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How To Start A Successful Egusi (Melon) Farming Business

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Egusi

Egusi soup is one of the most commonly consumed foods in most Nigerian states, especially the Eastern regions.

It is an uncomplicated one pot meal that is often accompanied with swallows like fufu, amala, eba, pounded yam and many others. Some people also serve it with rice and other other foods that are not swallows.

Egusi business in Nigeria, how profitable?

There is a very high demand for egusi both within Nigeria and outside her borders that you wouldn’t have to be bothered on how to get customers. One shocking thing is that many Nigerian entrepreneurs are yet to see the goldmine in egusi business.

Like I earlier said, the egusi soup is one of the most loved soup in Nigeria. In most Nigerian homes, the egusi soup takes precedence over every other soup.

The name ‘egusi’ originated from the Igbo tribe, but the soup is still widely consumed in the other tribes. For example, the Yorubas call it ‘efo elegusi’ while the Hausas call it ‘miyan gushi’.

Other names that people often use to address the ‘wild melon’ include vine of sodom, colocynth, wild gourd, bitter apple, desert gourd and bitter cucumber.

Melon producing states in Nigeria

Melon seed is widely grown in Nigeria, in fact, Nigeria accounts for about 60% of the total production in West Africa. The areas of high melon seed production include Benue, Enugu, Kogi, Taraba and Nasarawa states.

You will also see people planting the melon in Imo, Abia, Anambra and Ebonyi States. This is satisfy the demand for the product.

See Also: How To Start A Lucrative Fertilizer Business In Nigeria

How to farm melon

The melon is planted the same was as other crops like watermelon, maize and okra. While the egusi seeds can be planted in nursery, planting them directly to the field is advisable or more preferable due to their fragile nature. Any sudden shock or injury on the crop can result in death or delay in growth.

Let’s go through the steps you should take to start egusi farming business:

  • Land selection/preparation

Melon seeds require just the right amount of water to yield better results. The best soil for planting the seeds are the sandy-loam or slightly clayey soil rich in organic matters.

Immediately after selecting the soil, you will proceed to the tilling stage to prepare it for cultivation. If you’d be farming in the South South regions, you might not bother about making ridges and beds because the land is already arable. In the other hand, if your choice farmland is hard, it is advisable you first till or plot the ground.

In addition, avoid planting the seeds in waterlogged areas because they won’t survive. Like I earlier said, melon seeds do well with just the right amount of water. The best pH for planting is 6.0-7.0.

  • Planting

The best time for planting the melon seeds is between April and June. The seeds are planted with the shell. You can drop 2 to 3 seeds into a hole of 2cm and cover lightly with soil. A 2m by 2m spacing should be kept while planting the seeds and the seeds can be inter-planted with cassava.

As you should already know, the egusi plants grow into vines, so you will have to support the vines once they start growing. The melon seeds start maturing at 4 -5 months, and depending on the kind of seeds and soil quality, a melon stem can yield a produce of about 10-15 heads.

  • Application of manure

You should apply fertiliser in every stage of their development, ie; germination, sprouting, flowering and fruiting. It is preferable you go for the organic manure like animal dung, but when using inorganic, go for NPK 15 15 15 and urea.

  • Weeding

The ground cover by the egusi crops suppresses the weeds, so you won’t have to weed after four weeks of planting. However in its early stage, you still need to watch out for weeds and clear them for optimum yield.

The nature of the egusi makes it suitable for inter planting with maize, cassava and other crops. You will just need to weed the farm once after planting the melons until they are harvested.

  • Pest/disease control

Common pests that might affect your egusi plants include fruit flies, mites and whiteflies. You can control the pests by applying insecticides and pesticides.

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About the diseases, a common disease that might affect the crop is the mosaic, a viral disease that might lead to a stunted growth in the plants.

  • Harvesting

The melons typically mature within four months after planting. They can be harvested as soon as they stems dry or immediately the melon gourds turn from green to a yellowish-white colour. Kindly note that melons are not like the watermelon, so if not picked quickly, the’d start cracking.

Immediately after harvesting, the gourds will be broken with a hard stick and left for a maximum of two weeks to decompose. The next step after decomposition is de-hulling of the seeds into a big bowel for washing. Wash as many times until they’re clean for drying and storage.

Conclusion

Marketing your egusi shouldn’t be an issue because it already has a relatively large market. You can either sell directly to consumers or supply to various wholesalers and consumers in the markets.

Restaurants, hotels, eateries and schools (boarding houses) will also be a good target as they use them regularly in large quantities

See Also: Business Ideas For Retirees

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How To Prepare Appetizing Peppered Snail

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How To Prepare Appetizing Peppered Snail

Snails have a tender texture and simple taste & absorb easily in any type of sauce you prepare them in. On this post, you will be taught how to prepare appetizing peppered snail.

