Rice planting in Nigeria has been the recent oil and gas in the Agricultural sector. Rice is one of the highly comsumed food around the world and as such well known.
You are welcomed to Farmers Guide, were you are enlightened on the practical way of farming and raising domestic animals.
For you to see this article you must be looking for how to plant rice or rice farming processes. You are at the right place now.
I and commend you for looking for such information at this time when everybody is looking inwaed for something meaningful to do.
I urge you to sit tight as am going to review to you the secret of venturing into profitable and lucrative rice planting procedures and steps in planting rice in Nigeria and the world in general.
Before we go into how to plant rice in full, let us get to understand important things about rice farming and why we should venture to rice farming in Nigeria.
Rice as a Food
Rice today is the most widely consumed commodity throughout the world and in Nigeria to be specific. As the most popular staple food in the country thereare high demand for it and this will lead us to the next question. Why plant rice.
We are going to look into what planting rice can do for us as a Business man. Also what we can gain when we learn how to plant rice.
Question for thought: is rice plant based? Hold your answer, we will look at that leter in this article and see if you are right with your answer.
How to plant Rice ( steps in rice planting)
There are nine (9) steps in rice farming. There are;
- Land preparation
- Selection of seedlings
- Weed control
- Fertilizer applications
- Pest control
Before we go into this practical ways of rice farming in Nigeria in details, let us look at what we need.
1. Knowledge of rice Farming.
For you to have a lucrative rice Farming business, you must have the best knowledge of how is is been planted. This will help to plant rice that you will smile at last with huge pocket.
I commend you because that is what you are actually doing. You are getting the required know how on rice farming. Things to know on rice planting includes;
- Type of land
- Type of rice seedlings
- Where to source for seedlings
- Capital needed
- When to plant rice
- How to plant rice, etc.
It is very important that anyone who wish to plant rice like you must either rent or buy land for the purpose of rice planting. Land is a very important factor since rice is not a plant that grows everywhere.
You need to choose the variety of rice you what to plant and then look for suitable and fertile land for it.
This is not just one of the important factors to consider before venturing into rice farming but the most important. In any entrepreneurial endeavour, capital is involve.
You must have a considerable amount of money you can use for things like renting or buying land, seedlings, hiring of labourers and other stuffs.
Now let us move into the main business
Detailed stages on rice farming
1. Land preparation
The very first stage of planting rice in Nigeria or any other place is to prepare the land. Like other crops, you must prepare the land to make it suitable for rice farming. You might ask why prepare the land?
Rice is a plant that required large quantity of water for more than half of its life on the soil. There is need to make sure that the land use for rice farming retains a lot of water.
So you meed to prepare the land carefully so it meed to be water logged for longer period.
Also the Ph of the soil suitable for planting rice must be between 5.0 to 9.5. Having this Ph level will not allow the soil to be too acidic or basic when fertilizer is added which might destroythe crop.
There are different land preparation process. There are;
- Tilling: Digging up the land compositions and turning them upside down.
- Harrowing: This involves breaking the soil components into smaller portions and missing the nutrients together.
- Levelling: Levelling the soil will flatten the soil and make it level. This will make some part of the field not to be highly logged by water and other place dry.
In general land preparation in farming rice help to make the land to be suitable, retains the soil nutrient and easy for rice transplanting.
2. Selection of rice seedlings
There are variety of rice seedlings throughout the country that you can lay your hands on. Many of this variety of rice can be seen around your locality. It might be lowland rice or upland rice.
It is advisable to select the improved rice seedlings from the research institutes who has developed high yielding species. This is very important for high yield production of rice.
To get a very profitable rice business any season, you need a good rice variety.
Also in choosing the type of rice to plant in a field, the field where you intended to plant the rice matters a lot.
For upland rice farming, you will need the type of rice that have resistant to hot weather and required little water. This is because of the feild used in planting the rice because it will mot have enough water naturally.
For lowland rice farming require that the variety of rice you choose must be water friendly and grow tall.
3. Rice Planting
In rice farming, after you have selected your high yield rice for a suitable field which might be loamy, sandy loam, clay loam or other type of soil that can retain reasonable amount of water.
The next step is the planting process. Rice Planting can be done mainly in two ways. There are;
Rice transplanting is the process of transferring germinated rice seedlings from the nursery bed to the prepared rice field or farm.
Before you transplant, you have to prepare the nursery bed in a mid humid soil, not water logged area. After you are done with the nursery bed, you then apply the rice seedlings.
Also when apply the seedlings, you are to sock the seedlings in water for 24hrs then you remove it. Keep in a breathing bag or basket for 48hrs to 52hrs to germinate. While In the bags, turn it every 24hrs to avoid trapping heat inside which might damage the rice seedlings. Then the rice is ready to be transferred to the nursery bed.
The the rice broadcasted on the bed is allowed for 21 to 28 days before it is transferred to the suitable rice farm. When newly broadcasted on the nursery bed, it is advisable to cover them with dried grasses or palm front. This covering we help protect it from rodents and other animals like birds.
When the seedlings on nursery bed is up to 12 to 15cm, it is uprooted while holding it on the base with your hands.
The planting is done using sickle to put into the prepared rice field. With the sickle you will be able to place the rice, about 2 to 3 germinated seedlings into the prepared rice farm to a dept of 2cm deep.
When planting rice on the field, it should have 15cm between rows and 20cm in columns. After doing this, you are done withrice transplanting.
Broadcasting is another effective way of planting rice in Nigeria. When talking of how to plant rice, broadcasting can not be excluded.
