Ginger is used to produce ginger wine, ginger beer, cordials, pickles and pharmaceutical preparations. A daily intake of 5g of ginger is reported to protect against coronary artery disease (CAD) and normally afflicts individuals who habitually consume fatty foods. Ginger is also used for soft drinks and different medicine preparations.
The ginger rhizome is broken into smaller pieces and these are used as plant material. The pieces should be about 50 to 75 grams in size and are planted into the plant area at a depth of 15cm.
Ginger plants should be spaced 25cm apart in rows that are 30cm apart. This equates to approximately 100 000 to 120 000 plants per hectare. Paths for the tractors and other implements are left every few rows and this depends on the width of the tractors or implements that are used.
Ginger takes 8 – 10 months to produce a god – sized rhizome or tuber for the harvesting of mid – season ginger in April and May for the fresh market. Late ginger is harvested almost a year after planting in June and July. Late ginger is sold fresh but is also dried and ground or used to extract the oils.
It is a good practice to apply mulching along the plant rows. This keeps the soil from losing moisture and controls the growth of weeds. Ginger does well in high rainfall regions – so irrigation is important over the entire growing period. An irrigation schedule of between 45 and 50 millimeters per week is advised.
Fertilize the plant each six to eight weeks, using organic fertilizer like seaweed extract or fish emulsion. he necessary nutrition it needs to grow ginger are:
Nitrogen – Essential for chlorophyll, proteins, and amino acids.
Phosphorus – It performs a vital part of respiration. Phosphorus is also critical to the evolution of enzymes, phospholipads, and nucleic acids.
Potassium – Necessary for yeast activation, osmosis, transpiration, also the opening and closing of the stomates of the leaves.
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Okra is an economically important vegetable crop of many countries in Africa including Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Egypt and many others. It has the nickname “lady’s finger” and is sometimes called “gumbo” in most other places. Farmers growing Okra for profit do so to meet both domestic and foreign market demands.
Okra is easy to grow and use and looks lovely throughout the growing season due to its beautiful flowers. It is also rich in Vitamin A and low in calories, which makes it a great addition to any diet.
Okra likes fertile, well – composted soil and needs moisture and warmth to thrive. Although okra typically has no problems with diseases or pests it is very sensitive to frost. Heat – loving okra is capable of withstanding dry periods once established. Okra can grow around 75cm wide and 120 – 180 cm tall.
The key to maintaining okra production continuously throughout summer is to harvest regularly. Only 3 to 4 days are required from the time the okra flower opens until the pod reaches harvest maturity. For this reason, okra must be harvested at least every day during the growing season.
Since Okra is very susceptible to damage by nematodes, one should follow a crop rotation, using such crops as grasses and small grains, which prevent a building of nematode populations. Okra should not follow vine crops, such as squash and sweet potatoes because these crops tend to increase nematode population.
Okra grows best on soils that have a pH of 5.8 to 6.5. A “soil test” will indicate if lime is required and will also specify the amount of fertilizer to apply. If lime is recommended, use “dolomitic” lime. Apply it 3 or 4 months before the crop is seeded. If a soil test is not available, general recommendations are to apply. Use 600 to 800 pounds per acre of a complete fertilizer such as 6-12 or 5 -10 -15. This can be mixed under the row or applied in a band to the side.
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Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit of the climbing cacti (Cacta cease) family. It is also known as pitaya or strawberry pear and is a native species of Mexico, Central and South America. Dragon Fruit is mainly eaten fresh and is best served chilled. The thick skins are easily peeled to reveal white or pink to red flesh, dotted with tiny black seeds
There are three most commonly farmed varieties of dragon fruit:
1. pink – red skin with red flesh.
2. rare yellow skinned dragon fruit with white flesh and
3. pink – red dragon fruit with white flesh.
Dragon fruit is best propagated from cuttings. The plants prefer well – drained and composted soil in warm areas with a rainfall of at least 400 mm and up to 1500 mm per year. High – density planting of up to 1250 plants/ha is easily managed, with a spacing of 4m x 5m x 2.5m, depending on trellising systems. The thick fleshy stems can grow up to 4m, in a single growing season and must be trained and tied onto a single pole or trellis system of about 1.8m high. Precast concrete poles are widely used and three to four plants can be trained onto one pole.
