Many farmers have written in asking about how to start out in watermelon farming.In this article I not only list the amount of money required but also guide you through some of the issues that most farmers would ignore and be costly in the long run.
Watermelon is an orchard fruit grown in an area of average heat 22-28 c and rainfall of 400mm-600mm annually.
Enough land with with enough heat , water and soil with nutrients is required for the plant to do well.The plant grows fast, like other plants in its family for example cucumber and pumpkin.
The best time to grow watermelon is between the the months of March to September.It grows well in both coastal areas and areas that are not so high above the sea level for example Pamwani,Daresalam,Mororgoro in Tanzania.
The fruit matures in a period of 3 to 4 months depending on the variety of seed planted and can be harvested 3-4 times annually.
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In most cases an acre of land farmed produces between 2000 to 8000 fruits or more in 3 to 4 months.This is if taken good care of while in the farm.Together with use of fertilizers and use of pesticides to deter insects that would cause damage to the fruits and spread diseases.
In average an acre can produces 15-30 tons of watermelon fruits.In several areas watermelon is sold in the price range of Kshs 150-250. For a good size fruit and in Tanzania Tzshs of 2000-5000.
For Tzshs 2000 x 2000 fruits you earn upwards of Tzshs 4 million and if harvested 3 times the price would go up to 12 million Tanzania shillings all from farming an acre.
The production cost will increase or reduce in line with the type of seeds you use per acre and the market price.
For a good harvest and and in support of each other farmers coming together with the mentality of agribusiness will have a better short at earning more for their families and the society.
For you to start in the watermelon farming you need to consider drip irrigation for your plants if you can afford to have it installed.
You should also consider getting an expert or a mentor to help you through the emotional roller coaster of agriculture.
For you to have any success in the watermelon farming, patience and discipline will go along way.
Treat the farm like your child day and night.Start with what you have at hand and don’t wait.
Don’t be a telephone farmer,there are more farmers now doing watermelon farming as a result of sharing information between new and successful farmers success you can learn from them.
Remember don’t follow the trend , do it because you have an interest and drive in farming.
Experts are so important in agriculture and you can earn more from your venture as a result of their input,follow their advice and get into agribusiness 100%.
Always use the right seeds and confirm if they are certified by the relevant authorities.In agriculture harvesting is a guaranteed but only if done in the right way with a lot of patience and handwork.
To harvest more from your farm, add a bee hive next to your farm so as to attract bees to help in pollination of the fruit when it starts flowering,wind will ensure pollination is done but a bee will not miss any flower resulting in better production and harvest.
Each plant produces 4 fruits so do away with the bad batches ensuring each plant has between 2 to 3 fruits to enhance the best results from your venture.
Remember not to water the plantation in the evening as the dampness attracts insects and diseases.Set insect traps to avoid flies destroying your plants.
Don’t focus on your projected income that your forget to focus on the challenges that come with agriculture like low harvest.
You must have cash , water,employees and avoid diseases.
Consumption of watermelon is helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease,diabetes and low blood levels .It also increase male sexual strengths.
Estimated finances required.
Financial break down in
Preparations 200,000 8000
Seeds 150,000 6000
Pesticides 200,000 8000
Water 150,000 6000
Mainataince 300,000 12000
Total 1000000 40000
Estimated fruits harvested 2000 to 5000 fruits 90 days production time.
Profit 2,500,000 100,000
This can change with the region the farming is done and your requirements as a farmer.
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