Vegetable farming business is a very lucrative agricultural business but not without its challenges. While some these of these challenges are controllable, others are not. So, these articles briefly enumerate some of these challenges that can be controlled and how to control them; leaving the rest to nature to handle.
Problem and Challenges of Vegetable Farming
Some of the challenges of vegetable farming in Nigeria and many parts of Africa include:
- Inadequate Irrigation
Inadequate water supply or irrigation is one of the major challenges affecting vegetable farming in Nigeria. There are water shortfalls in most of parts the country. Most vegetable farmers in these areas depend heavily on irrigation. They maybe availability of water during the rainy season but vegetable are best profitable during the dry seasons.
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- Lack of experience
Inexperience is another challenge in vegetable farming. Most vegetable farmers are inexperience and lack proper vegetable farming skills. Experience has shown that improper timing and manuring of the vegetable farm could adversely affect the yield. So, I will advice that before you go into vegetable farming business; you go for 2 – 4 years of practical training in vegetable farming. During this period, you will learn the dos and don’ts in vegetable farming.
- Lack of Land/Land tenure insecurity
Vegetable farming requires land though vegetable farming can be started in very low scale from the backyard. However, mechanized vegetable farming requires large hectares of land and there is inadequate supply in most localities. Land tenure insecurity is also another problem affecting agricultural farming. To help ameliorate this problem; before, you go into vegetable farming make sure you know the exact time or period your land tenure will expire.
- Low and unstable investment in agricultural research
Farmers not ready to invest in agricultural research is one the major challenge in vegetable farming. These days, agricultural is going mechanize in different parts of world but how many farmers in Nigeria are ready to follow the trend. This challenge is affecting vegetable farming seriously in Nigeria.
- Financial Constraints
Commercial vegetable farming requires capital. There is high interest rate when you go for loan. Accessibility of credit facilities is difficult due to tough conditions. Manually irrigation and controlling of agricultural environment is expensive. Which one will I mention and leave the other. Most vegetable farmers are financially handicapped. It’s necessary you don’t go into vegetable farming without financial backup; see Ways to raise capital for a business
- Inadequate Storage
Another challenge of vegetable farming in Nigeria is inadequate storage. The inadequate in storage include or cover:
- Poor storage methods.
- Lack of post-harvesting preservation skills.
- Problem of insects and pests
- Farm Inputs Constraints
Farm inputs constraints include:
- High prices of farm inputs.
- inadequate viable seeds
- Choice of variety to use.
- Infrastructural inadequacies
Infrastructural inadequacies include or cover:
- Inaccessible roads.
- Poor market facilities.
- Power shortage
- Marketing Challenges
Vegetables are perishable Agricultural products and therefore demands quick selling. However, factors like; Price fluctuation, Presence of middlemen, stiff Competition etc. has often posed a challenge in the quick marketing of vegetables and its products.
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In conclusion, there are numerous challenges affecting vegetable farming in Nigeria and many parts of the Africa; while some of these challenges are controllable, others are not.