How to Start Watermelon Farming in Nigeria

Watermelons are sweet juicy fruits with lots of health benefits. The nourishing fruit is grown extensively in West African countries. They are also cultivated in Asian countries, Egypt and India.

The popular fruits earliest record goes back 4000 years in ancient Egypt. Easy to grow it requires good soil, water, adequate sunlight. To start a watermelon farm secure farm land, purchase seedlings, prepare the soil, grow.

Health Benefits of Watermelon

The fruit is believed to aid the body’s metabolism, control obesity and unclog blood vessels. It contains lots of vitamins, folic acid, iron, magnesium, good source of potassium.


How to Start a Watermelon Farm

  •  Secure farm land
  • know the planting season
  • purchase/prepare seed
  • prepare soil organically
  • cultivate
  • harvest when ripe
  • marketing and sales

Secure Farm Land

Secure a good farm land for the cultivation of the melons. The best soil composite is loamy or sandy soil. It is essential you introduce fertilizer to the soil. Find an area with adequate sunlight, water.

The water sources could be a stream, river, well or borehole. Watermelon plants only need moderate amount of water to grow. The farmer could lease farm land or purchase accordingly.

  • loamy or sandy soil
  • introduce fertilizer
  • area with adequate sunlight
  • good water source

Prepare the Seeds

The juicy fruit is known to have lots of seeds. The farmer should use only quality seeds for better yield. To check the quality of the seed dip in 4% solution of salt/water. Quality seeds tend to sink to the bottom and are ideal for farming.

Prepare Seeds: To prepare the seed for planting you need to follow some simple steps. Sowing the seeds without preparing them would not yield any result. This is because the seeds have a leathery shell.

To prepare the seeds soak in warm water daily. The water temperature should not exceed 35C. The next step is to heat the seeds under the sun for a period of 9-10 days. This makes the seeds resistant to disease, ready for planting.

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Cultivation Method

Conventional cultivation method is to create rows for the seeds 2.5m. The distance between crops should not exceed 2m.

The depth of the sow hole depends on the type of melon.  The soil should be fertilized and composited, and then introduce the prepared seeds.

You can use a seed per hole to achieve larger melons. Make sure you provide adequate space between plants to accommodate the fruit. For best result use organic fertilizer or compost.

Avoid fresh manure because it affects the quality, taste, plants resistance and hasten ripening. Make sure the plants are uniformly distributed in rows. Once they grow on the central stem control the fruit formation.

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Watering the Plant

Watermelons tend to have long roots that are capable of finding water. The early stage of growth needs occasional watering to grow the plant.

Pollination is generally achieved by flying insect attracted to the flowers. To achieve quick fruiting pollinate 'yourself' by introducing male to female flowers.

Harvesting the Watermelons

Make sure the watermelons are fully ripe before harvesting. The fruits are durable and long lasting. A ripe fruit feature uniformity in color and is well rounded.

You need heavy duty truck to carry the bulky fruits to the market. Sell you produce to wholesalers, fruit vendors, market women, supermarkets. Others potential customers are beverage drink makers, fruit stands.

Where to Sell Watermelon

  • Fruit wholesalers
  • fruit vendors
  • market women
  • supermarkets
  • beverage drink makers
  • fruit juice manufacturers
  • fruit stands

Planting Season in Nigeria

The best planting season in southern Nigeria are March, June, September. The northern areas plant in May and July.









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