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Sack farming agribusiness venture in Nigeria, by Agbaji Chinedu

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Sack farming agribusiness venture in Nigeria, by Agbaji Chinedu

Today’s Agribusiness

Sack farming also known as vertical sacks farming is a method of growing crops in soil-filled sacks bags. It involves filling of bags with rice organic mix soil and growing plants on the top. Sack farming is a unique invention in farming. It allows people to grow crops in their backyards, roof tops and other places. It goes hand in hand with urban farming.

Sack farming is a unique farming concept that has been practiced for ages. With urbanization, more people are now looking at ways they can use sack farming for food production. But since initiative is always driven by necessity, sack farming is being adopted in the place of endless search for land. The land and security challenge has given rise to the adoption of sack farming — an initiative that has given a new vista to those who preferred to toe the line of farming, either for money making or for subsistence purpose.

In some African countries like Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, Cameroun many residents living in towns and cities are turning to urban farming, which is known as vertical sacks or bags farming to fight poverty, enhance food security and improve environmental sustainability. Like in Indian and China, sacks farming are also called smart farming or urban farming because it consists of a series of sacks that are filled with manure, soil and small stones that enable water to drain. The approach is seen as a low-cost, economical and healthy solution to food insecurity and runaway unemployment in the society.

Most interesting thing about the technology (sacks farming) is that it is suitable and efficient for offices, hospitals, informal settlements, schools, and on small-scale farms.

Steps To Take To Start Sack Farming In Nigeria

The following are the steps to take to start Organic sack farming in Nigeria:

Site Selection: This is the first step to take to start sack farming in Nigeria. You need to select a site for your sack farming project. You can use your backyard, garden, rooftop or farm etc. The site must have abundant sunshine and it should not be waterlogged.

Get Sacks Or Bags: Sacks and bags are needed for sack farming. This is the place where the seeds or seedlings will be planted. The sacks will also house the soil or any growing medium. Jute sacks, polythene bags, HDPE bags and sacks made with kenaf fibre can be used for sack farming. It is advised to sock the sack Bag in an organic liquid fertilizer 3 hours before planting.

Soil Or Other Growing Medium: Soil is the easiest growing medium to get. It is also very easy to work with soil in sack farming. Top soil should be sourced. Coco peat, perlite and other growing media can also be used for sack farming. Pebbles and stones are usually added to the sack for easy draining of the growing medium. For those that want to farm organic using liquid organic fertilizer, mix the soil with the liquid organic fertilizer, simply dilute 30ml of Agric zyme with one litter of water and mix with the sand prior to bagging.

Fertilization: It is advisable to farm with organic fertilizer for healthy eating. Agric Zyem it a very good example of such organic fertilizer, it is made for sack bag farming because of its effectiveness and ability to retain moist in the plants. Where you cannot find it chicken manure or other types of manure are better alternative for sack farming. This manure should be well cured so that it will be free of diseases and pests. Compost can also be used.

Type Of Crops To Plant: You need to select the type of crops you want to plant. It is common to plant vegetables like cucumber, okro, tomato, pepper, kale and Ugwu etc. in sacks.

Crops like potato, yam and maize can also be planted in sacks. Cucumber sack farming is one of the most profitable types of sack farming in Nigeria.

NOTE: Good seed is key to sack bag farming.

Fertilizers: Depending on the fertility of your growing medium, but soil is the best and most affordable medium of sack farming, If you are using soil just use AGRIC ZYME 3X it has pesticide and soil conditioner in it.

Pesticides: Crops grown in sacks like other crops are susceptible to pests and diseases. With AGRIC ZYME 3X pests are taken care of organically.

Staking Nets Or Ropes: For some types of crops like cucumber and tomato, staking ropes may need to be used so that the crops will grow in a vertical and erect manner.

Stones Or Pebbles: Stones or pebbles are needed to be placed in the sacks or bags. These stones improve the ability of the sacks to drain well.

Finally, sack bag farming is a very good option for landless households to ensure food and nutrition security. It is also a solution for people who have land with low soil fertility or too rocky to support cultivation of crops.

One of the advantages of this method is its portability, as well as high productivity at low cost.

An Agricultural Extension Specialist/Rural Sociologists at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State, Dr Yusuf Abdullahi, said the adoption of the farming technique would help food security of households.

He said: “If people can grow crops in their domain with little containers filled with soil, there will be abundance of food in the country. If they follow this technique, they can grow quite a range of vegetable crops, which will help food security of households. They can even generate additional income from it.

Agbaji Chinedu writes from Abuja and can be reached via learnder@gmail.com, 08035004617.

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