Backyard farming in Nigeria is still at the in fact stage due to the enactive approach to growing crops and rearing of animals within the neighbourhood. Increased urbanization and rising food prices are pushing more people into poverty, increasing their vulnerability to insecurity and malnutrition. Backyard farming can play a very big role in alleviating food insecurity and poverty in Nigeria by boasting local and household food production.
What is backyard farming?
Backyard farming refers to a mini or micro landscape farm, usually within a person’s neighbourhood or backyard just for personal consumption, it can either be crop or livestock farm, with the main objective been to produce food crops and rear animals for family/personal consumption.
Benefits of backyard farming
It is impossible to know or to be sure of the quality of food crops one buys from the market. Fresh, homegrown food crops have higher nutrient value and superior flavor, compare to the ones gotten from the market. Most produce bought from the market are less nutritious because of the form of preservation, pesticides, and fertilizer used reduces the essential nutrients that are meant to be derived from them. Most crops especially vegetables start losing their nutrients immediately after harvest.
It saves cost
Easy access to food crops and meat from your backyard saves money at the market which can be diverted into other things. Backyard farming gives the comfort of growing and rearing animal right from your backyard which is way cheaper than purchasing from the market.
Backyard farm gives you the opportunity to keep an eye on most of the things you consume. You harvest food crops and meat from your backyard free from toxins and other harmful pesticides and fertilizers which are harmful to the body.
All Year Round food/meat
Backyard farm gives room for round the year food crop production as different types of food crop can be grown, likewise, animals can be reared.
Harvesting, feeding or weeding of your backyard farming also serve as a way of keeping fit, it also helps to also detoxify the mind.
Backyard Farming Ideas
Discussed here are ways to utilize your backyard for farming
Starting a backyard vegetable farm is one of the simplest form of farming. Vegetables are very suitable for backyard farming because they grow very fast in almost all the soils.
Unlike chickens and other birds, turkeys are bigger birds that are usually allowed to move freely within a confined area for safety purposes.
Rabbit does not compete with humans for food, as kitchen leftovers, cut grasses and formulated or compounded feed can sustain them. Rabbit keeping does not require much capital for investment and maintenance. As little space is needed.
Sheep and goat are a good source of protein, they don’t require huge capital to set up, they feed on grasses and kitchen waste. This also serves as a source of income for the family, because the sheep and goat can still be sold.
As the population is increasing and protein needs are far surpassing the available supply. Before now, people think it hard to rear fish at your backyard, but in recent time fish farmers can comfortably rear fish at your backyard. All you need to get started is a space, tanks or ponds, fingerlings and fish feeds e.t.c.
In recent times, it is now much easier to breed grasscutters in cages, unlike when hunters would have to go hunting for grass cutters.
There is a high demand for ripe banana and ripe and unripe plantain both within and outside Nigeria. You can convert any unused land at your disposal into a banana or plantain farm.
Yam is another staple food that is in high demand in Nigeria. You can start a small or medium scale yam farming at your depending on the availability of land.
There is a high demand for spices like curry, thyme, scent leaves, nutmeg. You can cultivate these spices, dry and package them for sale.
You can start a quail farm business with as little as N30, 000. You can earn passive income from selling the quail birds and supplying quail eggs.
Snail meat can be used as a healthy alternative to red meat. Those people suffering from health issues or those who are on a diet can opt for snail meat. Snails require less start-up capital and less space.
Red pepper farming is easy to set up. That’s because red pepper grows very fast in any kind of soil. They are rich in potassium, riboflavin, vitamins A, B6 and C. They do well in deep containers, pots, and drums.
Maize is easier to plant because it requires is a small space and a few maize seeds depending on the size of the farm. It works best with adequate sunlight and good water supply.
Nothing compares to eating a perfectly ripe home-grown tomato fresh within minutes of harvest. With a good fertile soil, adequate water supply, and sunlight, tomatoes will do well. They can be grown in containers, polythene bags, pots, and drum.
Backyard farming serves as an effective tool for increasing food production and alleviating poverty in Nigeria.
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