MAKE N3 MILLION FROM CUCUMBER FARMING IN 3 MONTHS IN 2021
Cucumber farming can be very profitable if done in the right way. Cucumbers are scientifically known as Cucumis Sativus. Pickling, slicing and seedless are the varieties of cucumber. Smart Nigerians can make millions of naira from cucumber farming within months from a small size of land.
Cucumber farming in Nigeria was hitherto done mainly in the northern part, now farmers in the southern region plant this type of vegetable.
Harvests starts from 36-45 days when hybrid slicing varieties are planted. The demand for fresh cucumbers is quite huge in Nigeria as they are used in preparing salads and other types of food.
Cucumber plants can only grow under tropical conditions. Cucumbers can be grown under protected cultivation (Greenhouses, polytunnels or nethouses) and in open fields.
Cucumber Farming – Profit Analysis
|PROFIT ANALYSIS FOR ONE ACRE OF CUCUMBER – SCENARIO 1|
|500 bags at N3000 each||1,500,000.00|
|Rent of one acre of farmland||20,000.00|
|Labour for 3 months||120,000.00|
|PROFIT ANALYSIS FOR ONE ACRE OF CUCUMBER – SCENARIO 2|
|500 bags at N6000 each||3,000,000.00|
|Rent of one acre of farmland||20,000.00|
|Labour for 3 months||120,000.00|
Notes to Cucumber Farming Computation:
It is assumed that one acre of land will yield 500 bags of 40kg each (20 tonnes) of fresh cucumbers after 3 months. In the open market in Nigeria, fresh cucumbers are sold in bags. A fully packed yellow bag of cucumbers weigh about 40kg.
In the open market, a bag of cucumbers sells for N3,000-N8,000 depending on the season. Revenue in cucumber farming can vary a great deal.
As shown in the table, when a bag of cucumbers is sold for N3,000, expected revenue is N1.5 million, when it is sold for N6,000, expected revenue is N3 million. Please note that a bag of cucumbers can be sold as high as N8,000 in the open market during the lean period.
For those selling in the more organized market (Shoprite, hotels etc), a kilogram of fresh cucumber is sold for N400, selling 20 tonnes at the organized market will yield N8 million.
The rentage cost for one acre of farmland in Nigeria ranges from N10,000-N20,000 especially the rural areas. It is a plus for you to have your own farmland if you want to invest in cucumber production.
Soluble and chloride free fertilizers like Potassium Nitrate, Calcium Nitrate, Monopotassium Phospohate, Potassium Sulphate, Micronutrients, humates (humic acid and fluvic acid) and microbial inoculants will be used. The cucumber plants will be fertigated daily till the last days of final harvest.
Small quantities of the mixed fertiliser solution will be applied to the roots of the cucumber plants every day through drip irrigation. Humates will make the fertilizers stable and stay at the root base; it also magnifies the efficiency of the applied fertiliser. Microbial Inoculants will boost the microbial profile of the soil.
N100,000 is expected to be spent on fertilization for 3 months if you wish to participate in cucumber farming.
Chicken manure is the preferred manure for cucumber farming. 2-5 tonnes of chicken manure are required for one acre of farmland. Chicken manure is a very potent source of nutrients. Some farmers get the manure free of charge. We have put N20,000 for the cost of manure for one acre.
Pesticides for cucumber farming
In cucumber farming, organic, inorganic pesticides or both can be used. Before planting, high dosage of fluvic acid may be used to decontaminate the soil. Neem oil and a suitable soap can also be used to kill harmful nematodes and microbes, after applying neem oil, molass and humic acid can be used to repopulate the beneficial microbe in the soil.
Chemicals like Furadan can also be used for soil treatment; however this kills the beneficial microbes in the soil.
Suitable chemical insecticides must be applied to the cucumbers crops at the first sight of insects, do not spray insecticides speculatively. For organic farmers, neem oil and microbial insecticides can be used to tackle insect attacks, prevention is better in the case of organic farming.
Downy Mildew is the most common and deadliest fungal infection in cucumber plants. The incidences of downy mildew is higher in the rainy season. Most farmers engaged in cucumber farming see this disease often on their crops. There are good chemical fungicides for prevention, ditto biofungicides.
We recommend good crop nutrition and microbial balance in your cucumber cropping; this makes the plants strong enough to withstand diseases.
