How to Grow Grapes in Nigeria: Have you ever eaten jam or drunk wine? If you have, then you’ve surely helped to the sustenance of grape cultivation. However, this may not have been a boost to the nation’s economy because a substantial percentage of the grapes consumed in Nigeria is imported.
Interestingly, the meteorological condition in different sections of the country favors the cultivation of grapes. This means that there’s a mostly untapped grape farming opportunity in the country, you may even start the venture in your garden or backyard.
How to Grow Grapes in Nigeria: A Step-by-Step Guide
Grape growing is not confined to climatic circumstances however; they thrive best in warm or high temperatures.
Grapes are edible berries that are filled with vitamins A, C, K as well as minerals like iron, copper, and manganese. Apart from these nutrients, there are numerous good reasons why you should plant grapefruits. Some of these reasons include:
- Grapes can help prevent acne. The berries contain resveratrol which suppresses the microorganisms on the skin that causes acne.
- The fibers in grapes also aid to reduce constipation and indigestion thereby promoting a healthy digestive system.
High eating of fruits like grapes tends to minimize asthma-related symptoms in youngsters.
- The high nutritional content in grapes and the low-calorie count make it a great fruit for diabetics and anyone seeking to lose weight.
- Grapes also lessen the risk of cancer and diabetes due to the polyphenols they contain. These compounds have favorable antioxidant properties.
- Grape seed extract which is derived from the powdered grape seed helps alleviate several blood circulation disorders specifically chronic venous insufficiency as well as reduce high cholesterol levels.
- There are two basic sorts of grapes notably the table grape which has found usage as a sweetener in the cake; and the wine grape which is utilized in manufacturing wine.
This article will take you through step-by-step instructions on how to grow grapes in Nigeria.
PREPARATION OF THE LAND
You can plant grapes in your garden; you can also plant on a huge scale or commercial level. The soil should be deep and adequately drained. Grape does poorly in a water-logged environment. This is why there should be a proper drainage system on the farmland to prevent waterlogging.
Also, after preparing the ground, organic manure should be applied to the farms to improve the fertility and structure of the soil. The rate of application of manure should be roughly 50 to 60 kg per hectare of land. In the long term, this serves to improve crop productivity on the farm.
The optimal planting season for grapes is between October and March. This is the dry season and throughout this period, there’s ample exposure to sunlight and warm temperature which the grape plant needs.
Grapes don’t require many drops of rain yet in locations where rainfall is below 500mm per annum, you’ll need to support your grape cultivation with irrigation. At the same time, grapes don’t need too much water; normally the yearly rainfall in the places where they are cultivated shouldn’t be more than 900mm.
The first thing to do prior to planting is to create a support or a wall. You can use bamboo sticks as support. Then dig a hole that is 15cm deep and 15cm distant from the support. The seeds or the cutting is then planted into the hole. The rootstock of grapevines can also be planted directly on the farm. In this situation, you’ll place the rootball of the grape in the hole and filled then carefully stomp the soil with your feet until the stem is firmly in its place.
After planting, you should cover the soil with a thick mulch of properly decomposed manure or compost. This shields the roots from chilly temperatures. The optimal temperature for grape cultivation is 15 to 400C
Adding manure and regular watering of the soil is very crucial for the growth of grape plants. The distance between vine rows should be approximately 2 to 3 m while the spacing within the row should be about 1 to 1.5 m. In this method, you can have up to 5000 per hectare of agricultural land.
You can also boost the quality of the berries by mixing humic acid, sugar with coconut water and spraying on the bud during the development period.
The training of grapevines is an important operation during cultivation. This should be done on the trellis at least twice a year. Pruning should also be done when training.
The most prevalent pest of the grape is the red spider mite. This insect flourishes in dry environments although they are easily dissipated in humid settings. However, a high level of humidity can affect the flavor of the fruit.
Read also: The Top 10 Significant Rocks in Nigeria
Other pests that damage grapes include thrips, flea beetles, leafhoppers, and mealybugs. These pests can be controlled with the appropriate pesticides. A different form of mildew and anthracnose infestation also affects grapevines. A combination of cow urine, Bordeaux mixture, and Trichoderma can be utilized to address these disorders.
Grapes don’t have a set harvest date. You can harvest the berries at any time of the year depending on when you plant. The economic output depends on the cultivar, however, you can harvest up to 50 kg per hectare yearly. Generally, the vines maintain production for up to 15 years.
The grapes should be stored within boxes especially if the places they are been transported are far from the farmland.
There are many things you can do with your grape. You can eat it at home raw or you can combine it with your salads and pizza. Also, you can opt to sell to your local market or to wine production enterprises throughout the country. If you are farming grapes on a highly commercial level, you can appropriately package them for the goal of export.
Overall, grape cultivation isn’t extremely popular in the country yet the need for grapes is fairly great. This is what makes the business of grape cultivation highly lucrative. This article has been helpful with a step-by-step guide on how to grow grapes in Nigeria.