This article is a guide to garden egg farming in Nigeria. It will teach you all you need to know about Africa and Nigerian garden egg cultivation and its business.
Garden Egg farming business is one the lucrative Agricultural business that has made lot of entrepreneurs millionaire. Garden Egg farming earlier in Nigeria was cultivated for domestic use but is now cultivated for economic reasons. Every part of Nigeria eat garden egg including African nations and around the globe. There is distribution of garden egg across the temperate and tropical regions.
This eggplant is mainly cultivated for medicine and for food. The reason why it is called garden egg is due to the shape that resembles an egg and also due to the display of white colour in some categories of the varieties. Garden egg has a botanical name and this name is Solanummelongena.
Garden Egg Family
Its family is Solanaceae and it is a flowering plant for economic purposes. You can call it eggplant or garden egg. However the notable difference between the white and green varieties is that the green garden egg has chlorophyll.
This green garden egg is a liver friendly specie while the white counterparts can be digested. The purple garden egg has much Nasunin and can serve as a good antioxidant in terms of health. Garden egg is a medicine for ulcer. Many people take it with yam and the fruit is good when taken with groundnut paste or groundnut.
There are traditional uses of garden egg in Igbo land and other African regions.
A Look At The History Of Garden Eggs
The plant has Indian origins and here it grows in a wild manner. However the first record of that plant is in QiminYaoshu which does a Chinese treatise exist in 544. Many names exist for the plant including North African and Arabic names.
The crop came to England in the 16th century and then as the notion of being poisonous.
Origin Of The Name (GardenEgg)
Garden egg is named after the egg since it looks like the eggs of hen. Other languages like Icelandic call it eggaldin while the Welsh language calls it planhigynwy. The name garden egg became popular in the year 1811 and is sometimes called vegetable eggs by the English people.
The eggplant is the name obtainable in the United States and the United Kingdom has aubergine as the name of the crop. South Africa and South Asia call it brinjal. This spongy and absorbent fruit can be useful for cooking different categories of cuisines and has the berry as its botanical definition.
Description Of Garden Egg
Garden egg is a tropical and delicate plant and it does well in a half-hardy or tender climate. It has a spiny stem and the flowers have a white colour with yellow stamens and corolla. Some of the common species have a glossy purple colour with a white flesh and tends to have a spongy feel.
Garden egg germinates from 40 to 150cm in height and the leaves have coarse bond which is between 10 and 20cm in length. Its leave is also 5 to 10cm in terms of width. The semi wide categories are able to grow to up to 225cm and the leaves are more than 30cm in length and 15cm in width.
Its fruit is below 3cm in terms of diameter in its form with a length of 30cm or above. Its botanical classification is the berry and fruit has soft, small and edible seeds.
READ ALSO: Fish farming in Nigeria and Cost of starting
The Species Of Garden Egg
Garden egg has many species and can form fruits of different shapes, colour and size. The species that is mostly used in Europe is the ovoid specie. Many species are available in India and Asia.
The colours range from green to white or yellow. Some of the species have colour gradations like bright pink, deep purple and black. Purple species or green species are obtainable. The Chinese species have a common shape and this is like a pendulous cucumber.
More On Species Of Garden Egg
The major classifications of garden egg are:
- Elongated oval or oval shape and they consists of: Bringal Bloom, Black Magic, Classic, Black Beauty, Dusky, Burpee Hybrid and Harris Special Hibush.
- Slim species with skin that is purple black consists of Tycoon, Pingtung Long, Ichiban and Little fingers. There is also the green skin varieties which consists of Thai (Long) Green and Louisiana Long Green. Also white skin variety consists of ‘Dourga’.
- White-skin and traditional consists of Easter Egg and Casper.
- Bicoloured species consists of Violettadi Firenze, Rosa Bianca, Prosperosa and Bianca, Prosperosa and Bianca Sfumata di Rosa.
- Bicoloured species having stripping consists of Udumalapet and Listada de Gandia.
- Miniature species like vengan.
How to start Garden Egg Farming Business In Nigeria- Steps
1) Get a business plan
This is among the first steps and this business plan should include the things you need to begin your garden egg business. Items like land, labour costs, seedlings, fertilizer costs and so on should be part of this business plan.
2) Prepare the land for cultivation
The land should be cleared of debris, grasses and stumps and the best type of soil for this is sandy-loam. You can mix the organic manure using the soil and then go ahead and prepare the land.
Loosen the soil to let the roots penetrate properly and then mix the manure within a month before you start planting. You can use tractors for your large scale farming but do not remove all the top soil. Tilling of the soil should be less than 20cm. You can plant garden egg directly or with the use of nursery beds.
However if tray is what you are using fill it with the necessary soil and then broadcast seeds on top of it.
