Ugwu farming is one of the golden products that sells without season, if you Want to make money from vegetable farming in Nigeria then start an Ugwu farm because it is profitable and the demand is high.
Also known as fluted pumpkin, Ugwu leaves has so many health and nutritious benefits. Some include: serves as an immune booster, it is a natural hematinic has a blood sugar reducing effect. This vegetable can also help prevent kidney diseases due to it high phosphorus content.
The use of ugwu is on the rise. It is used in the manufacturing of herbs and as we all know, the leaves is use in preparing popular Nigerian soups such as the egusi soup, ogbono soup and edi kain kong soup.
It had been estimated that about 30 – 35 million people in Nigeria consume these leaf. This tells you that starting a commercial ugwu farm in the country is a profitable venture.
Guide on How To Start Ugwu Farming in Nigeria
The steps below will guide you to set up a successful ugwu farming in Nigeria;
One: Land Selection And Preparation
One interesting thing about ugwu (fluted pumpkin) is that it can be planted virtually everywhere in the country provided the soil is fertile, well-drained and not waterlogged.
The farms should be exposed to sunlight and the soil must be at a particular pH level. The pH level of soil for ugwu is between 6.5-7.
After your choice of site, you’ll need to clear the farmland and apply organic manure two weeks before you plant.
After preparing your site, your need to prepare the seed. You have two options; you can either buy the pod containing the seed or buy the dried seeds. I will advise to go for the seeds as it is less stressful.
Two: Planting And Post Planting season
The seeds are planted usually between April to May and this is good for the vegetable as it does well in rainy season. The seed should be planted a foot apart and the depth shouldn’t be that deep.
After planting, the next step is to care for your plants. Water the seeds every day for at least two weeks. Typically, plants begin to germinate after a week or two.
Also, weeding should be done every 2 weeks to ensure that the growing plant isn’t starved of water and the vital nutrients. When the seed start to germinate, use stick of a meter or two and place it close to the plant. The plants will start climbing the sticks, this help prevent them against disease especially during the rainy season.
Two things to guard against are pest and diseases. Guard against them. Watch out for goats and their likes, they are dangerous to the growth of your farm.
Three: Harvesting season
Ugwu are ready for harvest a month after planting. Usually, if your farm is commercial, it is best you wait for two months before you start harvesting and you can keep harvesting for 8 months at an interval of 15 days.
As you can see, cultivating ugwu leaf (fluted pumpkin) isn’t that money consuming. You are sure to get profit from this business because the demand is high and the market is everywhere.