It is important to know that you can tinker with the pH of your chemical pesticide for optimal performance. Chemical pesticides manufacturers hardly provide you with the optimum pH for their pesticides. You may contact Veggie Grow limited for the optimum pH for a number of chemical pesticides in Nigeria.
N20,000 will take care of pesticides throughout the life of the cucumber plants on one acre.
The commonest hybrid cucumber seeds in Nigeria are Murano F1, Tokyo F1, Greengo F1, Monalisa F1 and Darina F1. These seeds are high yielding and able to resist pest and diseases than open pollinated varieties. Hybrid seeds worth N35,000 will plant one acre.
Two hardworking staff can handle one acre of cucumber farm. Adhoc staff especially women will be hired for cucumber harvesting and other minor jobs. N120,000-N150,000 will do for labour cost for one acre of cucumbers. Please note that labour cost can vary with location.
N200,000 will get your one acre of cucumbers drip irrigated. With drip irrigation, you save amount of water and fertiliser to use, labour cost is reduced, fertigation is enabled and yield is significantly increased.
You may contact us for your drip irrigation and fertigation solution.
The cost of one knapsack sprayer is about N5,000. Knapsack sprayer is used for application of pesticides and foliar fertiliser on the crops.
The cost of tools like cutlasses and hoes for one acre is about N5,000. Small farm technologies like portable tillers, petrol powered plough and weeder etc may be used, this may be expensive initially but the labour reduction will save Farmers cost at the end of the day.
Bamboos, binding wire and ropes are used to stake the cucumber plants, N30,000 will do for this.
Staking helps Farmers to increase the density of their cucumber plants, it also helps in reducing diseases encouraging humidity and makes the farm neat and easily navigable.
A Farmer cultivating crops without doing a soil test is like a blind driver handling a Motorcar. Soil test guides the farmer on the amount of nutrients to add to the soil for optimum yield. If you want to invest in cucumber farming, it is a must you get your soil analysed.
Profit – Cucumber Farming
In the two scenarios, profit were N935,000 and N2,435,000 in three months based on a yield of 20 tonnes (500 bags of cucumbers).
The computation assumes you have your own power and water sources, if no, there are expenses for these. It also assumed that the farmland is cleared and ridges will be made by the staff since it’s a small piece of land.
It should be noted that some costs are fixed in nature as you will not incur the cost again until after 5-7 years. Examples are drip irrigation, Farm tools and Sprayers etc
In Netherland and other developed countries, tomato farmers using climate controlled Greenhouses get yields of 400-500 tonnes of tomato per acre while Farmers in Nigeria hardly get 5 tonnes per acre in the open field.
The problem of low crop yield in cucumber farming in Nigeria is mainly caused by using the wrong fertilizers, poor seeds, sub standard pesticides and the general lack of knowledge.
Steps to take to be successful in cucumber farming
There are a lot of things you need to put in place before you can be successful in cucumber farming. The following steps should be taken in order to grow cucumbers:
You need to have the passion for farming. Passion will make you go on when things are not on your side. It is possible you get it wrong the first time you try your hands on cucumber farming but the passion you have for the business can make you try again. Success is the ability to turn your failures to successes. Just learn from your failures and try again.
Learning from an experienced cucumber farmer can significantly increase your chances of success. There are a lot of successful cucumber farmers around, just search for one and ask for an unpaid internship.
Watching Youtube videos on cucumber farming can also help a great deal. Go on the web and download videos and papers on cucumber farming.
You should get your farmland in a place that has good roads for easy evacuation of your produce. Fresh cucumbers can get spoilt within days so it is not advisable to get your farmland in a place that will take days to access due to bad roads.
The farmland should have a good topography. It should not be too undulating. Flat farmland is better. Sloppy farmland encourages erosion; this may negatively impact your crops.
Farmland can either be leased or out rightly acquired, just look at your cash flow and decide.
Soil and Water Analysis
A soil test reveals the pH of your soil; it also shows the level of nutrients in your soil. The test can show the level of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, boron and other micro nutrients in the soil; this will guide the farmer on the type of fertilizers to apply to his cucumber farm.
Some types of soil test can show the diseases in the soil and the soil microbial count.
Water analysis will show the pH and the cation level of the water.
You will need to employ some farm hands if you want your cucumber farming business to be successful. For the unskilled jobs on your farm, immigrant farm hands from the Republic of Benin or Togo are better. They are more productive than most unskilled Nigerians who prefer to engage in Okada business than farming.
