In this article, I will be teaching you, How to start a watermelon business in Nigeria from farm to market. You’ll also get to see profit in watermelon farming per acre in Nigeria, the price of watermelon in Nigeria, how to start growing watermelons commercially in Nigeria and watermelon yield per hectare in Nigeria.
Agriculture is now becoming a major source of income nationwide. Although watermelon is not a staple crop, it still has a lot of demand in and out of Nigeria. Watermelon is a plant of the genus Citrullus, a variety of melon. This fruit has a green rind and watery flesh that is bright red when ripe and contains black pips.
I like the idea of venturing into the watermelon farm because planting to harvesting takes approximately 90days (3 months), so you can plant and harvest up to 4 times in a year. China is currently the world’s largest producer of watermelon.
This is a favourable business and can serve as a passive income idea that will generate residual profit for life. That is just the beginning, starting a watermelon farm in Nigeria is cheaper, most farmers start it up with less than ₦50,000 (expect the land).
A watermelon farm is very profitable and has a very high turn over, up to ₦400,000 can be made in 3 months on a plot of land (₦1.6m yearly), resistant to disease and can adapt to various climate changes. So, as you can see, it has little and requires no work at all. And it has an income
So now that I’ve got your attention, let us get down to it. Here is a rundown on,
How To Start Watermelon Business In Nigeria From Farm To Market
1. Pre-planting procedures For Watermelon
These involve all activities carried out before the seed gets into the ground. And they include
1. Seed Selection
This is one of the most important action when it comes to starting up a watermelon farm in Nigeria. There are a series of seeds you can choose from Depending on the variation, watermelon species, and taste. These seeds/breeds vary in shape, colour, size, taste, and texture. The most common sorts include:
1. Sugar Baby –
This is the most common of them all. The sugar baby usually weighs at 4 kg, with a duration of 75 days and has the usually sweet red flesh.
2. Crimson Sweet –
is another breed of watermelon. A mature fruit usually weighs 11 kg and usually takes 85 days to mature. It also has the usual sweet red flesh.
3. Charleston Gray –
is another breed/species of watermelon that weighs 14 kg when mature and also takes around 85 days to mature. With the usual sweet red flesh.
4. Orangeglo Golden Midget –
is one of the biggest species of watermelon. It weighs 18 kg and takes about 90 days to mature. It is very sweet and crispy and has bright orange flesh and white seeds.
5. Jubilee –
This is another amazing breed of watermelon. It weighs 18 kg when matured and takes at most 95 days and has the usual sweet red flesh inside. Other recognized species are
6. Green gold
9. Sweet beauty
2. Site Selection
After seed selection, site selection is another important factor to consider is the site. There are 36 states in Nigeria and abundant land. When you get your land examine the weather, topography, soil type, survey the area for security, labour, market, etc. Once you’ve done this, you move one to your business plan.
3. Business plan
Failing to plan is basically planning to fail. That is why most farmers make losses instead of gains. You should draw a business plan. This will also help you get assistance and sponsorship. Your business plan should include your budget, expenses, expenditure, potential income, and possible partners.
4. Land preparation
The last step before you plant your first seed land preparation. This step determines your crop yield and it includes weeding and stumping, application of manure and fertilizers, ploughing, harrowing and ridging. Once this is done, you’ll have a smooth planting.
2. Planting Procedures For Watermelon
These involve all activities carried out after immediately after land preparation and all activities that occur before the fruit is harvested. They include
1. Planting Watermelon
Watermelon is crawlers and produces a lot of vine during growth, so they require a lot of space. Place a seed an inch into the soil and take two steps forward and place the next seed.
It is important to water the plants with sufficient twice a week. So the growing plants can have ample space to yield 100%
3. Weeding and Pest Control
You can use either herbicides or the manual hand picking method for the weeds. And for the insects and other pests, the application of pesticide is not advice. So, you should introduce their natural predators.
3. Harvesting Procedures For Watermelon
These are all the activities that happen after the watermelon seeds have ripened and are ready to be harvested. They include
Like I said earlier, there are different species but watermelon reaches maturity between 75-90 days.
The dull sound, the base of the water turns from green to a dull yellowish colour and the stem losses it moisture and spiral. These signs proofed that the fruit is ready for harvest.
Before harvesting your fruit, make sure you take some to market and stores and give out free samples if need be in order to create demand for it.
Watermelon can be preserved for up to 2 months without going stale if the optimal temperature is between 11°C and 15°C, 85 to95% optimal humidity 85 to 95%, aren’t exposed to direct sunlight after harvest and piled with other fruits and/or vegetables.
You can sell you watermelons as a wholesaler to fruit stands, groceries stores, supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, pharmaceutical companies, or individuals and even export it to other countries.
Let’s take a look at the expenses and profits.
Expenses and Profits Of Watermelon Farming Business In Nigeria
Expenses on a plot of land
500 grams of imported hybrid seeds – ₦5,300
Labour cost for planting and harvesting – ₦5,000
Labour cost for weeding and manure applications – ₦5,000
50kg of Organic Manure – ₦3,500
Foliar fertilizer – ₦5,200
Transportation – ₦3,000
Miscellaneous – ₦10,000
It all sums up to ₦38,000 as the estimated/probable expenditure to run this program.
A plot of land can grow up to 1,596 melons.
The average price of a watermelon is ₦250 (Wholesale price)
1,569 X 250 = ₦392,250
Profit = ₦392,250 – ₦45,000
This nets you a profit of ₦347,250 every 3 months and ₦1.4m annually. In case you don’t know, The price for watermelons for export is twice higher. Take a moment to do the maths.
# you can learn how to export your commodity outside Nigeria by clicking here.
By now you should be able to start a watermelon business in Nigeria from farm to market and awaken the entrepreneur in you. I’m sure I have covered every step and procedures on how to start a watermelon business in Nigeria from Farm to Market. In case I missed any or you would like to share your knowledge, do tell in the comment section below.