
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by lovelylad: 12:51pm On Apr 02, 2018
this post must make FP

1 Like

Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 3:53pm On Apr 02, 2018
Seun:
@fluentinfor: pls continue; this is a lovely thread.

It is easter break that has kept me away from updating it. Today, we are on farm "gisting" and having fun. It is good to make farm workers feel special on days like today. Will soon be back.
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Degis(m): 4:55pm On Apr 02, 2018
Great Thread by all means, however it would have been better if you tone down the name calling.

Farming requires requisite training and equipment that will make it a pleasure ride. Personally, I feel our leading farms in Nigeria should start to sponsor high tech research in seed genetics, replications and in communicating the results of these research to the farmer at the generic level and not just allowing IITA, FAO, Seed Companies to do it alone.

I identify with what the One Acre Foundation is doing with Vegetable and Fruit farmers in Nigeria which is poised to go a long way in facilitating the training, equipping of our local farmers who were admitted into the project

I will also suggest that farmers look into the concept of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), whose concept involves farmers producing crops specifically for already signed up consumers who may have paid some amount of money upfront. The farmer now grows the required crops to supply to these people thereby reducing the need for loans to farm at the inception of the farming season, it resolves the issue of producing and nobody is buying because the consumer has already been identified and moreso has paid upfront. This concept promotes the use of crop shares.

I believe it is time that our farmers especially the big ones, start to implement sub level drip irrigation farming where drip tapes are buried into the ground using smart machines, then connecting them to water purification plants on farms, thus enabling the farmer to utilise fertigation kits to fertilise large parcels of land without fertilising weeds or waste scarce resources.

It is also time to promote uber like tractor service in Nigeria. We need to have startups who have been financed by venture capitalists to bring technology to mordernise our farming. We can't continue to farm like Cain and Abel of old.

I wince each time I see Indian Technology startups now called AgriTech facilitate the development of Apps, innovations and inventions to help their farmers and seriously their secrets is in the deployment of venture capital to finance their Agriculture. We need the enabling framework to effectively harness this goldmine. It is currently happening in the FinTech industry where Companies like Paystack get funding from YCombinator to deploy their software.

I will recommend www.probityfarms.com to any aspiring farmer to check out their offerings especially their farm diary and activities section. I will be using them to document my farming this year.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo did a lot for the Western region especially in Agriculture but time will fail me to talk about the Farming Estates he developed throughout the Western region. I understand that the current set of Governors are trying to encourage this effort without much success, which may be attributed to the lack of political will to emancipate our people from hunger. We will have to take the bull by the horn to band together to pursue this noble invention by colocating our farms in areas that are economically viable to serve our consumers.

Finally, before you put that seed in the soil, do your market survey, know what your customers need, know your customers, know where they are, know what they want. Why can't you just produce for certain businesses and earn a premium instead of the merciless middlemen at the open markets. If I get 30 restaurants to uptake my veggies and fruits every 2 weeks and deliver at their doorsteps, won't I be better off?

Can we also have people to invest in post harvest technologies?. Anyone doing this will surely smile to the bank. It will be sweeter than farming itself

Training, Training and more Training is the secret. Equipment are next to it, Farming has a business side to it, let your transactions pass through the banks, you will thank me one day however the Customers' need is their King. Don't be caught napping.

1 Like

Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 7:58pm On Apr 02, 2018
Thank you so much for your post.

Degis:

Farming requires requisite training and equipment that will make it a pleasure ride. Personally, I feel our leading farms in Nigeria should start to sponsor high tech research in seed genetics, replications and in communicating the results of these research to the farmer at the generic level and not just allowing IITA, FAO, Seed Companies to do it alone.
I agree with you but individuals can do micro seed production. It is one of my interests. My take on this is that no one is ready to provide a good working platform in Nigeria.


I will also suggest that farmers look into the concept of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), whose concept involves farmers producing crops specifically for already signed up consumers who may have paid some amount of money upfront. The farmer now grows the required crops to supply to these people thereby reducing the need for loans to farm at the inception of the farming season, it resolves the issue of producing and nobody is buying because the consumer has already been identified and moreso has paid upfront. This concept promotes the use of crop shares.
In one of my posts, I wrote about our attitude. I may be wrong but I am of the opinion that Nigerians are not honest. Nigerians do not have honesty DNA. I have seen cases where farmers were given farm inputs to farm and they had contracts to supply the company who provided them the inputs. Farmers laughed at the suppliers and called the managers "magas". Honesty promotes a nation, while pranks and 419 demote it.