For a big cucumber farm, you may need to employ a technical person. Do not be deceived into employing degree holders in Agronomy or Crop Science who have no experience in farming. I have seen a lot of degree holders in non-agricultural fields who are vastly experienced in farming than those who claim to be agronomists.
Experience counts than any big paper qualification. You can poach experienced hands from nearby cucumber farms. Your staff can make or mar your cucumber farming business.
Water and Power
You need to sort out the source of water and power to the farm. Your farm should have a borehole or well or river or dam, just any good source of all year round water. The water will be used for irrigation. Anyone willing to engage in cucumber farming must farm all year round. Rain fed farming is not too profitable.
Power is key, if your farm is not around the public grid, you should use a generator to get power for your farm. Power will be used for irrigation and lighting if need be.
Choice of seed
You may either plant hybrid cucumber seeds or open pollinated cucumber seeds. Hybrid seeds are more expensive but they produce higher yields and they are disease resistant. Hybrid seeds have shorter maturity period. Open pollinated cucumber seeds are cheaper but the yields are not as high as hybrid seeds, they are also not as disease resistant as hybrid seeds.
The commonest hybrid cucumber seeds planted in Nigeria are Murano F1, Tokyo F1 and Darina F1. Some of the open pollinated cucumber seeds sold in Nigeria are marketer, poinsett and marketmore.
Drip irrigation is a trickle form of irrigation in which water is passed to the root or base of plants in a slow but highly efficient manner. With drip irrigation, you can save about 80% of water whilst also increasing your yield by 40-100%.
Drip irrigation does not encourage water run offs like other forms of irrigation. The slow dropping of water to the roots of plants make all the water passed to the plant to sink into the soil.
To make good money from cucumber farming, you need drip irrigation. Using sprayers or misters to irrigate your cucumber plants may lead to foliar fungal infections. Once the leaves of your cucumber plants turn yellow, photosynthetic capability is impacted and this leads to low yield as the plants will not have energy to produce fruits again.
With drip irrigation, you do fertigation, that is, fertiliser can be mixed in water and passed to your crops through the drip irrigation lines. You will significantly reduce the man hours needed for side dressing of fertilizers. Drip irrigation works for vegetables like tomato, pepper and eggplants etc.
Drip irrigation is the most efficient type of irrigation for cucumber farming.
Adequate irrigation can help in preventing the occurrences of bitter cucumbers.
To get good yields in cucumber farming, you should apply the right type of manure or fertiliser at the appropriate time. Do not drive blind by applying only NPK and urea. Refer to the result of your soil test and apply fertilizers as recommended.
Some of the types of fertilizers you can use if you engage in cucumber farming include calcium nitrate, mono ammonium phosphate, mono potassium phosphate, chelates, potassium sulphate, NPK, urea and magnesium sulphate etc.
Manure should be used to prepare your beds if your soil is spent or has a low cation exchange capacity. Manure is needed for cucumbers because of its 2-3 months life cycle.
Humates like fluvic acid and humic acid are very good for cucumbers. A high dose of fluvic acid can decontaminates your soil, improve CEC, beef up the count of beneficial microbes and kill all the harmful nematodes.
Humic acid can reduce the quantity of fertiliser needed for cucumber farming by up to 30%.
Weeds can reduce the yield of your cucumber plants by as much as 98%. You should endeavour to make your cucumber farm weed free.
You can use hoes, rakes and cutlasses to weed. Motorised tools can also be used for weeding. Also, plastic mulch can be used to prevent the growth of weeds.
Cucumber plants attract a lot of pests and diseases. There are good fungicides, insecticides, bactericides and nematicides you can use to prevent or attack pests and diseases.
If you are an organic farmer, you can use bio-pesticides. Bio-pesticides are better used for prevention not curative. Neem oil, black soap, fermented urine and hot pepper can also be used by organic farmers engaged in cucumber farming.
For chemical pesticides to be highly efficient, you can amend the pH. A simple altering of the pH of Glyphosate can increase its efficiency by up to 30%.
Though, most cucumber farmers in Nigeria do not stake their vines. If you want to be very efficient in cucumber farming, it is advisable you stake the vines. Staking improves aeration in your cucumber field, reduces diseases and increases yield significantly.
Cucumber farmers in the north that do no stake harvest cucumbers from the vines 2-3 times while those who stake may harvest up to 10 times.
Cucumbers should be harvested at the right time. Every cucumber farmer should know how to harvest cucumbers at the right time.
Failure to pick the cucumbers at the right time from their vines may lead to an overall dip in the yield.
