I am I too young or too old to venture into fruit farming?
Fruit farming is a great way to generate an income for you. Fruit can be harvested once or twice per year depending on the type of fruit being grown. Many types of fruit trees take years before they start producing fruit so it is important to consider this when first starting a small-scale farm.
In the ancient days, farming was a thing for old folks, children and young adults would only go to the farms because they had been sent by their parents/guardians to make matters worse farming was associated with poverty, In school, pupils/students would be told to work hard in their academic life so that they do not end up like a certain farmer who is ever seen toiling his garden year in year out. However, the narrative has really changed; farming has been really embraced well and tertiary learning institutions are offering courses on agriculture and farming as a whole and they are getting quite a huge enrollment.
Fruit farming does not have any age limit, one can consider to do fruit farming at whatever age they are at, however, it would be more beneficial if someone would consider venturing into it early, because it is the age when someone is building their foundation. This is the stage when someone is beginning their career and fruit farming is not that demanding so one can farm when they are still working in an office setup. It is at that time when one is starting a family and with that the financial demand increases, so an extra income comes in handy. And one has the energy to work from Monday to Friday then spend Saturday in the farm.
This does not mean that you should not venture into it because you are no longer young and energetic, it means the time to invest in fruit farming is now for everybody. A good number of retirees have been able to channel their retirement benefits to fruit farming and they have been able to earn pretty well from the venture therefore you can venture into fruit farming at any age, the only difference will be will you make millions while you are young or will you make millions while you are retired.
Which fruit trees should a new farmer cultivate first?
Ideally there are no specific fruits that new farmers should cultivate first because the modern day grafted fruit trees mature and start fruiting within a short duration of time.
The only thing that one can consider is the degree of time, care and space each fruit tree requires. Fruits such as strawberries require a small area and they mature within 3 months and start fruiting. Grapes and passion fruits also require a small area to grow and they start fruiting in a short period of time but not in comparison with the strawberries.
If you do not have a space and time factor constraint then you can venture into
Fruits such as; Hass Avocados, Tree Tomato, Macadamia, Bananas, Oranges, Apples, Pomegranates, Pears, Plums, Oranges, Tangerines, Lemon, Pixies, Mangoes.
You can also invest in kiwi fruits and exotic plants such as Dragon fruits.
Should one inter-crop fruit trees with other plants?
Inter-cropping crops with fruit tree seedlings is very okay. However, it is important to note that you should do it correctly, by doing it correctly we simply mean that you should not plant something that will be so demanding as it will lead to nutrient competition between the fruit trees and that which you have inter-cropped with. It is advisable to inter-crop fruit trees with crops such as legumes, vegetables and cereals. These helps diversify and maximum on your size of land and it still gives you income by selling the produce, and if you are inter-cropping to save you from going to purchase the vegetables, legume and cereals from the market, which can be costly if you have somewhere you can grow them.
Is Education something to consider when it comes to fruit farming?
As we had indicated earlier on, gone are the days when farming was for the less educated, even the educated are considering fruit farming, therefore, fruit farming does not have any bias. Provided you can read and write you are good to go, you can also get someone to translate in the event that you face a challenge when it comes to reading and writing.
All you need is to understand how to care for your fruit trees well so that they give you the intended the desired harvest.
What are the disadvantages of fruit farming?
There is only one known disadvantage of fruit farming, and it is brought about by not caring for the fruit trees. In as much fruit farming is not that time demanding all through, when the seedlings are young, they require a lot of attention in terms of watering them and weeding them to avoid nutrient competition in the soil, pruning whenever necessary.
But as time goes and they become well established they require less attention and hence if one fails to care for their seedlings when they are tender/small, one is likely to register a big disappointment.
The beauty is you can always counter this disadvantage by simply being present in your farm and give the fruit trees the required attention.
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