3) Plant the Garden Eggs
Planting of garden egg should happen early in the morning or afternoon. If you are planting directly put two of the seeds inside a hole or you may broadcast and then thin it later. If you are planting for a nursery plant the seeds on each hole and then transfer to the farm.
This farm ought not to be too far from that nursery and transferring should happen after the seedlings have between 2 to 3 leaves. For planting on plain ground, the space in between plants should be 90cm while ridges should be 60cm. The space between ridges should be 90cm.
There is self pollination of egg plants since they possess both the female and male reproductive system. Setting of fruits does not take place during very low or very hot temperatures. This is a reason why it is not suitable for greenhouse farming. Fruiting and flowering begins 6-8 weeks after the transplanting and then will continue developing between 2 to 3 months when it is ready for harvesting and this is dependent on the variety.
The varieties that are suitable for this commercial farming consists of florida market, long purple, baby aubergines and black beauty. This needs temperature that is warm for development and optimal growth.
4) Fertilize Garden Egg
There is a need to manure the garden egg at certain stages and you can apply this manure at certain intervals of the month. After harvesting you can add potassium nitrate and the measurement should be 400g for each hectare
5) Mulch/weed the Garden Egg farm
Do not damage the crop when you are utilising the chemicals. Weeds should take place to ensure that the weeds do not compete with the crops or overshadow the eggplant. Mulching is also an integral part of this farming and you can make use of cut straw and grasses covering the farm.
This will enable moisture conservation and prevent the growth of weeds. It will also reduce sunlight from penetrating directly and also promote soil manure.
5) Apply Pest and disease control
The most common diseases are fruit rot and bacterial wilt. These are fungus diseases and they can be caused by water and wind. Phytophitora is parasites that have some effects on garden egg or eggplants.
- Controlling such diseases can be through removing the affected plants and the use of fungicides.
- You can utilize water or organic growers to eradicate such diseases. Use approximate quality of water and nine oil and also utilise varieties that are more resistant.
- Also make use of crop rotation. Pests include flea beetle, bugs, fruits borer, egg skeletonizer, caterpillars and spider mutes. Make use of insecticides like agritgoin, tectrakill, fighter etc inside the farm.
6) Harvest the garden egg
You can start harvesting after about 65 to 70 days of planting. This also depends on the variety that is planted. Harvesting should be at an early stage when they are still young. It can be twice a week. Ripening of the eggplant is confirmed when the skin becomes smooth and the sizes are marketable sizes.
Few varieties of the eggplant take more time for maturity and example of such is the one that has fruit elongation. Garden egg is over mature where there is loss of gloss or smoothness. This crop resembles pepper and the more it is harvested the more it yields. Prolonged harvesting and continuous production go together.
Garden egg takes much time before it dries up and wilts. The stems of garden egg becomes hardened when the eggplant becomes mature. Use knife to cut the egg away from the plant using calyx and stalk attached at 4cm.
- Do not use hand to pull the garden egg since this can damage the stem and have adverse effects on the plant.
- Avoid abrasions, puncturing or compression. Some of the skin varieties can damage easily and the average yield per hectare ranges between 30 and 40 tonnes. You finally wash the garden eggs by placing them inside a bowl that has water so as to prepare for marketing.
What Are The Benefits Of Eating Garden Egg?
- The mineral content of garden egg strengthens the bone.
- It is useful for reducing constipation and this is because it contains much fibre.
- It is useful for cholesterol control.
- The egg possess antioxidants that is useful for health issues like neurological diseases, inflammations and ageing.
- Weight management is another use of garden egg since it can promote bowel movement and contains low calories.
- They are a source of vitamin B and this include niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid and B6.
- It can regulate blood sugar level of the body.
- It promotes blood circulation of blood.
How Marketable Is Garden Egg?
Many people eat garden egg and this market has operated for a long period. Locate a fruit market and then display products or distribute to sellers. Package them in baskets or in bags of different sizes.
Why Do Garden Egg Business?
- Garden egg business is a very lucrative business. The crops continue to form fruits for about 50 months and you can get up to 50% return on the investment.
- There is an increasing demand on garden egg and it is not too complex to manage.
- It has a shorter maturity time and very lucrative. Retailers who purchase the products get back the funds used in purchasing. You can harvest and cultivate it in a year. Leasing of land can be done for this business.
- Garden egg does not spoil fast and it has a high rate of consumption.
A lot of people have started to see the economic viability of the garden egg business. Proper management helps the garden egg farming business.
Garden egg farming business is one of the lucrative farming business you can do in Nigeria and garden egg has a lot of health benefits. It is a vegetable crop and is rich in vitamins and other nutrients.
Proper manuring and the use of the appropriate variety, weeding and effective land preparation will promote your garden egg farming business. You can ask your questions.
This article is written by Ikechukwu Nwuzoh