Chief Obafemi Awolowo did a lot for the Western region especially in Agriculture but time will fail me to talk about the Farming Estates he developed throughout the Western region. I understand that the current set of Governors are trying to encourage this effort without much success, which may be attributed to the lack of political will to emancipate our people from hunger. We will have to take the bull by the horn to band together to pursue this noble invention by colocating our farms in areas that are economically viable to serve our consumers.
I still really need more comments on Chief Obafemi Awolowo's template. There is something about that era. For instance, how did they clear land at the time that we are finding hard to do now? How was he able to provide seedlings? I read that the present Ooni of Ife provided free cocoa seedlings at one time. But wait. Osun, Ondo and Ekiti that are always shouting of low income cannot think of removing those old tress and replace them with new ones? Is it too hard to do? What are the challenges there that we are not seeing today? If those 3 states including Oyo and Ogun can just team up to create opportunities for individuals, private companies and big farms to have new cocoa trees, I am sure a billionaire like Aliko Dangote will not mind having a chocolate factory in SW. I have a recipe for this kind of project which can turn around the economy of Nigeria 3 years after the kick-off of the project


Finally, before you put that seed in the soil, do your market survey, know what your customers need, know your customers, know where they are, know what they want. Why can't you just produce for certain businesses and earn a premium instead of the merciless middlemen at the open markets. If I get 30 restaurants to uptake my veggies and fruits every 2 weeks and deliver at their doorsteps, won't I be better off?
We really still do not know the kind of DNA Nigerians have. From my experience, if you want to be clean and not face test of integrity, it is better to just face open market deals where there are agents. I am serious here. To get contract to supply major super markets, one guy there wants you to be tipping him. To supply big hotels, one procurement officer must be bribed everytime. At times, one just do not want those kind of temptations. It is not worth the stress. Yes, i know there are still places such do not exist.


Can we also have people to invest in post harvest technologies?. Anyone doing this will surely smile to the bank. It will be sweeter than farming itself

Training, Training and more Training is the secret. Equipment are next to it, Farming has a business side to it, let your transactions pass through the banks, you will thank me one day however the Customers' need is their King. Don't be caught napping.

Well said.
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 7:36am On Apr 03, 2018
1.3121 Mulch, Net, Covers and Optics (Physics)

When I read about some articles and what human has achieved, I always open my mouth in disbelieve. The human mind can achieve anything. One of the most interesting tools which has solved many agricultural challenges I have faced is electromagnetic spectrum. Well, I am a detailed person but the internet has made it possible not to be an expert before using most of these tools. You really do not need to study physics to learn optics and electromagnetic spectrum.

Optics is simply about light. Do you realise that some certain brands mulch are different from other? Do you realise greenhouse nets and covers are of different grades? Apart from their thicknesses and UV quality (ability to resist tear from exposure to sunlight), the light frequency blocked out and the frequency accepted to penetrate are both important.

Wait a minute. There is a frequency of light that produces heat. If you block that out, you have a cool environment. Look at this. When you block that heat transfer frequency, your soil is cool. It is good for our climatic condition. On the other hand, you may at another time need not to block that heat frequency. When do you need this? This is when you need to do soil solarization. You need heat to penetrate into your soil and kill all the diseases there.

So, technology has made it possible to even know the frequency some terrible insects see. This is why nethouse is so advance. When you have identified the frequency, you block it and those insects will be disorientated. This is the best organic way to eradicate all useless amd terrible pests. To the plants, it is always darkness under the area covered. Some new modern nets can do this too.

And how are the frequencies blocked? Color. Lol. Find colors that block out the heat frequency and you are safe to use it in any tropical climate.

If you have the grace to made deeper research, it is worth studying light spectrum: infra-red, radio waves, xrays, gamma rays, ultraviolet rays (UV), etc.

7 months ago, I talked about this topic in a group I belonged to and one person attacked me seriously because he felt it is too expensive and that low cost options should be used. He is of the opinion that wood, bamboo and mosquito net are enough to make a good structure. While I think he has the right to his opinion and he was attacking me, another person PMed me and asked when I was going to import the net so he could join me. We all know that importing is about buying in bulk to reduce the cost. This man trusted me and paid in advance, lol. Well, he had to trust, "no be him want to use my service?" Lol. I asked him just 5 days ago how he is doing and the man said "I bless the day I met you bro". I told him that I bless the day I met him too cos he inspired me that there are still Nigerians that will go for quality at all cost. Funny, he hasn't met me till date cos I do not even have the time to meet anyone. Aphids, Thrips, Beetles, whiteflies, etc are all eradicated under his structure. He needs just some traps in strategic locations under is net and maybe spray neem oil just one time in a month.

