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Tips on farming strawberries

Consumption of strawberries in Nigeria is on the increase daily.  Most strawberries used to be imported from countries like Kenya or South Africa but now with the help of domestic production, Jos, the Plateau State capital, is gradually becoming the main supplier of the fruit in Nigeria.  This might be due to favourable weather condition. The fruit does better in cooler weather as it is not heat-tolerant.

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Strawberry farming in Nigeria is not all rosy particularly when you start. Fundamentally, Startup capital as usual depends on the size of land and the seedlings you will be using.

Before you start planting the seeds, factors like professionally testing your soil is necessary not to expose the fruit to pathogens and infections. 

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The land must be accessible to frequent water supply as proper irrigation system would assure improved productivity. Adequate exposure to sunlight is equally important because strawberries require at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. In Jos, planting season is around July and harvesting season is between October and April 

There are two common types of strawberry plants: June-bearing and ever-bearing.  No one in particular is guaranteed to give you higher overall yields. After production, you can transfer the vines as seedlings to another plot in the new farming season. Your strawberries are ready for harvest when they do not have white tips and possess a full, deep red color uniformly. 

Strawberries are supposedly only good for two seasons.  They need to be replaced with new plants in new soil, leaving the farmers with no burden of looking for seed each planting season.  

You should avoid planting near tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, peppers and you should gather ripe fruits as soon as possible. Find a cool storage for it before taking it to the market.  

Make sure that strawberries are not stacked to a height of five inches. Stacking or heaping the picked strawberries higher than this will result in bruising damage to the fruits at the bottom of the pile.

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