Drip irrigation is used for vegetable farming in Nigeria, though the concept of using drip irrigation for farming is not widespread in Nigeria. Vegetable farming can be very profitable if done with the aid of drip irrigation systems.
Drip irrigation can be used for the cultivation of vegetables like tomato, cucumber, kale, peppers, watermelon, okra, lettuce and cauliflower etc.
What is vegetable farming?
Vegetable farming is the cultivation of vegetables for human consumption. Some types of vegetables can also be cultivated for animal consumption. It should however be noted that most of the vegetable farming activities in Nigeria are geared towards the production of food for human consumption.
Vegetable farming can be done on soil, raised beds, greenhouses and through hydroponic equipment. In Nigeria, most vegetables are grown on soil.
Drip Irrigation for Tomato Farming in Nigeria
Tomato farming is a money spinner in Nigeria, at some times of the year in Nigeria, the prices of tomatoes rise by as much as 300%. Farmers who grow tomatoes with drip irrigation during this period can make millions of naira easily. The peak price season of tomatoes in Nigeria is usually during the end of the dry season and the beginning of the rainy season.
In tomato farming, the plant density can be significantly increased, thanks to drip irrigation. Most farmers cultivating tomatoes through rain fed plant about 4,000 plants of tomatoes on one acre, with drip irrigation systems, 10,000 -14,000 plants of tomato can be cultivated on one acre of farmland. The increase in plant density in tomato farming with the aid of drip irrigation can improve yield and profitability.
Drip irrigation can also enable tomato farmers to apply fertilisers in small doses over several days or weeks, this process called fertigation can significantly increase yield and boost the health of the plants.
Drip Irrigation for Cucumber Farming in Nigeria
I am sure you have asked yourself why cucumber farming is popular in Nigeria. Ask 10 young farmers in Nigeria about their choice of vegetables, it is likely that a significant percentage of them will choose cucumbers.
Why is cucumber farming popular in Nigeria? Cucumbers have a pretty short lifecycle. Cucumbers can be harvested as early as the 40th day. Cucumber farming also adapts to drip irrigation very well.
With drip irrigation, a farmer can increase the yield from his cucumber farm by as much as 200%. Drip irrigation allows the increase in plant density in cucumber farming; it also allows the use of fertigation which can significantly boost yield.
Drip Irrigation for Pepper Farming
Just like cucumbers and tomatoes, pepper farming can be lucrative in Nigeria. Drip irrigation systems can increase the yield of peppers significantly.
Most pepper plants have shallow roots, they cannot tap water efficiently from deep down the soil, hence the use of drip irrigation will allow a sustained availability of water to pepper plants all year round.
Drip irrigation can also be used to apply pesticides like nematicides and bactericides to the roots of pepper plants. It can also be used for fertigating pepper plants.
Drip irrigation can be used to cultivate a lot of vegetables like watermelon, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet pepper, chilli pepper and okra etc.