As the fruit develops, it starts changing colour at 26 – 30 days after pollination. It should be ready to harvest in about 30 – 34 days, a few days after the fruit has changed colour. After harvesting by hand, dragon fruit is washed in a food – grade disinfectant and size – graded by weight. The fruit is then sorted according to superficial damage, e.g. ants or fruit flies, shrivel, skin colour as well as the colour and condition of the bracts (scales). The plants bear fruit two years after planting and is in full production within 5 years. Depending on the cultivar and condition of the plantings, yields of 15 – 35 tons/ha can be expected.
Dragon Fruit Uses
Dragon Fruit is primarily grown for the fresh eating market and it often sold at farmers markets in South Africa. The fruit can also be processed into many value – added products such as dried fruit rolls, fruit bars, ice cream, jams, juices, pastries as fruit pulp and in yogurt.
* Helping to boost immunity.
* High levels of Vitamin C.
* Speed up metabolism and the digestive process.
* Regulate blood sugar.
* Helpful in diets for diabetics.
* Contains vitamins B1, B2 and B3.
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Kale – also called Bore Cole, is a cool season crop that belongs to the Brassicas family. Its leaves , which are rich in vitamins and essential mineral elements are widely utilized alone or mixed with other vegetables, pulses or meat. It is an all-year crop and has the potential to reduce poverty levels.
* High in iron which is essential for good health.
* Rich in Vitamin K which helps in protecting the body against various cancers.
* High in fiber, low in calorie and zero fat.
* Has anti-inflammatory properties which helps in fighting against asthma, arthritis etc.
* Rich in Vitamin and C.
* Good source of calcium which helps in preventing osteoporosis and bone loss.
Kale is typically grown like other greens, making it easy for existing growers to incorporate it into their farming systems. Kale has a similar flavor to traditional greens, and there are multiple ways to prepare it. Its growing popularity is linked to its perceived health benefits.
Basically, there are 3 main varieties, dwarf (below 40cm), medium (40 – 80cm) and tall (above 80cm). Tall variety sheds the leaves early and has less production. Main dwarf type varieties are dwarf green curled scotch, dwarf moss curled, moss curled and hamburger market (medium to tall).
The Kale crop prefers well – drained sandy loam soil with good organic matter. It can be grown on a wide range of soils having good drainage conditions. This hardy crop tolerates salts in the soil. the ideal soil pH of 5.5 to 6.5 (slightly acidic) will result in a good yield.
In Kale leaves cultivation, harvesting starts from November and continues up to January. For better quality, it should be harvested at the right vegetative stage. Harvested leaves should be bundled, packed and marketed.
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QUAIL is a general name that is given to a generation of mid-sized birds generally placed in the order Galliformes. There are loads of poultry’s that raise quail for meat and eggs and they are making huge profits from this type of farming operation.
There are loads of opportunities in the poultry farming industry and quail egg production is one of them. In recent time, quail egg production is known by all and it has evolved from small scale to a global industry in most countries where it is carried out.
Quail is a bird about the size of a plump pigeon. Quails reach adulthood in six weeks and start laying eggs almost immediately after this. That means you can start selling a portion of the eggs and get a quick return on your initial investment. Quails lay around 350 eggs a year and females don’t need males to lay eggs.
Once you’ve started selling your quail eggs, you can also consider selling quail meat. The meat is delicious and also healthy. Quail meat and eggs are quickly gaining popularity because the products provide important minerals and vitamins. The meat and eggs are low in fat and high in protein which makes it very popular. It can help with the treatment of diseases like diabetes, tuberculosis, liver disease, hypertension and a host of other ailments.
Quails don’t eat much and will thrive on a special mixture of corn, wheat calcium carbonate and sunflower seeds. They even eat chicken feed, other grains, leaves and insects. Some quail farmers feed the quails weeds from their garden and therefore doesn’t require high maintenance. Your main concern would be to keep the birds well fed and watered.
For successful breeding purpose, you have to keep male and female quails on a proper ratio.The most effective ratio for successful breeding is 5:1.That means, one male with every 5 female quails. Quails don’t hatch their eggs so you can also plan to purchase an incubator for hatching their eggs.
Quails are highly disease resistant unlike chickens. Diseases and other health issues are less in quails. By proper care and management, you can keep your birds healthy and productive and free from all types of illnesses or health issues.
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