Strawberry farming is the process of planting strawberry for the purpose of harvesting the matured strawberries for domestic, commercial and industrial uses.
Strawberry farming involves all the processes associated with the growing of strawberry. These processes include getting the seeds, land preparation, planting, maintenance of the strawberry plants, harvesting and marketing of the produce.
Strawberry is a temperate crop. Strawberry can only do well in temperate areas. This is why almost all the strawberry farmers in Nigeria grow the crop in Plateau State. Plateau state has a quasi-temeprate climatic condition.
Strawberry grows in a well-draining soil with a pH of 5.5 and 7.0.
Steps to take to start strawberry farming in Nigeria
The following are the steps to plant strawberry in Nigeria:
- Farmland or Site Selection
- Climatic Requirements
- Soil Suitable for Strawberry Farming
- Soil Preparation
- Strawberry Variety to Plant
- Equipment to Use for Strawberry Farming
- Planting of the Strawberry Seeds
- Weed Control
- Fertilizer and Manure Management
- Management of Pests and Diseases
1) Farmland or Site Selection
To grow strawberry, you need to find a suitable farmland site. The farmland should have good access road so that the produce of the strawberry farm can be easily evacuated to the market.
The soil to be used for strawberry should be fertile.
2) Climatic Requirements
Strawberry is a temperate crop. It can only grow in cold areas. In Nigeria, strawberry can only grow in Plateau State, Mambilla Plateau and Obudu Plateau. Strawberry is mainly grown in Vom, Plateau State, Nigeria.
3) Soil Suitable for Strawberry Farming
Sandy loamy soil is the most suitable soil for strawberry farming in Nigeria. The soil should be well-draining. Strawberry will not produce a high yield if the soil is too heavy and clayey.
The soil pH should be 5.5 – 7.0. Strawberry will not do well in very acidic soil. If your soil is acidic, you need to add calcium carbonate or any suitable liming material like limestone.
4) Soil Preparation
The farmland should be free of weeds, stumps and trees. Few trees can remain on the farmland but they should not shade or obstruct the strawberry plants.
Ploughing, harrowing and ridging should be done. Manure and compost should be added to the soil. Rice husk and other 0rganic materials can be added to the soil to increase the CEC of the soil.
For dense forest, bulldozers may be used to clear the land; care must be exercised so that the top soil will not be removed.
5) Choosing the Strawberry Variety to Plant
Strawberry generally does well in tropical areas like Nigeria. The Jos strawberry variety is the most suitable variety in Nigeria.
6) Equipment to Use for Strawberry Farming
The following equipment can be used for strawberry farming
- Farm House
- Power Tiller
- Earth Augers
- Weeders etc.
Strawberry does very well when grown under irrigation. Drip irrigation is the most favoured type of irrigation for strawberry farming in Nigeria. In Plateau State, most strawberry farmers use drip irrigation for the growing of strawberry.
Sprinklers lile rain guns and spray tubes can also be used for the growing of strawberry. However, sprinklers can increase the risk of fungal diseases.
8) Planting of the Strawberry Seeds
Strawberry seeds should be planted in 1 – 2 cm deep hole. The intra row spacing of strawberry plant should be 50-100cm while the inter row spacing should be 30cm – 50 cm.
9) Weed Control
The most effective method of weed control in weed farming is the use of plastic mulch. Cultural practices like weeding with hoes and cutlasses can also be used to remove weeds on strawberry farms.
Mulches like organic mulch can also be used for weed control in strawberry farming. We do not advise the use of herbicides for weed control in strawberry farming.
10) Fertilizer and Manure Management
Strawberry is a heavy feeder; it needs a lot of nutrients. Strawberry needs nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and all the micronutrients like molybdenum and boron.
A soil analysis or test has to be done to know the level of nutrients in the soil before the application of fertilizers.
For farmers using the drip irrigation system, soluble fertilizers can be passed to the root zone of the strawberry plants using the drip irrigation tubings.
11) Management of Pests and Diseases
Pesticides like insecticides, fungicides, bactericides and nematicides etc. can be used to tackle pests and diseases in strawberry farms.
Pesticides like Belt Expert, Decis, Ampligo and Tihan etc. can be used to manage pests and diseases in strawberry plants.
Harvesting starts within 80 – 120 days depending on the variety. Harvesting can be done through the use of mechanized harvesters. Harvesting can also be done by hand tools.
Strawberry is usually sold in small plastic packages. Strawberry can also be sold per kilogram at farm gate.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a One Hectare Strawberry Farm in Nigeria
The cost to start a one hectare strawberry farm is detailed below:
- Rent of one hectare farmland: ₦20,000
- Clearing, Ploughing and Harrowing: ₦55,000
- Seeds: ₦60,000
- Planting: ₦10,000
- Irrigation: ₦300,000 – ₦650,000 (Optional)
- Fertilizers and Manure: ₦25,000 – ₦100,000 (Depending on soil fertility)
- Pesticides: ₦20,000
- Others: ₦100,000
FAQ on Strawberry Farming
a) Question: Are there high yielding and early maturing strawberry varieties in Nigeria
Answer: Yes, there are high yielding and early maturing strawberry varieties in Nigeria. You can get these varieties from us.
b) Question: Can irrigation be used for strawberry farming?
Answer: Yes, irrigation can be used for the growing of strawberry. Drip irrigation is the most suitable for the growing of strawberry in Nigeria.
c) Question: Is strawberry farming profitable?
Answer: Strawberry farming is profitable if you implement good agricultural practices. There are strawberry farmers in Nigeria who are millionaires. Strawberry is one of the most profitable crop in Nigeria.
d) Question: What is the average yield of strawberry?
Answer: The average strawberry farmer does 15 -30 tons yield per hectare of strawberry.
e) Question: What fertilizers are good for strawberry farming in Nigeria?
Answer: NPK fertilizers, DAP, calcium nitrate, potassium nitrate, mono ammonium phosphate, chelates, manure and micronutrients are some of the best fertilizers for strawberry farming.
Should you need any information on strawberry farming in Nigeria, kindly contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please read our latest article on the best month to plant strawberry in Nigeria.