Dry Season Pepper Farming in Nigeria
Dry season pepper farming is the cultivation and growing of pepper in the dry season. It is simply the planting of the pepper seeds, maintaining the pepper field and harvesting the matured peppers in the dry season.
Dry season pepper farming is done between the months of October and March in the southern part of Nigeria. In the northern part of Nigeria, dry season pepper farming is done between the months of September – April.
Dry season pepper farming is profitable as the prices of peppers in Nigeria skyrockets at the beginning of the rainy season. Harvesting of dry season pepper plants are done at the beginning of the rainy season.
Step By Step Guide to Start Dry Season Pepper Farming in Nigeria
The following are the steps to take to start dry season pepper farming in Nigeria:
- Choice of Farmland Site
- Types of Pepper Seeds to Plant
- Land Preparation
- Irrigation System
- Labour Requirement
- Fertilizers to Use
- Pests and Diseases Management
- Harvest and Marketing
Planning should be done before embarking on dry season pepper farming in Nigeria. Planning activities include the sourcing for capital and other requirements for ensuring that the act of planting pepper in the dry season will be successful.
Choice of Farmland Site
The site to be used for dry season pepper farming should have a good soil. The roads leading to the farmland site should be good so that the produce can be easily transported to the market.
Type of Pepper Seeds to Plant
The type of pepper seeds to be planted in the dry season should be carefully selected. Drought tolerant pepper varieties should be used.
Hybrid pepper varieties are higher yielding than the open pollinated varieties; they also tolerate pests and diseases well.
Land preparation involves the removal of trees, stumps and weeds on the farmland. It also involves the ploughing, harrowing and ridging of the farmland.
Several rounds of ploughing should be done so that the soil will be loose and drainable enough for the planting of tomato seedlings.
Irrigation is a must for dry season tomato farming. Irrigation is the artificial application of water to crops.
The following types of irrigation system can be used for dry season pepper farming:
- Drip Irrigation System
- Rain Gun Irrigation System
- Sprinkler Irrigation System
- Spray Tube Irrigation System
- Flood Irrigation System
Labour is needed for dry season pepper farming. You should ensure that you hire labourers that are experienced in pepper farming.
Labourers can be sourced from the northern part of Nigeria and the neighboring countries like the Republic of Benin and Niger.
For dry season pepper farming, planting should be done in September – April. Planting from the month of December is better as you will harvest when the prices of pepper are at their highest point.
You should do a soil test to show the nutrients profile of your soil before you plant your pepper plants. There are several types of fertilizers that can be used for dry season pepper farming, they are:
- NPK 15:15:15
- Potassium Nitrate
- Calcium Nitrate
Pests and Diseases’ Management
Insects and flies are prevalent in the dry season in Nigeria. To engage in dry season pepper farming in Nigeria, you need to devise strategies to handle the issues of pests and diseases.
The following can be used for diseases and pests in dry season pepper farming in Nigeria:
- Acaricides etc.
Harvest and Marketing
Pepper should be harvested when they are matured. Matured peppers should be picked every 2 – 3 days. Leaving matured peppers on the vines will reduce the overall yield and stress the plants.
Advantages of Dry Season Pepper Farming
The following are the advantages of dry season pepper farming in Nigeria:
Dry season pepper farming is more profitable than the rainy season pepper farming. Pepper prices are usually high between the months of May – August.
Fungal diseases are not prevalent in the dry season in Nigeria. Fungal diseases can significantly reduce the yield of crop.
Dry season pepper farming can provide job opportunities for people.
Dry season pepper farming enhances food production in the nation.
Problems facing dry season pepper farming
The following are the problems or challenges facing dry season pepper farming in Nigeria:
- Problems with financing
- Poor quality seeds
- Sub-standard farm inputs
- Lack of irrigation facilities
- Inadequate farm hands or labourers
Do you engage in dry season pepper farming in Nigeria? If yes, why not share your experiences with us in the comments’ section.