How To Prepare Appetizing Peppered Snail

Recipe

  • 6 Medium scotch bonnet pepper
  • 4 Medium tomatoes
  • 1 Medium onions
  • 1 Slice green bell pepper
  • 4 Extra-large snails
  • Curry powder
  • Seasoning
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • Ugu leaves

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Procedure

  • How you wash your snails matters a lot. Your snail should be high-pitched spotless without mucus or odor.
  • Once you unshell the snail, wash off the first mucus off with alum twice before adding Garri on it and use the Garri to scrub every angle of the snail appropriately.
  • Throw out the Garri and wash the snail with clean water.
  • Pour the snail in a pot and add water before placing on the fire to boil
  • Throw out the water after boiling for 5 minutes,
  • Take away the snail and wash properly. After which you add salt to it and scrub properly. This is to avoid the odor linked with the snail
  • Pour the snail into a clean pot with water and pour little of the chopped onion, salt, seasoning and little curry powder then let it cook for 30-35minutes
  • Remove the snail from the stock after 35minutes,
  • Fry the snail
  • Blend the peppers tomato and left over onions then boil
  • Boil until the mixture is totally dried but not burnt
  • Drop a pan on the fire with vegetable oil and allow it to get hot
  • Add in the boiled tomato fry for 2minutes before adding salt, seasoning and little curry powder
  • Pour a little sliced Ugu leaf and fry up for 6 seconds
  • Add the hot fried snail and continue stir frying for 1 minute (the snail should go immediately into the pepper sauce immediately as its taken off the hot oil. this will let the pepper sauce enter the snail making it more delicious)

Read Also: How To Make Kuli Kuli (German Stone)

 

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How To Make Kuli Kuli (German Stone)

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How To Make Kuli Kuli (German Stone)

Kuli kuli is a West African Snack that is mainly derived from groundnut. The Nupe people of Nigeria were the first to make it. Kuli kuli is also known as German stones, the rock or peanut balls. On this post, we will learn how to make Kuli kuli (German stone)

Kuli kuli is frequently consumed alone or with a combination of cassava flakes. It is usually molded into various shapes and traded in see-through nylons and it remains a snack to eat any day, anytime.

How To Make Kuli Kuli (German Stone)

Recipe

  • 2 cups of groundnut
  • Groundnut oil and a tea spoon of ground pepper
  • ½ spoon of ginger powder
  • Potash (Optional)
  • Kitchen Utensils and Appliances Needed
  • food processor
  • Non sticky frying pot
  • Muslin cloth
  • Plastic bowl

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Procedure

  • Pour the groundnuts and ginger into the powerful food processor, and set to rotate until the nuts are almost turning to a pastry form.
  • Scoop the pasty nut into a clean and dry muslin cloth and press out the oil as much as you can. Don’t anticipate seeing a lot of oil. This step is very important as it decides how crispy the kulikuli will be.
  • Add the compressed peanut into a plastic bowl, pour the powdered pepper.
  • Combine the parts using your fingers and outline using your palms to your desired size.
  • Drop the non-sticky pan on cooker and pour enough groundnut oil to fry the balls. You can also add potash and onion to provide flavor into the oil but it is optional.
  • Before the temperature of the oil arrives a frying point, pour the shaped balls into it and keep turning until all sides of the balls transforms to brown.
  • Bring out the kuli kuli into a plate and let it cool.

Read Also How To Prepare Isi-Ewu (Goat Head Soup)

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How To Prepare Isi-Ewu (Goat Head Soup)

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How To Prepare Isi-Ewu Goat Head Soup

Isi ewu, goat head soup is a dish from Igbo land of Eastern Nigeria. Just like Nkwobi (cow foot), Isi ewu is more tasty for the addition of the fatty brain of the goat. On this post, you will learn how to prepare isi-ewu (goat head soup)

How To Prepare Isi-Ewu (Goat Head Soup)

Recipe

  • One goat head
  • 2 Onions
  • 2-3 roasted calabash nutmeg,
  • 4 pieces of habanero peppers (Ata rodo),
  • Seasoning cubes
  • Salt to taste.
  • 200ml of Palm oil
  • Water
  • Thyme, curry and potash (Kaun)
  • Ground crayfish
  • Utazi leaves

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Note: The utazi leaf is added to enhance some bitter taste to the Isi-Ewu whereas potash (kaun) is added to make the palm oil thicken up.

Preparations

  • Chop your goat head into tiny bits .
  • Rinse the whole meat properly after using foam and hard sponge to scrub dirt mainly in the ears and tongue part.
  • Rinse and cut the fresh utazi leaves into little pieces
  • Soak a tea spoon of potash or kaun in a little quantity of water and allow it melt properly before filtering the water
  • Rind, rinse and cut one onion into ring shape and keep aside.
  • Grind the onion and pepper into pasty form. pour just a small quantity of water if it’s necessary you want to grind.
  • Drop the goat meat portions into a big pot and place on a cooker
  • Pour a little quantity of water sufficient to cook the meat, because there is no need for stock water.
  • Pour the two cube seasonings, each spoon of thyme and curry & cook for at least 20 minutes.
  • Add salt and let it cook for up to 10 minutes. When the meat pieces are soft enough, keep separately
  • In a different pot, pour palm oil, the sieved water of potash gently into the pot containing palm oil and mix using a wooden spatula until the oil goes totally yellow.
  • Pour 2 table spoons of crayfish and mix.
  • Pour the grounded (Ehu seeds) calabash nut Meg, grinded onions and pepper (to taste) and a small amount of sliced utazi leaves.
  • Pour the prepared goat head meat bits into this mixture and mix properly.
  • Allow it cook for little minutes under low temperature until it is intensely hot.

In most Nigerian eateries, Isi Ewu is served in a calabash or any woody material with a little amount of onion and some portions of fresh Utazi leaves on it. This makes it very natural and colorful.

Read Also:How To Prepare Delectable Ofada Stew (Ayamase)

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