In this post, you’ll be learning how to go into Orange farming here in Nigeria. There is hardly a home in Nigeria where you will not find an orange tree, in fact, most houses and households in Nigeria consume oranges.
oranges are known to be one of the most random and common fruits you can find in Nigeria and that is why the demand also is very high especially in the cities because they don’t have space for farming and planting of the Orange tree. it might not be profitable to go into the subsistence farming of orange fruit but commercial farming is known to be a lucrative agricultural business that you should consider.
You have the potential to earn a continuous income stream from this business if you persist especially in the line of commercial farming.
Health benefits of Orange
- Orange is consumed majorly because of its health benefits and it’s also sweet. It is known to be the best natural source of vitamin c which is needed by the human body and known to play a very crucial medicinal role.
- It protects the cell by neutralizing free radicals.
- It does the photochemical screening.
- It prevents kidney disease.
- It helps in healing wounds
It also has other medicinal properties.
There are three types of oranges and they are the bitter oranges, the sweet oranges and mandarins.
the most popular specie of oranges is the sweet oranges which is known around the world because it can be easily eaten in its raw form. this is the kind of orange that is used in the production of fruit juice and it’s used in producing some products like fragrant peels, pectin, frozen concentrate, and flavours.
according to statistics from the food and agriculture organisation it is said that Nigeria producers up to 3.5 metric tons of citrus fruits yearly and this is done from 3 million hectares of land. Nigeria is known to be the ninth global producer of citrus fruits and it’s also said to be the largest producer of citrus fruits in Africa and is followed by countries like Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and the rest.
the majority of oranges that are being produced here in Nigeria are in States like Benue state why some other States include that produce oranges include Kogi, Taraba, Kaduna,Ebonyi, Ekiti, Nassarawa, Ogun, Osun, Imo, Kwara, Delta and Edo state.
Steps for orange farming
Orange fruit is a tropical fruit which means that it is fully fitted in this country because of the Nigerian climate which is that of tropical rainforest. there are lots of prospective investors in this business and that is why it is more lucrative than ever. The target market for orange agricultural business is not crowded so you have to grab this opportunity and follow the steps that are needed in order to start up this business successfully.
Draft a business plan
Making a business plan is very essential for any business or venturing into because you get to see the significant areas and how to increase your chances of success in your proposed business.
This business plan should contain a description of the business which includes the farm size the market demand and the availability of the market for your harvest.
You should also consider your competition and can be capital and make a financial forecast in relation to your staff strength.
Get a land
After setting up your business plan next thing you should do is to find a good land that is located in a place that has suitable soil and access to the road. For the cultivation of Orange is the best soil for is sandy loam.
you should also check out the water retention capacity for the land you intend using because if it is a water clogged area then it will not be suitable for orange farming.
Orange farming can be done in a wide range of soil types depending on the one you prefer. but you want to go into commercial orange I mean it should make sure you use between one to two hectares of land and it is very necessary that you fence the Land before You resume farming in order to prevent thieves.
These are processes that you have to put into consideration in order to prepare the land for farm operations you have to clear bushes, trees, remove stumps, rocks, and stones. You should also make sure you remove any factor that will prevent the maximum crop yield.
You should also cut all trees that may form shade because it’s known that young orange trees hate shades.
You can easily prepare your land using mechanized or manual labour depending on the size of the Land than the capital you have at hand make sure you also had enough fertilizer or manure in order to improve the fertility of the Land.
You have to prepare a nursery bed where you first plant the seedlings of this Orange then from there the next thing you do is to transplant the young orange trees to the permanent land that you have prepared. like I mentioned earlier is very important that you since the land in order to prevent the invasion of animals like sheep goat or cattle into it and it would also prevent thieves from coming in. To transplant, you have to dig the soil have a metre and fill it with organic matter. Put the young tree in the soil after tearing the polythene from around it and you can also create a depression or around it to hold some water. you should also make sure there is space in between the plants in order to enable proper blossoming. You should space them from about 6 to 10 feet apart but for the standard orange trees, they required 12 to 25 feet apart from each other so that they will not struggle for nutrients.
Caring for orange trees
You have to wait for your orange trees to mature and this takes years to happen. Depending on the variety of species of the orange you can take from 3 to 10 years. All you need to be doing is providing proper care and attention in order to improve their chances of maximum production which doesn’t happen immediately it usually starts Orange germination with a few oranges then increases over the years. You should also be very watchful because of diseases that will attack your orange trees to use the proper treatment to relieve them.
you can easily treat some of them by spraying insecticides.