How To Start A Lucrative Garlic Farming Business in South Africa:

Using it’s production in Nigeria as a case study:

Garlic is one of the most popular kinds of spices in the world. It has been in use since the beginning of time. Garlic is used the most for conditions related to the heart and blood system.

About one million hectares (2.5 million acres) of garlic produce about 10 million metric tons of garlic globally each year. China is the world’s largest producer of garlic. They produce about 2,197,131 metric tonnes of garlic, India follows with approximately 1,400,000 metric tonnes. China is responsible for 80% of the world’s supply of garlic. In terms of garlic exportation, China holds about US$1.4 billion (66.8% of total garlic exports). On the other hand, the largest importing countries for garlic are the USA and Thailand. The USA import about 3.77 USD Million worth of garlic and Thailand 1.54 USD Million worth of the herb.

Commercial garlic farming in Nigeria is widely cultivated in Northern states like Kaduna, Kano Sokoto and others, but this leaves so much room for more development. A considerable percentage of garlic farming is done using just basic tools, and this prevents the full maximisation of the garlic plant in production.

Even with a local method of approach, garlic farming is still highly lucrative. This, therefore, proves that with adequate modern machinery, garlic production and commercial value would also increase. The government and agricultural investors could choose to take full advantage of this opportunity. If you’re planning to start a garlic production business, here is a guide to help you through.

What Is Garlic?

Garlic is a plant species in the genus, Allium. It is a close ‘relative’ of onion, shallot, leek, chive, and Chinese onion, and a native of Northeastern Iran and Central Asia.

Business Opportunities Associated With Garlic Farming In Nigeria & Around The World

1). Garlic Oil Production:

Garlic oil is a very nutritional oil extracted through distillation from the garlic herb. It possesses a high market value and is in high demand due to its aroma and health advantages.

2). Garlic Powder:

The garlic herb can be crushed and processed to a fine powder which would serve as a seasoning in homes and restaurants.

3). Garlic Herb Distribution:

The garlic plant in itself is of great value as it contains various health benefits and uses. Therefore, distribution and marketing garlic products can be a very lucrative venture.

4). Garlic Insecticide:

Garlic juice is found to be harmful to insects. It is equally used in the production of insecticides.

5). Garlic Supplement:

Garlic contains huge medical benefits and can, therefore, be used medicinal purposes.

Facts And Benefits Of Garlic

  • China produces 80% of the world’s supply of garlic
  • Garlic can reduce cholesterol level
  • The average consumption of garlic weighs around two pounds per person
  • The sticky juice that’s in garlic cloves is often used to make glue
  • Garlic can be used to combat acne and cold sores
  • Garlic contains tons of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are good for the health.
  • Garlic helps to support healthy blood pressure
  • Garlic has been in use for several thousands of years.
  • The antioxidants in garlic can kill bacteria
  • It also relieves food poisoning
  • Having garlic around can keep mosquitoes away
  • The National Garlic Day is April 19
  • Early Roman soldiers reportedly ate garlic before going for wars
  • There are four calories in one clove of garlic.
  • Kano, Kaduna, Kebbi and Sokoto states lead garlic production in Nigeria.
  • China, India, Egypt, Bangladesh and South Korea are the biggest global producers of garlic.

Types Of Garlic

There are several species of garlic but two major types, which include:

1) Softneck Garlic:

Softneck garlic is named from the multilayered covering of the entire bulb, which forms a soft, pliable stalk suitable for braiding. Softneck garlic possesses several layers of cloves surrounding the central portion of the garlic bulb. Two types of this particular garlic are most plentiful among others.

2). Hardneck Garlic:

Hardneck garlic has a non-flexible body. Its scapes shoot up from its central woody stalk as it grows. Inside a hardneck bulbil, there are several tiny cloves which are identical to the bulb beneath. Cutting off the scapes keep the plant from forming the bulbil and therefore encourages larger garlic bulbs.

How To Start Garlic Farming In Nigeria: Step-By-Step Guide

1). Conduct Proper Research:

Before engaging in garlic farming, a proper study of the plant should first be conducted to enable the cultivator to possess full knowledge of the crop. Adequate research on the appropriate times to cultivate garlic in the proper area should be conducted, the best times for planting garlic is the mid-autumn or early spring. Garlic plants grow well in a wide range of climates, but they thrive less in areas of high heat or where there is excessive rainfall. The study should also include aspects of the market and garlic profitability.

2). Select Location:

Garlic needs a lot of sunshine. When choosing an area to cultivate it, there should be the presence of adequate sunlight. The soil should also be a sandy-loam for best results.

3). Planting:

Carefully remove the cloves from a fresh garlic head to avoid damaging it because any damage could prevent the garlic from growing. Point the tip of the cloves upward and insert them in the soil about 2 inches deep. Cover the planted cloves with mulch. Fertilization is required after planting to ensure the best growth and survival.

2). Plant maintenance:

The garlic plant requires tender care and maintenance after planting. Therefore, you should water the plants just about enough to keep them moist. Try to avoid dampness as that would kill the growing plants. Watering should only be most necessary in case of drought or absence of rainfall for a limited time. As the plants begin to mature, watering should be reduced to the barest minimum. Garlic requires a hot, dry summer to enable the bulbs to mature. You should also apply pesticides to keep insects such as aphid away from the plants.

3). Harvesting:

Garlic is ready to be harvested once the leaves turn yellow or brown and the cloves can be felt in the bulb. Some warm climates enable the garlic to mature faster and ready for collecting more quickly than others.

4). Storage:

After harvesting, garlic should be stored in a cool and dry environment to prevent spoilage. Garlic bulbs can be kept in a garlic keeper, and individual cloves pulled off. Garlic cloves can be preserved by putting in oil or vinegar, but for the best quality and to prevent bacteria, refrigerate and quickly consume.