One brand of such cover is Solarig. But the bad news is that Dizengoff which uses solarig does not deploy this particular cover in their greenhouse units. It is the lower grade they deploy. Lol. Well, it is even harder to make nets of this kind. And it is why the nets are so expensive but they really do a wonderful job and the long term effect is nice. There are different kinds of nets of this type and you can easily get scammed even by the seller in China. If you check alibaba or any chinese website well, there are too many nets and mulches, most are low quality. They even labeled some nets anti-viral nets (nets that prevents viral diseases which are mainly thrips, aphids, whiteflies, beetles etc). What they did is to make the nets mesh very tiny like 50 mesh. Good. It is great for temperate climates but you bring that crap to Nigeria, your plants will never survive the heat inside such structure. And you will still get those insects inside your structure with those tiny mesh nets.

It is not just silver colored mulch you buy as many always write about on nairaland. Why don't you carry out more research on that silver color and really see if it is good for your crop.

CLUE:
1. White allows full spectrum to pass in. So, you should consider this color first. This is why plants under white flourescent light come out well. You may have seen blue and red grow lights that were promoted some years back as the best spectrum for plants. Lol. They arent after thorough and indepth researches were made. I am not saying white is the best color, so do not jump into buying white mulch. Every project has got the best option. You just need to make thorough research, or find someone help you pick.

2. Black is the opposite of white. It blocks almost everthing.

Chemistry has its usefulness in Agriculture too and we will talk about it in the next topic - fertigation.
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 12:36pm On Apr 03, 2018
1.313 Fertigation

Nutritional management is vital. Nutrients build up immune defence in your plants. Think about it. If you do not feed well, you will fall sick.

I am yet to come across an excellent nutrition management formular on nairaland; however, I will leave you with a clue of how to do it. Give your plants nutrients smaller fractions more frequently rather than bulking them up at once.

If you feed your plants well, you will spend less on agro- chemicals.

Side dressing is great with heavy feeders plants if done more frequently. The issue is that you should also calculate the cost of side dressing your plants for each round of application. And it is good that there are granules fertilizers around which releases nutrients gradually.

Manure supersedes Inorganic Fertilizer
Yeah! It is the truth. Might be you need to start thinking of raising rabbits, chickens, pigs, cattles, etc. And then, you start thinking of doing fodders. grin Honestly, I think if you start as a crop farmer, you end up combining rearing animals too. Also, if you start with rearing animals, you get to a stage you start thinking of reducing the cost of production by producing your own feed which is more cost effective when you grow fodders, or your grow your corn or soy.

The stress in side dressing is too much; hence, think of fertigation - mixing nutrients with the water you use for irrigation.

You need Maths and Chemistry to get this right except someone gives you the formular. Mind you, I have dissolved urea, npk 15 15 15, npk 20 10 10, etc and used at various ocassions. I just needed to improvise. Lol. You need to understand the molar mass of the chemical components of the fertilizers, and know the right quantity to use at different growth stage of the plants. If this is too advance for you, it is easier just to pick common fertilizers and follow the usage direction on their packs.

Whether you mix in tanks, you use venturi, fertilizer tanks or dosing pumps, the goal is to feed your plants effectively. Each of the mentioned systems has its unique operational style which should be learned; otherwise, you may end up over feeding some sections of your farm while other parts are not fed well. You need to learn how to use the system(s) you decide to use accurately.

