Carrot farming is one of the most lucrative businesses you can engage in. Carrot is an important root crop cultivated throughout the world for its fleshy edible roots. Carrot farming business is done in the spring, summer, and autumn in temperate climate countries and during winter season in tropical and subtropical regions. Its Roots are used as a vegetable for soups & curries; grated roots are used as a salad, tender roots as pickles.
Its juice is a rich source of carotene and is sometimes used for coloring buffer and other food particles. Carrot tops are used for extraction of leaf protein, as fodder, and also for poultry feeds. Carrots possess many medicinal properties and are used in Ayurvedic medicine. Carrots are a rich source of b-carotene and contain appreciable amounts of thiamine and riboflavin. This crop is the second most popular vegetable in the world after potato. All these re-emphasize the importance of carrot farming.
Apart from its health benefits as outlined above, the economic angle is also important. Carrots are widely consumed across Nigeria. Its high demand makes it very lucrative and financially rewarding. It is necessary to know that you do not need a vast land before you can start.
This is in addition to improved agricultural practices. In other words, improved seedlings coupled with improvements in the utilization of space has made it much more profitable. Carrots are consumed in a variety of ways by Nigerians. Hence the farmer has an assurance of a continuous demand which is good for business.
Carrot farming is easy, as long as your carrots are planted in loose, sandy soil during the cooler periods of the growing season depending on the variety and local growing conditions, carrots may take anywhere from 2 to 4 months to mature.
- 1 Steps involved in starting a profitable carrot farming business
- 2 1. Get a proper soil for planting:
- 3 2. Select the best variety to be planted:
- 4 3. Understand carrot farming maintenance processes:
- 5 4. Irrigation:
- 6 5. Harvesting:
- 7 6. Marketing your carrot farming produce:
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Steps involved in starting a profitable carrot farming business
- Get a proper soil for farming
- Select the best variety to be planted
- Understand necessary carrot Plant Maintenance processes.
- Have a good irrigation plan.
- Have a harvest plan
- Have a marketing strategy.
1. Get a proper soil for planting:
When cultivating carrots, there are particular soils where carrots will do well. This is not the same for other areas. When cultivating carrots, you should avoid rocky or stony areas. This is because they may obstruct the downward growth of carrots. Carrots are taproots that penetrate or grow downward. As a result, stunted growth may result. In view of this, it is necessary to have a loose soil.
Most farmers make ridges for planting their carrots. These ridges are normally higher than those for planting crops like maize. The reasons for making the ridges high is for maximum penetration by the carrot. This enables the crop to attain the desired length, size and shape. Your carrot seedlings are normally sold in packets. A stick or hoe is used to draw a line across the length of the ridge.
The seeds are evenly sprinkled along the groove or line made on the ridge. The groove is then covered with stalks of grass or corn. This is meant to prevent the birds from picking the seeds. Other uses include the prevention of direct sunlight which may kill off the young carrot plant as well as shielding it from strong rains which may also damage it.
2. Select the best variety to be planted:
There are various species of carrot seedlings which can be cultivated. Various types include the Danvers variety, Nantes, Amsterdam, and Chaitanya etc. The Danvers variety are normally larger in size when compared with other types, and require soils rich in nutrients to yield bountifully. One’s choice of any of these variety will depend on the soil type. Most of these variety do well on rich soils. Carrots will generally do well on sandy or loamy soils. Carrots do well on well drained soils. Water-logged areas do not support good yield.
3. Understand carrot farming maintenance processes:
After planting, tending the crop must follow up. The stalk used to cover the seedlings are raised when the seeds start to germinate. This is to allow for ample space for the carrots to grow. However because they are still young, the stalks are not totally removed.
Instead they are raised by placing short sticks at intervals underneath the stalks to allow for aeration and growth. These are eventually removed when the stems have developed to withstand direct sunlight, and rain. After some few weeks, thinning process should follow.
Thinning is necessary to allow for adequate spacing between carrot plants. If this process is not followed, the carrots will not reach it’s desired size. This significantly drops its market value. You need to apply fertilizer after thinning to encourage growth and development. As your plants become more mature, it will require more soil around its roots.
Irrigation comes after planting in carrot farming. Irrigation should be minimal and carried out dully. Subsequent irrigations are given as needed. Too much moisture causes short carrots with light color and a larger diameter.
The frequency of irrigation depends upon soil type, season, and crop type. Generally, one irrigation every 5-6 days in summer and 10-15 days in winter provides enough moisture for the crop. During the rainy season, only occasional irrigations are needed. Water stress should be avoided during root development to prevent cracking of the soil.
Carrots are harvested early when they are partially developed, or retained in the soil till when they are fully developed. 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 plough. The field is irrigated once a day before harvesting to facilitate harvest. After harvesting, the carrots are placed in a packing house in crates before washing. After that, carefully wash Carrots and sort them by size before packaging.
6. Marketing your carrot farming produce:
In carrot farming business, trading involves disposing or selling off your produce. It is necessary to make all the necessary enquiries about buyers. When the carrots are almost mature, vegetable markets are ideal places to dispose them. Other likely buyers include restaurants, hotels etc.
Before selling your carrot farming produce, it will be helpful to visit the market and stores to keep up with current prices. This will place you in a better bargaining position to market your crops. This crop cannot be stored for a long period of time. With all these done, preparation should commence for the next planting.