Beans is the third most consumed food stuff in Nigeria and other West African countries after Rice and Cassava. Sadly, most of the beans we eat in this country are from Niger Republic, putting money and employment into the hands of the neighboring country when our own soil is even better for Beans farming. So why exactly are we not much into beans farming in Nigeria despite the huge demand in consumption?
Well, the answer lays on the same shortsightedness that average Nigerians always exhibit when it comes to business. If you can look beyond the obvious, you’d find out that very few investment offers same steady income as farming does in Nigeria, including beans farming.
Experience has shown that lands in the south east and south west Nigeria are extremely good for beans farming. I wonder why some men and women prefer to keep wandering around Lagos, prefer to roast corns and plantains at the bus stops in Lagos when opportunity is wasting away in the villages. What exactly are they looking for?
Why neglect the opportunities God has given you and keep looking for what he has not assigned to you? No pastor, no amount of night virgil will put money in your pocket if you have not worked for it. God can only bless your hard work if it is properly channeled, not lack of it! Beans farming in Nigeria is one of the means you can properly channel your hard work.
As a legume, beans is one of the easiest source of protein for the family and every family eats it, both rich and poor. No culture or religion that forbids beans in Nigeria and it can be prepared in so many forms, making it one of the most versatile food staple in Nigeria. When you engage in the farming of food that is highly in demand as beans, you are sure of creating wealth. So, this how it goes-
To cultivate beans farm that will yield you 100 bags, you may not need more than N1million naira, provided you can get land in cheap location or you already have good land that is big enough and suitable for beans farming. Another factor that may drive your cost lower is cheap labor, if you can get laborers that charges less, your over head cost would be highly reduced.
Things You Need To Start Beans Farming
1. Good Farm Land – You need to get your farm land in area with suitable climate for optimum growth and performance. Beans don’t grow well in area with too much rain. It require a moderate but well distributed rainfall of about 300 to 400 mm per crop cycle. Dry weather is essential during harvest while prolonged dry conditions or extreme wetness are harmful to crop.
Climbing types will yield well in areas of high rainfall while the dwarf types are more sensitive to high soil moisture levels. Suitable soil types range is from light to moderately heavy and to peaty with organic matter soils that is near neutral pH and good drainage. Common bean is sensitive to salt, you must avoid salty area.
Having found the suitable land for your plantation, next is to get it prepared in readiness for plating. Clear the land properly and burn the grass, then use tractor cultivator to Plows the oil and loosen the earth. Some people do plan just after clearing but properly cleared land do better than the just cleared and planted.
Select The Best Seeds – The verities of beans that does well in Nigeria are: The White Beans (Phaseolus Vulgaris) and The Red Beans. Select the best verity and do the seed selection too. It is not just enough to select the right verity, you need to manually do the seed selection to ensure you are planting only the best and the most health seeds.
Planting – Beans can be planted in either rows or blocks, with 6 inches between each seed. Plant the seeds 2 inches deep into the soil and cover it with the soft surface soil. If possible, let the seed eyes face the ground.
Under normal circumstances and idea conditions, bean would begin to sprout with 6 days of planting and grow into a good sprout within two weeks.
Maintenance – Beans does very well in normal soil fertility and does not require fertilizer in most cases. Only fertilize where levels of soil fertility are very low. If you are to fertilize, start after heavy bloom and set of pods. The most suitable fertilizer is the high Nitrogen type.
Use a light hand when applying high nitrogen fertilizer, or you will get lush very beautiful plants but with few beans. So, you need to be moderate in applying fertilizer.
Weeding is essential to the well being of the plant. Be very diligent while weeding and use shallow cultivation to avoid disturbing the roots.