Marketing of Produce
It is always better you sell your cucumber produce to organized markets like shoprite, hotels and vegetable shops etc. This set of customers buy per kg. A kilogram of cucumbers in Lagos goes for N240 –N400.
For those willing to sell the unorganized market, Mile 12 market Lagos, Aba market, Abeokuta market, Farin Gada, Jos or any open market around you. The main disadvantage of selling in unorganized markets is that the prices are unpredictable.
There are peak and off peak times every year. If you are engaged in cucumber production, you should mind these times and plan accordingly. Prices of fresh cucumbers can vary by up to 500% in a year.
Do not rely only on selling your cucumbers in the open market. You should deploy digital marketing strategies, words of mouth advertisement and selling to people around your environment.
It is a big mistake to think that making money from cucumber cultivation stops after harvesting of the produce. Though, fresh cucumbers are fairly easy to sell, you should go the extra length in order to make a good profit.
Would you like to sell in an open market alone and make a minimal profit or you will like to sell in the premium market to make a very good profit?
We once had a customer who was very comfortable selling her fresh cucumbers in Mile 12 market. She made a really good profit from selling in this market.
We advised her to sell her fresh cucumbers through other channels. She was shocked when her profit further increased by almost 100%. She sold to the more organized markets and big caterers.
Diseases of Cucumber Plants
There are a lot of pests and diseases that affect cucumber plants. The deadliest and commonest in Nigeria is the Downy Mildew. Downey mildew is an oomycete infection that affects the leaves of the cucumber plants. It discolourises the leaves and significantly reduce the yield of the cucumber plants. Downy mildew can wreck a big cucumber farms within days if not checked.
It is better to prevent downy mildew using fungicides having copper and mancozeb. You can also prevent this disease using some microbial based fungicides if you are an organic farmer. Neem oil, black soap and fermented urine can also be effective for prevention.
Do not work around the farm in the morning or when the leaves are still very wet.
Reckless usage of nitrogen fertiliser may aggravate downy mildew infection.
Downy mildew can lead to curly or deformed cucumber fruits.
You can read about our cure for downy mildew here.
Other diseases and pests of cucumber plants are:
Alternaria Leaf Blight (Alternaria Cucumerina): This is a fungal disease that appears as blight on the leaves of cucumber plants. The blight appears as yellow on the leaves of cucumber plants. This eventually causes necrosis and the death of the leaves infected.
This disease is common in high rainfall and humid areas. The use of fungicides can address this problem. Also, cucumbers should not be cultivated on a particular spot several times.
Avoid overhead irrigation of cucumber plants as this can encourage this disease to spread further.
Anthracnose (Colletotrichum Orbiculare): This is a fungal disease that affects cucumber crop. It forms brown circular lesion with yellow spots on cucumber leaves.
This disease spreads in warm humid weather.
A good fungicide can be used to prevent and cure this disease if caught early.
Cucumber Fruit Rot (Rhizoctonia Solani): This is a fungal disease that attacks the fruits of cucumbers. It forms brown and yellow spots on cucumber fruits which can lead to spoilage of the fruits.
This disease is common in places with warm and humid weather.
Management of this disease is through the application of fungicides.
Powdery mildew (Erisiphe Cichoracearum): This is a fungal disease that presents as white powdery spots on cucumber leaves, stems and fruits.
This disease can be prevented and treated with the use of fungicides.
How to Prune Cucumber Plants
Cucumber plants are better pruned in order for the plants to devote more energy and nutrients to the most productive parts of the plants.
Pruning of cucumbers should start as from the 4-6 weeks of planting. The suckers should be removed. All the diseased parts of the cucumber plants like diseased vines, diseased flowers, diseased leaves and diseased fruits should all be removed.
Pruning in cucumber farming is very important as it helps in increasing the overall yield of the crop and also reduces the incidences of diseases.
Cucumber Sack Farming
Cucumber sack farming is the cultivation of cucumbers in sacks or bags. It is a type of vertical farming. In sack farming, cucumber seeds can be planted in the soil on the top surface of the sack and in the planting holes at the sides of the bag.
One of the advantages of practising cucumber sack farming is the ability to optimise small space and get a great yield.
You can do cucumber sack farming in your backyard, frontage of your house, rooftops, gardens and garages etc. All what you need is an open space for sunlight and all the agricultural inputs needed for planting.
