Carrot farming in Nigeria is one of the lucrative agricultural enterprise to venture in due to its health benefits which makes it widely consumed across the country. Due to the level at which carrots are consumed in Nigeria, the farmers are sometimes unable to beat the continuous demands, especially during the festive seasons making it one of the financially rewarding agricultural enterprise to embark on, and guess what? You do not necessarily need a vast land before venturing.
Carrot farming in Nigeria is an important root crop cultivated for its fleshy edible roots. The Carrot crop is the second most popular vegetable in the world after potato; many varieties of carrots take about 70-80 days to mature.
Carrot Production in Nigeria
There are several varieties of carrot seedlings that are cultivated in Nigeria with a high rate of productivity, some of these seedlings include the Danvers variety which is larger in size and requires a balanced level of soil fertility to grow well. Other varieties include Chantanay, Nantes, Armsterdam amongst others.
Carrots can be grown well in a wide variety of soils. However, commercial carrot farming’s suitable soil should be deep, loose, well-drained, and rich in humus. Loamy or sandy loam soils with sufficient quantities of humus are best fitted to the cultivation of carrots in Nigeria. The soil for carrot cultivation should be properly prepared and apt to get the desired yield. Therefore the field must provide a loose, friable, deep, and well-drained technique for seeds to germinate effectively. This can be achieved by repeated deep plowing at least 20-30 cm deep followed by harrowing, leveling, and cleaning. Since the seeds are very small and delicate, the seedbed should be very finely prepared. Beds of convenient size should be prepared before sowing. Carrots are taproots that penetrate and grow downwards so while cultivating the carrots, you should avoid rocky or stony areas to prevent stunted growth. It is advisable to make ridges for planting carrots, which should be higher than those for planting a crop like maize. Ridges are necessary at a considerable height level for the maximum penetration of the carrot.
Benefits of Carrots
Carrots are known for their tremendous benefits and uses, some benefits of carrots are;
– The roots of carrot are used as a vegetable for soups & curries; graded roots are used as salad and also for garnishing meals.
– Carrot juice is a rich source of carotene and is sometimes used for colouring buffer and other food particles.
– Carrots possess many medicinal properties; it is a rich source of b-carotene and contains appreciable amounts of thiamine and riboflavin.
– Eating raw carrot daily solves the problem of constipation and helps maintain healthy cholesterol for weight loss and a balanced diet.
– Carrots are packed with beta carotene, vitamins; A, D, C, E, K, potassium, and minerals. They also can improve eye health and skin.
Carrot is a cold-weather crop, and it also does well in warm climates. The optimum temperature for getting efficient growth is between 16 to 20 °C, while temperatures above 28°C drastically reduce top growth. Carrots are propagated using seeds. The germination of some local varieties may be inadequate. The best results must procure clean, healthy, and viable seeds from reliable sources to aid productivity. The seeds take approximately 7-21 days for complete germination.
Seeds are lightly covered with soil. Some growers irrigate the field about 24 hours before sowing to be sure that adequate moisture is present at the time of sowing. The Fertilizer recommendations should be based on soil analysis.
The first irrigation should be light and carried out immediately after sowing. Subsequent irrigations are given as needed. Too much moisture causes short carrots with light colour and a larger diameter.
Early carrots are harvested when they are partially developed in the case of distinct markets; otherwise, they are retained in the soil till they reach the full maturity stage. It is advised that they should not be retained in the full maturity stage because they will eventually become hard and which is unfit for consumption.
Carrots are harvested when the roots are about 1.8 cm or larger in diameter at the upper end. The soil may be loosened with a special plow or an ordinary plow.
After harvesting, the carrots are carefully placed in a packing house in crates or bags before washing. After that, carefully wash Carrots and sort them by size before packaging them for future endeavors.
Carrot Farming PDF
To learn more about Carrot Farming in Nigeria download this free guide. click here
Carrot farming in Nigeria is still unexplored and anyone can venture into it and make a living out of it. Get trained by experts and get certified seeds before setting out.
2 thoughts on “Carrot Farming in Nigeria: Beginner’s Guide”
Very good initiative and can improve on the health issues
Where do one get the seeds, carrot, also Vera?