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Rich in fibre and micro nutrients cucumbers much needed by the body,from Vitamins to sodium,potassium and manganese they are the fourth most cultivated vegetable in the world.Cucumbers belong to the same plant family as watermelon,squash and pumpkin,cucumbers are widely consumed in Nigeria because virtually every vegetable or fruit sellers have them displayed for sale along with other fruits and vegetables.Take a visit to a fruit stand or vegetable section in a supermarket cucumber is a market neccessity.

Research has promoted the massive intake of this fruit,as research suggests cucumber contains active compounds that helps the body battle cancer,prevents brain injury,supports the digestive system,helps in weight gain control,freshens breath,manages stress,richness in anti oxidants that helps the cells in the body fight and combat diseases.As a matter of fact researches keep finding new usefulness for this fruit enabling the fruit gain wide appeal for consumers seeking to enjoy it's benefits. Just as consumers seeking benefits from eating this fruit,investors alike have a lot to gain from investing in cucumber farming,because the high consumption rates pushes it's production up in in-estimable proportions because almost every supermarket,fruit sellers,vegetable sellers needs cucumbers to display for sale. On a visit to a rural area while gathering research material on real time cucumber,I discovered more and more youths are gethering steam and working on starting a cucumber farm.The joy of finally leaving the unemployment market,becoming productive and providing means for other youths like themselves and inspiring the young ones in the rural areas was endearing and very inspirational for them.I encountered a number of inspiring cucumber farmers that encouraged me to write this beautiful piece to share their stories and encourage more and more youths to work towards owning their own farmlands and start farming cucumber in commercial quantity - too much encouragement is not needed because the principal motivation is the available in-exhaustive waiting market for this produce.

Although cucumbers are grown in Nigeria,presently Nigeria still imports cucumbers in very high amounts.Every serious investor should be encouraged to join cucumber farming - the reasons are not far-fetched : readily available markets for the produce round the year,waiting buyers willing to come to your farm to make negotiations to buy your farm produce even before harvest,a large pool of affordable labor willing and waiting for opportunities to earn a living from your business,the list extends beyond the scope of this write up to give you the reasons why you should be a cucumber farmer. Cultivating cucumber does not require exceptional farming skills,it is a low maintenance high yielding plant once a farmer successfully sets up his or her farm.though considered a vegetable,it is also a fruit usually picked green,consumed as a vegetable or used in combination with other ingredients in preparing sauce,stews or eaten directly.In many parts of south-eastern Nigeria the leaves are considered as a source of nutrition and used to prepare soups. During my visit to the rural areas in Iseyin in Oyo state, i encountered 3 vibrant youths farming cucumber,Nneka Okeke,Musa Mohammed and Abayomi Adebayo,all of them were seeking for job opportunities just a year before they started cultivating cucumber farms,two of them were graduates and sought white collar jobs,Musa Mohammed has just left the business he has served as a steward for years due to foreclosure of the business and was looking for avenues to earn a living for himself,one thign was common as they shared their experiences,they all started their cucumber farming with little savings of just 150,000Naira they had saved through the years and today each of them have their owns with output of 2Million Naira yearly they owe this high returns to a yield of 300% R.O.I. on whatever sum invested into cucumber farming.They all plan to expand their business but at the moment have turned from desperate hopeless wandering job seekers to employers of labor and are currently sharing their experiences and providing trainingg to new farmers.


Moisture is required throughout the growing season of this plant so intending farmers should plan for close water source or irrigation for their farming cucumber. The first pre-planting method this crop requires is clearing the land,a farmer should also plough the land or make ridges,whichever is preferred both serves the purpose of enabling good fruit development for the crop even though ploughing the land is cheaper then making ridges. The farmer should also apply herbicide immediately the land is prepared and wait for about 10days. After 7 - 10days the land should be made moist or if during rainy season it can be carried out after rain falls,seeds should be placed inside moist soil.Excess heat from the sun damages the seeds so this is important,about 2 seeds can be planted close but 1 inch deep into the earth.The seeds should be sown spaced 18 to 36 inches ( 45 to 90cm ),no matter the specie of the plant grown this spacing should be applied,if this spacing is followed a farmer would require 400gms of seeds per hectare of land.


Clearing the land cost 20,000naira per hectare,the land had to be cleared twice so 40,000naira should be budgetted for clearing an hectare ( depending on location ). Ploughing an hectare of land in Iseyin in Oyo state where we visited while gathering information for this project,it was observed that it cost 30,000naira and the land has to be ploughed twice to obtain optimum results for the crop a sum of 60,000naira is to be set aside for ploughing,both clearing and ploughing the land will cost about 100,000 altgether.


It should be noted that pesticides have to be applied at least three times during the growing stages of cucumber,the farm is to be sprayed with 15 days interval between each pesticide application.A very good pesticide to use cost about 2500Naira per carton and two cartons would be needed for the pesticide application during the entire planting season to harvest,the cost ofr two cartons is 5,000naira,and in addition to cost for clearing and ploughing,this brings the total to 105,000naira.


There are different varities of cucumber the hybrid ,Mgurano and Magano,the non-hybrid Marketer Poinsait and the local cucumber.To obtain good yield at affordable cost for production,farmers shared the Murano and Magano or hybrid seeds yields the best results with these variety a farmer will harvest four times before the harvest season is over,a sharp difference with it's non-hybrid and local counterparts.It comes in an 100grams tin that cost 12,000naira,400grams of seed is required for an hectare , to cultivate one hectare,4 such tins will be required. The total cost of seeds required for an hectare of land is 48,000 naira,note : cost for clearing,ploughing,pesticides and seeds now amounts to 153,000Naira. The first harvest from one hectare production with the Murano and Magano hybrid seeds yields 50bags while the second harvest yields 100 - 120 bags,the third harvest yields about 80 bags while the fourth yields about 60 bags during the different harvest periods no weeding,or pesticide application is required,just an harvest interval of 5-6days per harvest is all the farmer has to observe. The total bags of the fruit harvested from all four yields averages between 290 - 310 bags.


The cost of cucumber per bag fluctuates between 4,000naira low to as high as 5,000naira per bag,so the on hectare yield returns an income of 1.16Million and 1.24Million Naira per season.Unbeatable returns on investment.Even if other cost like more manual labor been employed and transportation to the market is deducted,cultivating cucumber yields massive profit and in a year of about 3 growing seasons a farmer can realise up to 3 Million Naira within just a year of farming cucumber. Even if competition drives the produce to a new low of 50% of the current asking price in market to 2000naira per bag,2000naira x 290bags a farmer will make 580,000naira. Cucumber has and enjoys partial scarcity so hotels,eateris and supermarkets buy them in large quantity so just a few buyers can buy up an entire harvest of one hectare cucumber farming. I advice intending farmers to join in on farming cucumber,it is a business that is highly profitable and rewarding.I must tell you the truth cucumber farming is a hidden treasure discovered by only a few,this secret is brought to you today for free to encourage you to start your own cucumber farm. Share your testimonies after this write up encourages you to start up your own cucumber farming so we can join hands together in changing the lives of people and provide much needed job employment for other people.



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