Do not ignore fertigation. It has saved me many times especially when workers decide to rebel against you. Many of these workers are with stony hearts. And they are easily manipulated. There is no way you will not have challenges with your fellow farmers if they are old schools, and they are doing vegetables like you. In fact, I have learned to never have my farm near any farmer who is cultivating similar crops I do. Tell the farmer to use hybrid cucumber seeds which is around N10,000 to N15,000 per 50 grams and he is going to think you have planned against him with the seller to increase the price. Be sure he is going to buy pointsett, marketer or marketmore which are way down cheaper. And he will never follow a very good spraying formular because it is strange to him. He doesnt even know the usefulness of what you recommend for him. At the end, he is going to grow bitterness towards you, and the next thought of his is to bring you dpwn by all means. The first and the most common way to bring you down is to be friendly with your workers and then start poisoning their minds towards you. One day, you will meet an empty farm and that is the end. During this helpless time, I managed to survive with drip, mulch and fertigation. I rolled up my shirt, turned myself to a farm worker, and got the job done. And then during harvest time, I joined casual workers to harvest on one or two ocassions just to prove a point to them that "master na master anyday, anytime". But the truth is after that "shakara", I always look up to the sky and say: "You the great unmoved mover up there, thank you". (You may want to read about Aristotle's unmoved mover: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unmoved_mover)

Note: Not only do you need Physics, Chemistry, Agricultural science to farm well, you also need philosophy. grin

Commercial Farms have their own challenges too but are out of the scope of our disccussion.
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 9:26pm On Apr 03, 2018
1.32 NUGGET: High yield cucumber Farm - 18 cukes per vine

Jan - March this year, I did a pilot of a small area and I got 18 cukes per vine. How did I achieve this? What motivated me? I had a set back last year esp June to Dec and I looked at myself that I need to improve in some areas. I got a colleague who I chatted almost daily and we both went through procedures. I wrote down all the brands of whatever products needed and we discussed A to Z of everything. I still humble myself to learn from people. I do. Even when I am teach, I learn.

9.8 fruits per vine harvest last year
Last year, I did not cultivate cucumber until the third quarter of the year. Around May, some few farmers hooked up with me online and I gave them a program which includes: soil preparation, disease management in rainy season, effective prunning to achieve high yield, and good nutritional management program using side dressing. Most made 3.5 to 4.7 average fruits per vine. The best was a lady with 3 plots of 7,500 emitters who got 9.8 fruits per vine. Just take a look at her harvest and sales:

Fruits per vine: 9.8 fruits
Total survived plants: 7,431 vines
Percentage of curved fruits: 5.7%
Total number of marketable fruits: approx. 68,672
Total bags: 807 bags
Sales: N5,500 per bag; N4.438 million

I was not surprised with the success but I was shocked it was a female with almost zero experience who performed excellently. I had to find time to discuss very well with her 2 months after the program to know what exactly was her strength. I found it was excellent human management - ability to make workers carry out instructions excellently. She was able to follow the program excellently without missing a single step. I doubt I could make such outstanding success if I was her.

Keep pest away, fight fungi to standstill
The program was effective in keeping pests away and fighting fungi very well. No one used mulch but most removed weed at the appropriate time. However, at the base of every vine, few of them used organic mulch. This was a plus because such style improved the soil with microorganisms and it is necessary to keep them alive with mulch. Those that did not apply microorganisms had to keep fighting diseases in the soil one way or the other.

Make your plants more heat resistant variety, prevent high rate of flower abortions
If you can make your plant stand heat stress, you are on your way to having high yield. If you are a cucumber farmer, you notice that after any harvest, you lose almost all female flowers left on your plants, and new ones must come out before you can harvest again. This reduces yield drastically. Haven't you thought why gynecious and predominant female flowers which produce over 30 female flowers per vine eventually produce just max of 3 fruits in many farms. Just 3 good fruits out of 30 female flowers. grin Some even have average of 1 fruit. grin grin

Regulators to build strong immune
Earlier researches found some plants have nutrients which make them strong. Have you ever wondered what make bamboo, sugarcane, elephant grasses grow crazily even in droughts and in high temperature? What they did was to take the main subtance out and applied it to some other plants and they found it effective. So, you can make plants build its immune to tolerate cold, heat, wind or any harsh weather. Also, you can change the flower pattern of a plant. Greenhouse varieties do not need polination, but open field variety need it. You can change the flower pattern of an open field variety and turn it to a greenhouse variety.

Likewise, you can make pineapple plants on a farm flower at the same time. You can force early flowering of apple trees too. And all these can be done organically. However, the problem is that synthetic regulators are in the market now.

