Why should you invest in cucumber farming?

Mustapha Aliguma Apuuli

Dear Mustapha
Of all the agriculture business ideas, cucumber farming is among the most untapped and largely lucrative.

There are several good reasons cucumbers have become popular in recent years.
This popularity drives the very high consumption rate of cucumbers, which pushes up its demand.

All this translates to high profit for the entrepreneur who invests in cucumber farming because the market is very big and ever-present.

The most important reason more people eat cucumbers is their very many health benefits.
The intake of this vegetable promotes good health, helps the skin fight the effects of aging, and supports the digestive system.

Cucumbers are useful for weight control, stress management, and they produce rich anti-oxidants which help body cells combat diseases.

Every serious investor should be encouraged to join cucumber farming. The reasons are quite obvious: readily available market all year round; waiting buyers willing to buy your farm produce even before harvest, a large pool of affordable labour willing and waiting for opportunities to earn a living from your business, and it goes on and on.

Cucumber farming does not require any special farming skills. Cucumbers are low-maintenance, high-yielding plants once you follow good farming practices. Cucumbers are special plants; they need certain conditions to produce to the farmer’s satisfaction.

Answered by Samuel Chinedu and entrepreneur and agronomist

How can I make poultry feeds for my birds and for sale?

John Bosco Onekalit

Dear John
You see, most people are eager to start poultry farming business but only a few stop to consider the most important aspect of poultry farming – feeds – and they are the ones who rake in the most profits.

The greatest cost component of poultry production business is the feed categorised under chick/starter mash, layer mash, broiler mash and grower mash.

So, it makes business sense to look into the possibility of making your own feed, if you are a farmer.

Setting up a poultry feed mill is not so capital-intensive, and with the right knowledge, you cannot go wrong.

Below are the basic steps required in setting up your own poultry feed mill.

Equipment
There are various equipment that are used to produce poultry feed. Some of the most basic ones you would need include:
A disintegrator or milling machine: – this will reduce all the various grains into the right mesh size.

A blender or mixer: – this would ensure a uniform mixture of the required micronutrients and vitamins with the meshed grains.

Packaging line: – this machine is used to package the finished product into bags.
Other machinery and equipment include sewing machine, industrial weighing balance, trucks for transporting raw materials and finished products, and power generators.

Packaging
The way you package your finished product will determine if buyers would be attracted to your feed or not.
Most new products in the competitive market attract buyers through their creative style of packaging and branding. Poultry feed is usually packaged in 50 kilogrammes bags.
Ensure to give details of your product name, ingredients, and expiry date on the label of your product.

Marketing
There are many ways to market your product to the public. Advertisement has its uses, but trust me, the quality of you poultry feed is the ultimate marketing strategy.

When people buy your poultry feed and discover that it greatly increase the growth and productivity of their poultry farm, they would definitely come back for more. More so, they would tell others about your product.

Answered by Samuel Chinedu and entrepreneur and agronomist

Why must I test my soils? Nicholas Atulinde

Dear Nicholas

Crops are like human beings, they grow, feed and breathe.
For a crop to grow it needs:
First a growth media, then food which are nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, calcium and many others.

The roots which are the hands of the crop move around to search for food around the soil.
The most common media we use is soil, however one can use water, sand, saw dust, peat moss, charcoal dust and many others to grow crops as long as you feed the required nutrients for the crop.

Since soil is the most common, we must learn how to manage our soil well and feed it with the required nutrient elements. Soil alone is as good as nothing if it doesn’t contain any food for the crops.

The first step of managing soil is testing it. Most agronomists use kits such as Mobile Test Kit and soil scanners.
We collect samples from your garden, (five soil samples from one acre from different points) then mix them to come up with one sample which we test.

It depends on which crop you want to grow, annual or perennial.
We then test for availability of Potassium (K), Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), Organic Matter (OM) and also the PH of the soil. Soil testing costs Shs50,000 while soil sampling will cost you Shs20,000.
Answered by Dr. Allan Ahimbisibwe the CEO Spark Agro-Initiatives Ltd.

Answered by Moses Lumu, a coffee agronomist and consultant