In is important to acknowledge here that rice farming especially in traditional way is Labour intensive. It need lots of work for a lucrative and profitable output.
On rice broadcasting, pre-germinated rice seedlings are spread on the rice field manually or by use of machines. When broadcasting the rice on the field, make sure it is not over crowded on the prepared rice field. This will help the rice to grow well and fast which in turn leads to bunch of grain production. This must be noted on how to plant rice in a field.
4. Weed Control
Controlling weed or unwanted plant on a rice field is very important in rice planting. How to plant Rice is not only puting the rice on the soil and leaving there.
You need to take good care of he riceb and one way of doing that is controlling weeds on the farm. This is done in other to allow the rice frow well.
There are two major ways of controlling weeds on rice farm in Nigeria. There are
- Chemical method(applications of Herbicide) and
- Manual removal of weed.
Both method is effective but the manual removal of weeds on the rice farm is Labour intensive and consumes time and money.
The application of Herbicide is very effective especially when it is done in the right time. Also this is very important when you engage in commercial rice farming. With the herbicides you can control weeds effectively on your farm.
For effective control of weeds, it is practically proven that when the herbicides is applied on the rice farm about 3 to 4 weeks after broadcasting or 2 weeks after transplanting, the weeds are controlled effectively.
5. Fertilizer Application
Many people usually apply fertilizers on rice farm before controlling the weed. To me as an experienced rice farmer, it is best to apply fertilizer on rice farm after controlling the weed.
There are two types of fertilizer applied on rice farm. There are N.P.K. and Urea fertilizers. Your are not to apply too much fertilizers on the farm. Moderate application will give the desired result.
6. Pest Control
There are some insects that affects or attacks rice farm when the rice is near maturity. This pest can either attack the leaves or the grains. So spraying some insecticide on the rice farm is needed.
Also grasscutters do attack rice farms and can be controlled us introducing solider ants on the farm to drive away the rodents and animals.
Birds too attacks rive farm and is controlled traditionally by chasing away the birds by humans or by covering the rice with nets.
When the rice is ripped and is tried to about 20%, which is about 4 months, it is ready for harvesting. The harvesting is done manually or by use of machines.
In manual process, the rice is cut out from the plant and put together on a mat or tarpaulin. After cutting it is thrashed on the tarpaulin.
Do not thrash you grains on a bare floor to avoid loss of grains and mature with sands. Thrashing is done with wacking sticks or mechanically using machines.
When thrashing, it should not be too heavy to avoid dehusking and damaging of the rice which will be stain coloured after milling.
After thrashing, you shelve out the charfs and retain the fine grains. This must be done carefully to avoid rice wastage.
Furthermore, after your rice harvesting, it is advisable to grow leguminous or climbing plants like beans, soya etc and. By doing so you plow the stacks back to the soil which turn into manure and helps to retain soil nutrient for next farming season.
The next step on how to plant rice is bagging after harvesting. The harvested rice is bagged in 50kg bags for easy conveying to the warehouse.
The harvested and bagged rice is stored in a safe and secured house. This warehouse must be placed or located in well ventilated place. The house need to be secured from rats and other rodents.
We have seen the practical steps in rice planting or farming. This method when followed accordingly will give you your desired result of huge harvest.
Economic importance of rice planting in Nigeria
There are many economic importance of rice farming in Nigeria. As i stated area, many people throughout the world and Nigeria eats rice as their first food. Other reasons also exist why you should venture into rice farming. Let us see few of them.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with more than 200,000,000 million people. Many people living in Nigeria eats rice or its derivatives.
It is estimated that Nigerians consumes aboit 5.5 metric tons of rice annually while the quantity produced locally is less than 3.5 million metric tons.
This shows that there is high demand of rice in Nigeria that learning how to plant rice and practicing it is a good venture. Rice market in Nigeria is very ripe that anyone who is interested will gain a lot from it
The remaining metric tons are important from Thailand, china and other Asian countries that produces in large quantity.
Source of income
Since there is available market for your output (rice), it will be a great source of income to you and the government. When you perboiled the rice and mill it, it will be a source of income to you and your family.
Rice Planting as Source of employment
Rice Planting too can serve as Source of employment for many people. After learning how to plant rice, the next steps involved in rice farming requires other people. When you hire such peesons to work on your rice field, it has become source of employment for them.
Challenges associated with rice planting
There are some certain challenges that anyone who wants to go into rice farming might encounter. This some time discourages them and weeken their burning desire. Let us see some of those challenges in rice farming.
1. Lack of experience
Many people who want to go into rice farming has been stopped by lack of experience on rice farming processes and procedures. When you don’t have the needed experience, you can not go ahead and have a successful rice planting.
But your case is different, by now you must have seen the practical steps in rice planting and you have acquired too the needed experience.
2. Starting Capital
Some people might have the knowledge of rice farming in any type of rice field, lowland and upland rice planting but don’t have the needed fund to go into it.
This challenges in rice farming in commercial quantity in Nigeria has kept people away from this lucrative business.
3. Availability of suitable land
Since rice can not be grown in all type of land, it is important for you to find a suitable soil that is fertile and retains water. Many part of rhe country don’thave large part of land that is used for rice growing as such has limited them.
4. Poor Quality seedlings
Your harvested rice can only be said to be lucrative and profitable when you have high yield. For a planted rice to be good with high yield, you must have a good variety of rice planted in the right time and season.
Many people don’t have access to good quality seedlings and this has been a big challenge.