Right now, I have em­ployed eight young men work­ing in my farm. Al­though there are other crops I ven­ture into, I be­lieve straw­berry farm­ing and mar­ket­ing would re­duce un­em­ploy­ment and also boost the econ­omy of our coun­try

Daily Trust - - FEATURE - Con­tin­ued on page 34

re­lease your wa­ter through the sur­face and not by spread­ing be­cause both the plant and the fruits don’t want wa­ter to touch them. The plants need to soak the wa­ter from the chan­nels across the ridges. The crop can take at least three months af­ter the trans­plant be­fore har­vest.

“Af­ter that, we go to the stage of har­vest­ing which is the sim­plest stage in straw­berry pro­duc­tion. It is just like plug­ging toma­toes. Har­vest­ing straw­berry is a con­tin­u­ous process be­cause it pro­duces fruits con­tin­u­ously for a long time. The more you har­vest it, the more it pro­duces more fruits depend­ing on how you man­age the farm and also the size of the farm. I har­vest the fruits three times a week. If you har­vest the fruits, an­other set will grow and it will con­tinue un­til rains start fall­ing that is when it will stop pro­duc­ing fruits.”

Jamilu said straw­berry per­ishes eas­ily, es­pe­cially when left un­used af­ter har­vest­ing.

He ad­vised that farm­ers should not har­vest their straw­berry when they do not have a ready mar­ket for it. “When­ever straw­berry is ripe, you need to con­tact your cus­tomers im­me­di­ately to know if they are ready to buy, then you can har­vest and sup­ply in­stantly be­cause you don’t al­low it to spend more than 24 hours af­ter har­vest­ing. You need to quickly sup­ply it to your cus­tomers and the end users or else the fruit would per­ish.”

Jamilu said straw­berry is a mar­ketable fruit in Nigeria as there are cus­tomers from La­gos,

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