Greenhouse Cultivation of Cucumber
A greenhouse is an enclosed structure where crops are cultivated. Greenhouse farming is done mostly to create the most ideal climate or environment for a particular type of crops.
In Nigeria, it is common for greenhouses to be used for the cultivation of crops like cucumbers, tomatoes and pepper.
Greenhouse cultivation of cucumbers can be high yielding and profitable for farmers if good agronomic practices are observed.
To cultivate cucumbers in a greenhouse, a lot of factors should be considered. Greenhouse harvested crops are usually sold at premium prices because of the care and skills exercised when growing them.
Greenhouses can also be used for hydroponic farming of cucumbers. This is the growing of cucumbers without the use of soil.
For greenhouse cultivation of cucumbers, the following steps have to be taken:
Find a suitable place: The farmer must find a suitable place to situate the greenhouse. Greenhouses are good for urban areas. This has the advantage of nearness to customers or consumers.
Find a good greenhouse manufacturer or seller: There are a lot of people who sell greenhouses in Nigeria but only few are really good in the installation of greenhouses.
Get trained in greenhouse cultivation of cucumbers: The cultivation of cucumbers in greenhouses is slightly different from the cultivation of cucumbers in the open field. You need to have the skills needed for greenhouse farming or you hire someone who is skilled in the cultivation of cucumbers in greenhouses.
Get the greenhouse inputs and technologies: A typical greenhouse needs drip irrigation system, grow bags, hybrid seeds, trellis ropes, pesticides, soluble fertilizers for fertigation, fertigation equipment, pollinating equipment, fans, carbon iv oxide chamber and other inputs.
Maintain your greenhouse: The greenhouse should always be well maintained and kept free of pests and diseases. After every cycle of cropping, the greenhouse should be fumigated so that any pests or diseases in it will be removed.
Hydroponic Production of Cucumbers
Hydroponic farming is the cultivation of crops without the use of soil. In hydroponic farming, water is mainly used as the medium of planting. Other materials aside from soil can also be used in hydroponic farming.
Cucumber as a crop is very popular in hydroponic farming. There are a lot of farmers who grow cucumbers using hydroponic techniques.
Cucumbers can be grown with coco peat, peat moss, inerts and other hydroponic substrates.
Some of the hydroponic techniques used for growing cucumbers include static solution culture, continuous flow solution culture, aeroponics, fogponics, passive sub-irrigation, ebb and flow system, run to waste system, deep water culture and rotary system.
Aeroponic cultivation of cucumbers is the use of water mist from fish farming ponds to irrigate the roots of cucumber plants. This has been tried in Nigeria with success.
Some of the substrates used for hydroponic growing of cucumbers include the following:
- Coco peat
- Grow Stones
- Peat Moss
- Wood Fibre
- Rice Husks
Hydroponic farming depends on nutrients as no soil is used. The farmer will have to pass the necessary nutrients needed by the crop to the crop through the water and substrate.
A typical plant needs nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, boron, molybdenum, copper and all other micronutrients. All these nutrients must be passed to crops in the ideal proportion in hydroponic farming.
A wrong proportion of any of these nutrients can ruin the whole crop.
The nutrient solutions used for hydroponic farming can inorganic or organic. Inorganic hydroponic nutrient solutions are fertilizers and nutrients derived from chemicals.
Organic hydroponic nutrient solutions are fertilizers and nutrients derived through organic means. These are 100% natural.
Hydroponic growing of cucumbers needs skills and technical expertise. The pH and other parameters of the water and substrate have to be checked daily. A too high or too low pH can ruin the whole crops.
It is always advised that anyone who wants to handle hydroponic farming of cucumber must be well knowledgeable in science, data gathering and report writing.
You will need to monitor and record a lot of data and information every day, if you want to be successful as a commercial hydroponic cucumber grower.
Cucumbers can yield well under hydroponic conditions. There are instances where cucumber plants yield 2000% more when grown under hydroponic conditions.
Dry Season Cucumber Farming
Dry season cucumber farming is the cultivation of cucumber crop in the dry season.
Cultivation of cucumbers in the dry season in Nigeria can be very profitable as only few farmers practice dry season farming in Nigeria.
The low number of cucumber farmers in Nigeria during the dry season makes cucumbers scarce in the market; this causes a hike in the prices of cucumbers and leads to increased profitability for farmers.
Irrigation is the single most important element in dry season cucumber farming.
Drip irrigation is the most appropriate type of irrigation for the cultivation of cucumbers in the dry season in Nigeria.
