The demand for Oranges in all parts of the country especially the cities, is always very high, thus making commercial farming of orange fruit a lucrative business to consider.This article will guide you on how to start the business in Nigeria.
- 1 Orange Production
- 2 Steps in Starting an Orange Production Business
- 3 Profit Potential for Orange and Lemon Farming
One good thing about this business is that planting is done just once, after which its all harvest. This continuous harvest commercial orange farming a means of earning continuous stream of income.
Orange is a rich source of Vitamin C which is a water soluble nutrient that improves body immunity. Orange can be consumed in a variety of ways. It can be consumed fresh by peeling off the skin or pressed for juice. It can also be used to make lemonades as well as marmalade. The good thing about orange is that you can cultivate them anywhere in Nigeria.
The weather makes it very favorable. Cultivating them for economic purposes requires a sizeable land. This is to ensure adequate spacing for the trees. Orange and lemon trees grow best on sandy-loam soils. Therefore this should be one of the criteria to look out for when selecting a land.
Steps in Starting an Orange Production Business
1. Make a Business Plan
This is very essential for the business as it lays down significant areas of the business in simple terms with the intent of making clear your chances of success in the proposed business. Your business plan should consider the overall business description i.e the size of the farm, the market demand and a convenient and available market for your harvests.
2. Get a Plan
After setting up a good business plan, getting a suitable land with suitable soil should be next on the road. Sandy loam is best for the cultivation of Oranges. Another very important factor to be considered while choosing your site should be the site’s water retention. If the soil is not easily drained, then such a side is not suitable for Orange farming.
3. Land Preparation
This process is carried out to prepare the proposed site for farm operations. It involves clearing bushes, removing stumps, trees, stones, rocks and every other obstacle that may reduce the size of the available crop producing land. It is very important to remove every tree that may form shades for the young plants as Orange plants are not shade-loving.
Land preparation can be done with the help of manual labour or mechanized labour, although the choice of labour depends on the size of the land. Do not forget that land preparation also involves application of fertilizer or manure to enhance land fertility.
4. Get Healthy Orange Nurseries
Orange nurseries should be bought from reputable farms. Ensure that these nurseries are obtained from a reputable source and are well treated to avoid pests and diseases. Special hybrid species are normally sold for prices between N800 – N1000. Although, this may vary depending on your location and source.
5. Plant The Nurseries
It is very important to plough the land before setting up nurseries. It should be planted at times during the rain season when the rain has fully started. Dug holes should be wide enough and deep enough to accommodate the entire root system. Averagely, the holes for planting the young plants should not be more than 3-4 inches deep, while also making sure that a 10-15 ft distance per stand is given to allow enough rooms for the plant to grow its branches. Ensure that the trees are planted no deeper than they had grown in their nurseries.
6. Orchard Management
Make sure every weed and grass competition is eliminated. A regular weed control schedule should be adopted. Oranges are known to be susceptible to insect pest attack and fungal diseases at their various stages of development. Therefore, it is important to be very observant. Insect pest attacks and fungal disease can be checked by applying certain chemicals at concentrations depending on the plant’s development. This should be done under the supervision of an expert.
Also part of the orchard management is fertilizer application, which is also very important to the survival and yield of the plants. Irrigation is also necessary during the dry season as Orange trees are known to wilt during the dry season due to lack of adequate water. Plants should be watered at least twice a week.
Normally after about 2 years, the trees should start producing fruits, although not in very large quantity, but the yield is expected to always increase at every harvest season.
One good thing about this Agribusiness is that there is no need to replant trees as they wil be there to consistently produce for as long as the owner desires, so long maintenance is taken seriously.
It is important to have a carefully structured market plan before the plants begins to produce as orange is highly perishable.
Your market should be readily available. It is also important to make transportation arrangements beforehand. Local companies that need oranges as raw material for manufacturing other products can also be contacted before harvest to strike up a supply deal. A well structured storage facility is also very important as it will directly reduce losses related to spoilage.
Profit Potential for Orange and Lemon Farming
Orange and lemon farming can be highly rewarding if done properly. Ideally you can plant up to 45 to 50 orange stand per plot. Maximum production is only attained after your trees must have produced over 4 to 5 times. Each tree can produce over 2 50kg bags at peak production. Each of these goes for over N6,000 depending on market forces.
Multiplying these by 50, a plot of orange and lemon plantation can generate N300,000. With more emphasis on value addition, and with the establishment of more fruit juice companies, there is a greater chance for more earnings from citrus plantations. This is a worthwhile venture to consider as it has long term benefits.
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