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MAKE MILLIONS IN SHORT TIME WITH CUCUMBER PRODUCTION



Cucumber is a fast growing, short-seasoned vegetable that belongs to gourd family (Curcurbitaceae). The gourd family members include Watermelon, Melon, Squash, Pumpkin, etc. Cucumber matures in 40 – 50 days. Cucumber has different sex expressions that could affect pollination, eventual fruit formation and yield. Cucumber may be Monoecious, Dioecious, Gynoecious, Androecious, Hermaphroditic, Andromonoecious or Parthenocarpic. However, a gynoecious cucumber produces more fruits and mature earlier while parthenocarpic cucumber can be suitable for greenhouse production. A lot of breeding efforts have been put into cucumber by Asians and other continents/countries. Cucumber production is a very lucrative agribusiness that can return millions in short time. A bag (25kg sack) of cucumber costs N3,000 and it may be lesser or more depending on the season. The bag will contain between 50 – 60 cucumbers pieces depending on the size. It is possible to get 1,000 - 2,000 bags of cucumber from 1 hectare depending on variety and management practice adopted, this implies that a sum of N3,000,000 – N6,000,000 can be realized from one hectare in one production cycle.
The following considerations are necessary to get a good yield from cucumber production;
Market: Market analysis should come first before any production commences. It is important to understand the market dynamics in your region. Know the place and price to sell your product, know your potential customers and middlemen involved. It is important to know how market agents operate in the market where you want to sell your cucumbers. e.g. To sell your cucumbers at Mile 12, you will have to pay 10% of your cucumber sale to market agent.
Growing Medium: Cucumber requires a well drained but loamy soil. Cucumber cannot tolerate a water logged condition hence; it thrives at a pH of 5.5 – 7.2 with a temperature of 20oC – 30oC. The soil can be ploughed, after ploughing the bed should be made to a height of 20cm – 30cm, 100cm wide and 50cm - 100cm between beds. Cucumber is planted at a spacing of 40cm – 50cm. It can be planted in an open field or greenhouse, in the soil or seed tray. When planted in the seed tray, you transplant when the first true leaves appear at 6 – 10 days.
Variety: Variety selection is crucial to cucumber production. It is necessary to determine varieties that are acceptable and can thrive well in your region. Maturity, sex expression culture, colour, length and tolerance to diseases vary with varieties. Various seed companies have successfully bred high yielding cucumber varieties. Some of these seed companies include; Chia Thai Co. Ltd, Technisem, Premier Seeds, East West Seeds,  Yuksel Tohum Seeds, etc. Some of these cucumber varieties include Cu999, Amata 765, Murano, Nagano, Market more etc.
Water Supply: Cucumber needs adequate water supply in form of precipitation (rain) or irrigation. When there is rainfall deficit, you need to support with irrigation to meet water requirement. Different types of irrigation can be used for cucumber but drip irrigation performs best. Drip irrigation ensures continuous supply of water at the right time and quantity during wet or dry season. Cucumbers are most sensitive to moisture stress during flowering and fruiting hence water deficit at this period will negatively affect yield and fruit quality. Drip lines are laid after bed preparation.
Fertilizer Application: Cucumber responds well to cured manure/compost and chemical fertilizers application. The amount and mode of application will depend on soil test and requirement. Inadequate fertilizer supply may result in bitterness in cucumbers and low yield

Cucumber does very well when planted in compost, just open the soil, pour compost and plant the seed, you will get best yield, supplement this with organic fertilizers like Super Gro, DL Grow, Boost Extra etc. before fruiting” said Kalusam, a crop farmer expert.

In another reaction by Kolawole Rauf, an agronomist at Dizengoff Nigeria,

 You will need a balanced fertilizer NPK 15.15.15 or NPK 20.20.20 as basal application at planting between 30 – 50g per planting hole. Potassium based fertilizer with minimum 46% Potassium (K) at flower initiation, and calcium based fertilizer at the same time. The rate and frequency of application depends on the fertilizer type available”.

Weed Control: Weed can be counter-productive if not properly managed in cucumber farm. Hand weeding
and herbicide can be used to control weeds. These two methods have their benefits and limitations; however weed can be effectively controlled without the use of herbicide by making use of Mulching films to cover beds and using agricultural waste like rice straw to cover the furrow. Where there is no waste, herbicide can be used to control the furrow weeds. Herbicide could be injurious if allowed to touch cucumber plant. The use of mulching film has drastically reduced the cost of weeding.
Diseases and Pests control: You don’t wait for diseases and pests to occur before you start applying necessary treatments. Prevention is better than cure. Fungicide and Insecticide are needed to be sprayed on cucumber at programmed intervals. Nematicide can also be applied during planting where there are Nematode infestations.
Staking and Pruning: Staking and pruning are very important in cucumber production and benefits are numerous. Staking provides support for growing cucumbers and prevents the fruits from touching the ground where which it can be attacked by pests and diseases. Pruning also prevents the fruits from touching the ground and promotes bigger fruits. Pruning is usually done at early stage before fruiting.

Cucumber has been found useful in many ways; it is not only good for fresh consumption or salad preparation but can be used in skin/hair care production, facial treatment and as a detox. Cucumber has ability to reduce cholesterol, fight cancer, cure diabetes, control blood pressure and promotes digestion.  

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