There are cucumber farmers who make a very high Returns on Investment (ROI) on their investment on dry season cucumber farming.
Organic Cucumber Cultivation in Nigeria
Organic farming is the use of natural and biological substances for the growing of crops.
In organic farming, the use of chemicals and synthetic substances are avoided.
Organic farming is known to maintain the health of the soil and the environment. It has also been proved that organic farming can improve the health of humans.
Cucumber like other crops has been cultivated under organic conditions for years.
In Nigeria and other countries of the world, cucumber is cultivated using organic materials with zero usage of synthesized chemicals.
Organic cucumber farmers in Nigeria use compose, manure, humates, biofertilizers, biopesticides, bioinsecticides and biofungicides for the cultivation of the crop.
Some of the biofertilizers used in organic cultivation of cucumbers include blood meal, egg shell, manure, compost, fluvic acid and humic acid etc.
Neem oil can be used as organic insecticide when cultivating cucumber under organic farming conditions.
There are also microbial innoculants like beneficial antagonistic microbes that can be used to ward off insects, harmful bacteria, hamful fungi, nematodes and other microbes.
Companion planting method can also be used for the cultivation of cucumbers. Companion plants have a lot of benefits in organic farming.
Organic farming encourages biodiversity which is favourable for the environment and those living in it.
Application of Nutrients/Fertilizers in Cucumber Cultivation
Cucumber is a heavy feeder; it extracts a lot of nutrients from the soil. A ton of cucumber fruits removes about 1,000 grams of nitrogen, 750 grams of phosphorus and 2,000 grams of potassium from the soil.
Under glass cultivation of cucumbers with an expected yield of 300 tonnes per hectare, 470kg of nitrogen, 220kg of phosphorus, 900kg of potassium, 120kg of magnesium and 310kg of calcium have to be applied to the crop.
For high yielding one hectare cucumber cultivation in the open field, 160kg of nitrogen, 120kg of phosphorus and 260kg of potassium have to be applied to the crop.
For an expected yield of 35 tonnes per hectare of cucumber cultivation in the open field, 90kg of nitrogen, 90kg of phosphorus and 180kg of potassium have to be applied to the crop.
For an expected yield of 25 tonnes per hectare of cucumber cultivation in the open field, 45kg of nitrogen, 35kg of phosphorus and 75kg of potassium have to be applied to the crop.
For an expected yield of 15 tonnes per hectare of cucumber cultivation in the open field, 40kg of nitrogen, 11kg of phosphorus and 60kg of potassium have to be applied to the crop.
The lime in the soil can also affect the assimilation of nutrients by crops especially cucumber.
Cucumber grow well when the soil pH is between 6 – 6.7.
If the soil pH is 6.0, 3 – 6 tonnes of lime have to be added to the soil depending on the type of soil (sandy, loamy or clay).
If the soil pH is 5.5, 6 – 11 tonnes of lime have to be added to the soil depending on the type of soil (sandy, loamy or clay).
If the soil pH is 5.0, 9 – 17 tonnes of lime have to be added to the soil depending on the type of soil (sandy, loamy or clay).
If the soil pH is 4.5, 12 – 23 tonnes of lime have to be added to the soil depending on the type of soil (sandy, loamy or clay).
If the soil pH is 4.0, 14 – 29 tonnes of lime have to be added to the soil depending on the type of soil (sandy, loamy or clay).
Pre-planting fertilizer also called base dressing is important in cucumber farming.
In order to get a super high yield in cucumber farming, base fertilizers like single super phosphate, potassium sulfate, magnesium sulfate and limestone (if your soil has a low pH) have to be used.
It is not uncommon for commercial farmers aiming at a super high yield to apply 100 – 250kg of single super phosphate fertilizer, 200 – 400kg of potassium sulfate and 100 – 200kg of magnesium sulfate as base fertilizer in cucumber farming.
For cucumber farmers using drip irrigation, 50kg of nitrogen can be fertigated as pre-plant fertilizer per hectare. Then, 0.8kg of nitrogen will be applied daily through fertigation during the growing season.
Side dressing of fertilizers should also be done during the growth stage of the cucumber.
For daily fertigation schedule for your cucumber farm, kindly share your soil test result with us for proper advice.
Health Benefits of Cucumber
Cucumbers help in hydrating the body since it contains a lot of water. Cucumber can provide much needed water to the body; this can improve the overall health, prevent constipation and also prevent kidney stone.