So, my approach was to:
1. Keep pests off
2. Fight Fungi to standstill
3. Feed the plants well
4. Fight soil disease with microorganism or with agrochemicals
5. Make the plants to be tougher by tolerating high heat
6. Prevent flower abortion
7. Reduce curve fruits drastically, and
8. Prune very well

The challenge was that some of these nutrients had to be imported. You can imagine buying 1kg of some nutrients for around $1,500 because it is organic while the synthetic is far way cheaper. I still had to go for the organic because i believe in good health. So, I packaged the microorganisms, some special fungicides that are scarce, and organic plant vitamins and regulators at a fair price for them. They got all other things I recommended in the program and the rest is history now. Five of them are already disturbing me to bring together another group this year and they are ready to do 1 acre. Yeah, I must mention that 2 of the guys did woefully. It was better for them not to even participate, but such is life.

My main challenge is that I do not really easily say No to requests from people. And people's attitude turns me off from doing things like this. It is why I keep to myself but I always love sharing knowledge. Well, I chase certain people away at times with reasonable price. grin Once they hear a reasonable price, they pick race. Of course, it is always my delight to give free goodies which I will continue doing.

Personally, I am preparing for 1 ha cucumber farm and my target is an average of 15 to 18. Can I get this on open field? Can I really do it? Even if I get 7 to 12, its a good job. Doing a small plot pilot is a different ball game to doing 1 acre and not to talk of 1 ha. I had to go back to my drawing board to improve my skills and I think I am ready to shoot on.

This is why I may not be able to complete this thread as I am bouncing into farm very soon by God's grace. And I think I have done good by updating this thread at this time I am still free. There is a fairly good internet reception close to my cucumber farm and I just might pilot the 5 people again this year. Or perhaps I.smorehluld accomodate more people this year, after all instruction is over the internet. #JustThinking
Re: Using Micro - Scale Agricultural Systems to Build the Nigerian Economy by Nobody: 7:42am On Apr 04, 2018
1.33 CASE STUDY: VETRA, A Failed Vegetable Farm

Vetra Farm was a farm I managed in south west. This farm was a failure, and I felt I could save it. Looking at it from human angle, I should. However, farming has made me realise that we do not live in ONLY a physical world. Please, I am not here to argue with anyone if you agree with me or not.

How can I explain a situation I was looking for a good land, and I saw a beautiful piece but I was told the owner will never release it? I wanted to even pay five times its value, and still couldn't buy it. I found info about him and realized he is an elderly traditionalist. I decided to approach him but I had another agenda. I wanted the land but I approached him for his service of providing herbs. Herbs for farmers, hermorrhoid, bla bla bla. grin But all na "wash". Na just to penetrate. I was shocked when I entered his sitting room with what I saw. I cannot even describe it here. Na so baba came out. He listened to the kind of herbs I wanted. When he opened his mouth, I was surprised. Not only did he knew my intention, but he started telling me private things about me which I never discussed with anyone there. To the extent, he asked me to verify some things. I battled with it for a week, but when I eventually called some elderly members of my family, it was 100% correct. Na so, I opened my mouth. I used some of the secrets he shared with on the land I was having little challenges and it worked perfectly. I remember vividly. He said, "son, you do not need my land".

I have had many other stories from my colleagues too and these experiences have made my science and logic approach a bit more flexible. A big lesson I have learned is PRAYER is the KEY.

Ask, and it will be given; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened for you. While I use my little knowledge to explore, I have learned to seek help from people who are more experienced. One big truth is that at every stage in our lives, there is someone who is more experienced, and it will do us well to find that person. Humility makes it possible to always want to learn no matter who we are.

Back to Petra. I started working with some people on this land without finding out the history of the land. I should have not used the land because I saw some signals that it was a hard land but I felt I could make it better easily. But I realise later that the cost of ammending it will be too much.

Another issue i just noticed on the farm was that my partners and I never seemed to agree with ourselves on what to do. They just kept saying yes to what they wanted to say yes to. But on vital areas which we needed to use new equipment, they opted for used products which I was against. The cost of running those equipment was just too much. I believe they realized later that it was a bad move. In addition, workers just kept rebelling and were stealing our fruits to make extra cash for themselves.

I could have continued there but i experienced "Force Majuere" which made me close the farm. I just had to. My greatest surprise was the final day I was getting out of the farm, an elderly man met me, and called me again. After a brief chat, the man said "Why do all our children feel they know all, and they do not consult knowledgeable people? Education you had in school is different from working on farms in this part of the world. Son, learn to dine with the elders. You shouldn't have used this land piece." I thanked the man who told me the main reason bitterness, violence, misunderstanding were happening during the period the farm was opened. I counted our loss which was over 4.5 million naira and I moved on.

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