Do you want to know more about bitter leaf farming and how lucrative the business is? We will show you a few things we know, how you can start and make a lot of money.
In this post I’ll be answering some questions on:
- How to grow bitter leaf
- How long does it take bitter leaf to grow?
- Amount of money to make
What is Bitter Leaf?
Bitter leaf is a medicinal plant known as Vernonia amygdalina. It is a shrub crop grown in the Western part of Africa that reaches 23 feet in height when fully grown.
Vernonia amygdalina has so many benefits such as anti-cancer, and anti-diabetics, also handles prostate cancer, breast cancer, and uncountable health challenges. It also has a good amount of oxidant which helps in the management of hormonal imbalance in the body.
Hormonal imbalance according to medical experts is the major cause of infertility in women. What bitter leaf does is help balance the human system.
Fresh bitter leaf is of great importance in the human diet because it contains vitamins and mineral salts. Eating bitter leaf soap could be the panacea for liver damage, diabetes, cancer, and drug resistant microbial infections.
There are different names for bitter leaves in Nigeria. The Ibos’ call it onugbu, in Yoruba land is called Ewuro, Ibibio call it Atido, Tiv is Ityuna, in Edo is called Oriwo and Hausas’ call it Chusar doki.
How Lucrative is Bitter Leaf Farming in Nigeria?
Bitter leaf farming is no doubt one of the most lucrative among other vegetable farming. Why do I say that?
The leaf has huge market demand following its constant shipment abroad where is properly dried for the production of green tea, weight loss tea, hypertension tea, and other forms of health-related supplements.
For instance, if you sow a seed of corn what you will harvest will probably be multiplied by one thousand, that’s how viable bitter leaf farming is. When you put small stems in the ground you end up having big stems with multiple sprouting.
The quantity of Vernonia amygdalina (bitter leaves) grown in Nigeria is yet to be enough to satisfy the ever growing market demand. That means that there is enough opportunity for anyone who cares to start a vegetable farm, not just bitter leaf.
To further understand how lucrative bitter leaf farming is, see below the story of a female graduate, Stancy, who makes N40, 000 weekly from washing and supplying bitter leaves to hotels in Owerri, Nigeria.
“She is 28 years, a graduate of micro Biology. She has tried her hands on so many businesses but has not been able to make something tangible from them. Recently, a close friend of hers introduced her to the bitter leaf business. Yes, you heard me right, Bitter leaf business.
The young lady decided to change how the business is done. She first visited 49 Hotels in Owerri to advertise her washed bitter leaves. Fortunately, 31 out of these 49 hotels asked her to become their supplier.
“Washing bitter leaf is not an easy thing, but when I remember that I will make at least #40,000 as profit at the end of the week, my brother nothing is as encouraging as that”, she said.
She has her own very large bitter leaf farm now. She is by far more successful than her friend that introduced her to the business. Stacy is making at least #160,000 monthly from the common bitter leaf”. Nairaland forum has the rest of the story.
How to Start Bitter Leaf Farming
In this section, let’s look at how to start bitter leaf farming. Just like every other vegetable, there are processes to follow as not to coordinate errows. Below are stages to follow to maximize the vegetable yield;
- Get a good land
- Get the land cleared and make ridges
- Fertilize with chicken droppings (Organic manure)
- Cut the stems into small pieces
- Till the ground very well
- Introduce the stems (cut stems) into the ground
- Look after the planting and weed when necessary
After you must have gone through these steps, you rest and wait for them to start growing. Meanwhile it takes 2-3 weeks to start growing.
How Long Does it Take Bitter Leaf to Grow?
Two weeks after introducing the stem cuttings to the ground, they will begin to bud. Meanwhile, it will take about three months before you begin to harvest them.
At the end of the first three months, your hard work will begin to pay you. What follows is constant income after every 3 weeks.
That is to say that it takes bitter leaf stem three weeks to start growing leaves. You will begin to notice little sprouting as from the second week of planting.
Special amongst other vegetables, the bitter leaf has shown to increase uterine contraction and motility for safer childbirth.
Finding reveals that the leaf is traditionally used in Western Uganda for the treatment of painful uterus, including uterine contractions, management of retained placenta and postpartum bleeding, malaria, infertility, irregular and painful menstruation.
Many informed farmers are now taking advantage of the free trade continental zone Nigeria signed to ship the leaves to other African countries.
With the free trade zone, farmers have the opportunity to innovate and come up with good bitter leaf products that can be sold in African markets.
Friends, it’s time to forget about that certificates and face reality. Bitter leaf farming gives money more than other vegetable business.
Since the government is no longer capable of employing every graduate you should start making plans on how to grow or rather start growing bitter leaf. There are other areas of agriculture you can go into such as livestock farming.
Kindly share this post now that I have shown you “how to grow bitter leaf” and how long it takes to grow.
Remember that you can make as much as two hundred thousand naira (N200,000) from the bitter leaf business.