Cucumbers can strengthen the bones in human since it contains vitamin K and calcium. Vitamin K increases the assimilation of calcium in the body.
Cucumber contains antioxidant that can help in the prevention of cancer and the destruction of free radicals.
Cucumber can improve the health of the heart because it helps in the management of cholesterol.
Cucumber contains substances that can help in reducing the sugar level in the blood. This can help in the prevention and management of diabetes.
Cucumber can also serve as anti-inflammation.
Source: Medical News Today
Varieties of Cucumber Seeds
Below are some of the varieties of cucumber seeds that can be used for the cultivation of cucumbers:
Monoecious Seeds: Monoecious variety of cucumber seeds often produces more male flowers than female flowers. The flowering habit of monoecious cucumber varieties make them have a preponderant of male flowers.
It should also be noted that environmental factors can make a cucumber variety turn monoecious. Most of the old varieties of cucumber have monoecious flowering habit.
Gynoecious Seeds: The newer varieties of cucumber are mostly gynoecious. Gynoecious varieties of cucumbers produce more of female flowers than male flowers. The flowering is highly concentrated in favour of female flowers.
Gynoecious seeds ensure concentrated production of fruits. They are often higher yielding than monoecious varieties. Gynoecious varieties have a shorter fruiting cycle than the monoecious variety. In regions where there are a lot of factors inhibiting cucumber production, gynoecious variety may be better.
In Nigeria, where humidity often negatively impacts the production of cucumbers, gynoecious varieties can be better than monoecious varieties.
Parthenocarpic Seeds: This variety of cucumbers produces fruits without pollination. They are mostly grown in greenhouses as there is no need for pollination. Parthenocarpic varieties are seedless.
The cucumber fruits produced from parthenocarpic varieties have no seeds. Parthenocarpic varieties in Nigeria are always more expensive than gynoecious and monoecious varieties in Nigeria.
Hybrid Seeds of Cucumbers in Nigeria
Hybrid seeds of cucumbers are mostly high yielding than the open pollinated varieties.
The following are some of the hybrid cucumber seeds that can be used for the growing of cucumbers:
Darina F1: This is a hybrid cucumber variety that was bred by Seminis. It has a near parthernocarpic habit as it produces almost all female flowers. The production is short but very high yielding.
It is one of the most popular hybrid cucumber seeds in Nigeria.
Murano F1: This is also a popular hybrid cucumber variety in Nigeria. Technisem France produced this seed. It has a gynoecious fruiting habit.
The fruits produced by Murano F1are always very big and deep green.
In Southern Nigeria, the deep green colour of the fruits produced by this variety is highly favoured.
Greengo F1: This is a hybrid type of cucumber seeds produced by East West Seeds. It is also gynoecious in nature as it produces more of female flowers. Production is concentrated over a short time. Greengo F1 is also very high yielding.
Tokyo F1: This hybrid cucumber seed is very similar to Murano F1. They both have the same growing habit, colour of fruit and shape of fruit.
It is very difficult to pinpoint the difference between Murano F1 and Tokyo F1.
Monalisa F1: This is a monoecious variety produced by East West Seeds. It does not have a high yield like Darina F1, Tokyo F1, Murano F1 and Greengo F1.
The market for cucumbers is huge in Nigeria due to the large population of Nigeria. Nigeria has a population of above 200 million people with a large percentage of the population youthful.
In Nigeria, people consume cucumbers as fruits and snacks. It is also not uncommon to see the use of cucumbers as garnishing materials in food and sauces in Nigeria.
Spas, clubs and beauty parlous in Nigeria also use fresh cucumbers for skin and beauty work.
Cucumbers have a fairly constant demand in Nigeria all year round. Although, during festive periods like Christmas, New Year and Easter, the demand for cucumbers spike significantly.
During the Ramadan time in Nigeria, the demand for cucumbers also increases tremendously.
Cucumbers are mostly grown in the northern part of Nigeria, though the cultivation of the crop is increasing in the southern part too.
The target market for harvested fresh cucumbers is mostly the open markets in Nigeria. The largest open market for cucumbers in Nigeria is the popular Mile 12 market in Lagos, Nigeria.
In Mile 12 market, Lagos, thousands of trucks bring food items from all across Nigeria and even neighboring countries.
Cucumbers can also be sold in other big open markets near to your farm. There are big open markets in almost all cities and towns in Nigeria.
Cucumbers can also be sold in high end supermarkets in big cities. Supermarkets like Spa and Shoprite sell a lot of fresh cucumbers to their customers every day.
