Vegetables crops and leaves are one of the major daily meals, starting from our salads, soup and other nutritious meal that are healthy.
It is highly demanded by all because of high nutritional value. It is one of the profitable farming businesses you can imagine, that grows almost all the time and grows very well as well, which that you have something to sell every time.
This vegetable farming business requires just a little capital to start and you can gain a larger profit from it, so if you are planning to start up the business, you should make sure to carry out all the market surveys and feasibility study. The tips below will help you to know how you start and make from the vegetable farming business.
1. Choose the best Species
It is advisable to always check the kind of vegetables you will like to venture into. While looking for the one you want to venture into, it is important to consider the ones that can easily be sold out around your locality. Vegetables can include artichoke, eggplant, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, Spanish vegetable, okro known as ladies' fingers or ochro and scientifically known as Abelmoschus esculentus, green vegetable, Cauliflower, etc.
There are various types of fruits and vegetables to select from; deciding on the right one will lead to a successful vegetable farming business.
You should try and find out about all these around your area like; is there a high demand for this crop? How resistant is the crop to diseases and pests, the risks of planting the crop and the quantity of crop to produce first?
Then you can decide on the type of vegetable farming you want to engage on.
2. Get a Suitable Farmland
Finding suitable farmland is very essential when starting this kind of farming business, you should also try and know about different kinds of soil and its properties, in order to choose the best soil suitable for planting.
It is important to consider the following while choosing land for your vegetable farming; which includes its soil type, the topography of the land, demographic, its access to sunlight and water.
Loamy or humus soils is regarded to be the best soil type for vegetable planting, due to high nutrients present in it that helps the proper growth of vegetables.
This type of farming can also be planted at home if you have enough space for it. But you can a small or large area of land to start up the farming business, depending on your scale of operation.
3. Get the Necessary Equipment
Getting the necessary equipment for your vegetable farming depends on the scale of your operation.
Your scale of operation will determine whether you need to get farming tools and machines such as planters, tractors, manure spreader, capable bakkies, etc.
Farming equipment helps to increase the productivity of your farm. If you are planning a small scale of operation, you may consider the following farming tools such as hoe, plow, including other garden equipment.
4. Get your Start-Up Capital
There are some ways you can raise up your start-up capital. But if you have a very small amount of funds, you can start it on a low key and expand it when you start making profits. If you are planning to start it in a bigger way, then you apply for a loan from the bank.
Getting a suitable land for this farming business will take a lot of expenses, the seeds are also expensive and you will also need to buy some additional materials like pesticides, fertilizers, watering systems and others.
5. Pest and Diseases Control
Vegetable crops can also be affected by pests and diseases. Therefore it is important to check on your crops for pests and diseases.
Applying a pest and diseases control depends on the level of it has affected or the level of its damage to the crop.
You can check on the crop to know if there is any presence of diseases and pests, by setting a trap for a particular pest and then check on it regularly.
Some of the traps you can use are Pheromone trap (a hormone that attracts male insects) serves as a trap for pests like a diamond back moth, and Sticky yellow traps that serve as a trap for insects like aphids or thrips. Traps help the grower to know the presence and indication levels of the pest on the farm.
Pest and disease control can be done with the use of resistant varieties, including biological controls, cultivation, trap cropping, chemical application, management and cultural methods.
Harvesting your vegetable crops should be one of the things to consider while choosing to grow vegetables. It may require hiring laborers, though depends on the type of vegetable crop you decide to plant.
Your vegetable crop can be harvested with the following means:
Harvesting by machinery: harvesting your crop with a machine does not require many laborers but the takes too much capital for the machinery, such crops include corn, carrots, processing tomatoes, and potatoes.
Harvesting by hand: this demands few laborers, though it can be managed by your family members depending on the size of your operation, and the perish ability of the crop should be considered and how fast it needs to be harvested after it matures, an example of such crops are pumpkins.
Some crops require pruning and harvesting by hand continuously and this type of crop may yield for a long time, examples of such crops are squash, snow peas, eggplant and asparagus.
Vegetable crops growing, planting and harvesting are not so difficult compared to other food crops. It is important to have your buyers ready to buy the vegetables once it has been harvested. Vegetables are perishable and storing it for a very long time can affect its quality.
Climate variability is one of the things to consider in vegetable planting. It is highly beyond control, unless if you are planning to create protected cropping like shade house production or glasshouse.
Climate will help you to know the crops that can be grown and the best time of the year to grow it. Some crops is likely to be frost sensitive while others are likely to require heat or lower soil temperature before the seeds can germinate.
It is important to know that some specific varieties of vegetable crops like lettuce or cauliflowers are grown on specific seasonal times and conditions.
The timing of planting some varieties of vegetable are specific, but if they are planted when it is not supposed due to bad timing or unseasonal weather it will result in not growing properly.
8. Chemical Control
The amount of chemical required for vegetable farming depends on the levels of pest present in it. Some organism is great resistance to some chemicals, therefore it is necessary to reduce the development of the resistance.
Vegetable farming has various resistance plans that have been created. Chemical labels help to provides information on how to reduce resistance. And this includes reducing the number of chemicals applied to a crop and rotating chemical groups.
There are many legal things you need to know when using chemicals, which includes sticking to the length of time after applying and when it will be harvested, having the proper chemical user certification and also the rules on record keeping.
Vegetable farming is one of the easiest farming businesses and it's very profitable. Once you have the knowledge and basic skills required, you can start the farming business even while having another job by making use of spare time to plant it and sell to retailers.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, you can decide to start your vegetable farming business on a small or large scale business, depending o your financial status.