It is a well-known fact that Nigeria is the largest producer of soya beans in Africa. However, production hasn’t been attained at its full capacity because soya bean farming in Nigeria is largely operated by small farm holders who grow the crop as a minor crop amongst other major crops such as maize, beans, cassava, etc.
Do you also know that the global demand for this protein-rich crop nears about eleven million tons? And what’s more? Africa’s annual expenditure of soya beans is about 619 thousand tons.
source: Delta Farm Press
Meet Soya Beans
Soya beans are an edible legume highly famed for being nutritious; as they rich in protein, calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, and other enriching vitamins and minerals. Soya beans are also versatile, as they can be cooked, fermented, dried, and converted into products like milk, flour, tofu, and more.
It is a pod-bearing plant, widely grown for its edible bean which can be used for varying purposes. According to some experts, soya beans can be classified as an oleaginous plant. Naturally, soya beans can be grown only in tropical, subtropical and moderate climates. As for its pods, stalks, and foliage, they are usually coated with brown or grey fleece, and this is measured to be about two meters in length.
Additionally, after the foliage falls, the beans begin to mellow. Soya beans’ farming is considered a highly profitable business venture in Nigeria; and it can provide employment opportunities for about a third of the Nigerian populace.
Cultivating Soya Beans
Cultivation for soya beans usually starts in May or June in Nigeria. Naturally, soya beans grow well on all kinds of soil, except deep soils with poor water retention. Therefore, experts recommend that the optimal ground PH for soya bean cultivation is 6.5, and it might be calcified.
Usually, soya beans fares better in places with moderate climes. Referred to as a short-day herb, it means that the blossoming occurs when the nights begin to lengthen and the days shorten. Moreover, the planting/ cultivation of soya beans and the various stages of mellowing it undergoes have led to a creation of crops with a wide variety of sizes.
Another important factor to consider when embarking on soya beans farming in Nigeria is rainfall. Nigeria has a very favorable climatic condition that is ideal for soya beans to flourish. Most areas in the country record over 700mm of rainfall annually.
Bountiful harvest is next to impossible without adequate irrigation. The crop can also be grown in areas with lesser amount of rainfall via irrigation agriculture which is gradually becoming a trend in Nigeria. Additionally, normal water supply is of utmost necessity during the process of the cod and beans expansion.
Source: Africa Business Classroom (https://3o2.co/bsT)