Mkulima today we are going to cover one of the leading crops minting fresh millionaires in Kenya currently. Watermelon is an orchard fruit grown in an area of average heat 22-28 c.
Rainfall required is about 400mm-600mm annually. Land with enough heat, water, and fertile soil.
Watermelon grows fast, just like other plants in its family for example cucumber and pumpkin. This results in a quick turn around on your investment.
The best time to grow watermelon is between the months of March to September.
Watermelon grows well in both coastal and low areas for example Pamwani, Daresalam, and Morogoro in Tanzania.
Watermelon is good for your health as it can provide you with income as well as quality vitamins needed by the body.
The fruit matures in a period of 3 to 4 months depending on the variety of seeds planted and can be harvested 3-4 times annually.
In most cases, an acre of land produces between 2000 to 8000 fruits or more in 3 to 4 months. In average an acre also produces 15-30 tons of watermelon fruits.
This is if well taken care of during the farming season. Use quality fertilizers and pesticides to deter insects that would cause damage to the fruits.
In several locations watermelon is sold in the range of Kshs 150-250 in Tanzania Tzshs of 2000-5000.
Harvesting 2000 fruits with each fruit selling for tzshs 2000 you earn upwards of Tzshs 4 million. The earning is projected to grow with continued harvesting with estimated earnings of 12 million Tanzania shillings all from farming an acre.
The production cost will increase or reduce in line with the type of seeds you use per acre and the market selling price.
For a good harvest and better earnings at the market, farmers are encouraged to work together in support of each other.
Farmers coming together with the mentality of agribusiness will have a better shot at earning more for their families and society.
The reason for writing this article is to enhance more people to join agribusiness not only to help them earn but also to ensure food security in their home countries. For this to become a reality the following must be followed.
- Convince more farmers (youth) to join agribusiness and not agriculture
- Teaching more people agribusiness and farming
- Access to the ready market and produce products that are in demand
For you to start in watermelon farming you need to consider drip irrigation for your plants.
If you can afford it make sure it’s installed if not ensure there is enough water for the plants. You should also consider working with an expert or a mentor to help you through the journey.
Your mentor should be experienced and able to guide you.
For you to have any success in watermelon farming, patience and discipline will go a long way. Treat the farm like your child day and night.
Start with what you have at hand and don’t wait. Don’t be a telephone farmer. There are more farmers now doing watermelon farming as a result of their success and failures you can learn from them.
Remember don’t follow the trend, do it because you have an interest and drive in farming.
Experts are so important in agriculture and you can earn more from your venture as a result of their input. Follow their advice and get into agribusiness 100%.
Always use the right seeds and confirm if they are certified by the relevant authorities.
In agriculture, harvesting is a guaranteed but only if production is done in the right way with a lot of patience and hard work.
To harvest more from your farm, add a beehive next to your farm so as to attract bees to help in the pollination of the fruit when it starts flowering.
Wind will ensure pollination is done but a bee will not miss any flower resulting in better production and harvest.
Each plant produces 4 fruits so do away with the bad batches ensuring each plant has between 2 to 3 fruits to enhance the best result s for your venture.
Remember not to water the plantation in the evening as the wet soil and night conditions attract insects and diseases.
Set insect traps to avoid flies destroying your plants. Don’t focus on your projected income that you forget to focus on the challenges that come with agriculture like low harvest.
You must have cash, water, employees, and diseases
Heart disease, diabetes, and low blood levels increase male sexual strengths.
Financial break down in
Preparations 200,000 8000
Seeds 150,000 6000
Pesticides 200,000 8000
Water 150,000 6000
Maintenance 300,000 12000
Total 1000000 40000
Estimated fruits harvested 2000 to 5000 fruits 90 days of production time.
Profit 2,500,000 100,000
This can change with the region the farming is done and your requirements as a farmer.
Having an agribusiness question? Do you know of a successful agribusiness venture or story that you wish to share? I would like to hear from you. Send me the TIP(s) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Like and follow MkulimaTODAY on Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram share this article and leave comments or questions or WhatsApp me +254700761190 on what you would like me to write on in the next article.