Big hotels and eateries also use a lot of fresh cucumbers every day. These businesses can be targeted by a cucumber farmer who wants premium prices for his cucumbers.
There is competition in the cucumber market in Nigeria; this is what every farmer who intends to go into commercial production of cucumbers in Nigeria should know.
Cucumbers are mostly grown by small holder farmers who are mostly illiterates. They hardly implement good agronomic practices so they record low yields.
The small holder farmers also lack good marketing skills so they sell their produce at low prices.
To address the competitive challenge in cucumber production in Nigeria, the farmer has to implement good agronomic practices and use good farm technologies and implements that will guarantee him a good yield.
Drip irrigation systems, plastic mulch and specialized fertilizers etc. are some of the inputs that can guarantee high yield in cucumber production.
Export Market for Cucumbers
Fresh cucumbers are some of the most exported vegetables to the US and Europe. Cucumber farmers in different countries of the world struggle to tap and benefit from the export market of this vegetable.
The record of fresh cucumbers exported out of Nigeria is not readily available.
However, local cucumber farmers in the border towns in Nigeria export fresh cucumbers to the Republic of Benin during their lean season.
If you can afford a greenhouse for the growing of cucumbers, you can export to Europe and the US for premium prices.
To export cucumbers, you should grow and harvest fresh cucumbers without any blemish. Also, for the export market, the pesticides residue level of your cucumbers should be at the tolerable level.
Pesticides should not be used excessively and carelessly. One of the ills why Nigerian farmers cannot export their produce to Europe and the US is because of the high level of pesticides residue in their produce.
Why People fail in Cucumber Farming
The following are some of the tope reasons why people fail in cucumber farming in Nigeria:
The planting of poor quality seeds, to succeed in cucumber farming; you are advised to plant good seeds. Probably, hybrid seeds bought from reputable dealers.
Do you know that around 75% of the land in Nigeria is acidic? You should conduct a soil test on your farmland before cultivating cucumbers. You should also ensure that your soil has a lot of manure, compost and beneficial microbes.
Inadequate supply of water can also make a cucumber farmer fail. Do not rely on the rains alone. You should use irrigation preferably drip irrigation. Cucumber is a water hungry crop.
Cucumbers need a lot of nutrients. Low application rate of fertilizers can spell doom for a cucumber farmer. There are a lot of specialized fertilizers good for cucumber production.
Poor pest and disease management can also negatively impact cucumber production. Prevention is always better than cure. Good pesticides should also be used. Avoid cheap and sub-standard pesticides.
Inadequate weeding, this can reduce the yield of cucumbers by as much as 90%. A cucumber farm must be weed free at all times. No weeds should be allowed to grow on the farm.
Failing to stake cucumber plants can also lead to failure in cucumber production. Cucumbers are crawling plants; they should be staked in order to avoid infection and to also improve sunlight penetration.
Another factor that can cause failure in cucumber growing is the reckless application of pesticides. The use of pesticides on your crop should be guided by science and good reason.
Poor marketing strategies can also lead to failure in cucumber production.
Questions and Answers
Question: Where can i get cucumber seeds in Nigeria?
Answer: You can get from Veggie Grow Limited
Question: Where can i get drip irrigation kit in Nigeria?
Answer: You can get drip irrigation kit from us
Question: Can i make profit from cucumber farming in Nigeria?
Answer: Yes, you can make good profit from cucumber farming in Nigeria; there are people who make millions of naira every season.
Question: When is the peak time of cucumbers in Nigeria?
Answer: The prices of cucumbers peak around April to July every year. A 40kg bag of cucumbers can go for N5,000 – N7,000 this period while in other times, the price of same bagcan go for N2,000.
Question: What is the typical yield of tomatoes?
Answer: Your cucumber yield depends on factors like soil fertility, agronomic practice, weather, disease infestation and irrigation etc. Under normal conditions, you can expect to get 10-30 tonnes per acre of hybrid cucumbers. You may also get zero yield if you do not follow the necessary agronomic practices.
Question: Are fertilisers in Nigeria sub-standard?
Answer: Though the media hardly report this, a huge percentage of fertilisers sold in Nigeria are fake, some are also re-bagged. Please buy your fertiliser from accredited dealers.
Cucumber farming can make you a millionaire. Why not try it today.
Veggie Grow Limited can help you set up your farm from scratch and offer you and your staff good training. We will supply all the inputs you need from start to the end