Beans is one of the most consumed staple foods in Nigeria alongside rice and cassava. Also, it is one of the most affordable sources of protein. Interestingly, despite the massive consumption of beans in the country, a significant proportion of beans consumed is imported from Niger Republic. There’s an urgent need for more beans farmers to bridge market demand as its venture guarantees prospective returns on investments.
To launch your beans farming business, you need just a little over N100, 000 in start-up capital for seedling and clearing of farm land among others. Although, the cost is exclusive of a hectare of land you may need.
The first thing you have to do before you embark on farming is to ascertain the viability of the land. The lands in South Eastern and South Western parts of Nigeria are very good for beans farming. However, beans don’t grow well in areas with too much rain. A moderately distributed rainfall of about 300 – 400 mm per crop cycle is ideal for beans farming. The soil should have pH of 6 – 7 (neutral to slightly acidic). It should also be a well drained soil. A damp soil will rot the beans prior to germination.
There are different varieties of beans and you should properly select the seeds that you’ll be using for planting. This is to ensure you are planting healthy seeds and not the shriveled or damaged ones. The seeds should be planted 2 inches deep into the soil, and then covered with surface soil. Beans usually sprouts quickly. Within 6 days of planting, the seed is already germinating and you can see a good sprout within 2 weeks.
The beans should be planted with the eye of the beans facing downwards. The seeds should be planted 4 to 6″ apart. You should water the soil immediately and continue to water it regularly until it sprouts. When watering the plant, ensure the leaves don’t get wet, this will prevent mould growth. You shouldn’t plant the seeds at the same spot more than once every four years.
Harvesting beans is a very diligent process. Dry weather is very essential for harvest and will prolong the dry conditions. and Extreme wetness is harmful to the crop.
Generally, harvest is done by gently pulling the beans from the vine or by snapping it off the vine end. It takes 60 to 80 days after planting before you can begin harvesting.
However, the best way to determine the suitability of the beans for harvest at this stage is by harvesting one or two pods to ascertain the quality before going into full scale harvest.
Generally, the process of planting beans if properly done, can give you a 100% return on your investments.