Commercial spinach farming is a very common and popular business in many countries around the world. Spinach is actually among the very popular vegetables and it’s demand and price are good.
Spinach belongs to family of “Amaranthaceae” and it is native to central and western Asia. It is a perennial vegetable and is cultivated throughout the world. And it is known by many different names in different parts of the world.
Spinach is a rich source of iron, vitamin and anti-oxidants. Consuming spinach regularly has numerous health benefits. It helps to increase immunity, good for digestion and also good for skin, eyes, hair and brain health. It has anti-cancer and anti-aging properties.
Fresh spinach is generally sold lose, bunched or packaged fresh in bags. Fresh spinach loses much of it’s nuttritional value with storage of more than a few days.
Fresh spinach is generally packaged in air, or in nitrogen gas to extend shelf life. While refrigeration slows this effect to about eight days, fresh spinach loses most of its folate and carotenoid content over this period of time. For longer storage, it is canned, or blanched or cooked and frozen.
Total world production of spinach was 31 million tonnes in the year of 2020, whith China alone accounting for 92% of the total.
However, commercial spinach farming is a very easy and profitable business. You can start this business for making money even if you are a beginner.
Uses of Spinach
Spinach is very popular throughout the world as vegetable. It is very common and mainly as a vegetable for human consumption.
Spinach is very nutritious and very good for human health. Raw spinach is 3% protein, 4% carbohydrates, 91% water and also contains negligible amount of fat..
According to healthline, 100 grams raw spinach provides 3.6 grams carbs, 23 calories, 0.4 gram fat, 2.2 grams fiber, 2.9 grams protein, 91% water and 0.4 gram sugar.
Spinach is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, iron and folate. It is also a moderate source of B vitamins, riboflavin, vitamin E, potassium, calcium and dietary fiber.
Health Benefits of Spinach
As you can see above, spinach is very nutritous and very good for human health. Here we are trying to describe the top health benefits of consuming spinach.
- Spinach is very nutritious. It is a great source of some essential vitamins and minerals. It is low in carbs but high in insoluble fiber and this type of fiber may benefit your digestion.
- Spinach is extremely rich in nutrients. It packs high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin K, vitamin C, iron, calcium and folic acid.
- Spinach contains many plant compounds that can improve health. These essential and important plant copounds include lutein, kaempferol, nitrates, quercetin and zeaxanthin.
- Spinach contains antioxidants, which fight oxidative stress and also help to reduce the damage it causes.
- Consuming spinach on a regular basis is very good for your eyes.
- Spinach contains two components, MGDG and SQDG, which may slow down cancer growth.
- Spinach contains high amounts of nitrates, which have been shown to help moderate blood pressure levels and decrease your risk of heart disease.
Advantages of Spinach Farming Business
Like many other commercial crop farming business, spinach farming also has numerous advantages. Here we are trying to describe the top advantages of commercial spinach farming business.
- Commercial spinach farming is very easy and simple. Even the beginners can also start this business without much efforts.
- Large scale production of spinach is very profitable and it is a great way for generating good income.
- Commercial spinach farming is already an established business. So, you don’t have to worry much about starting and operating this business.
- Spinach plants are very strong and hardy and they grow very fast. So, you will get back your invested money within a very short period of time.
- Both demand and value of spinach is very good in the market. So, you will be able to make good profits from this business.
- As commercial production is profitable, so it can be a great employment source for the people (especially for the educated but unemployed people).
- Production costs are relatively less in commercial spinach farming business. But the profits are much higher.
- Spinach is very nutritious and good for human health, and you can enjoy fresh spinach if you start your own production.
How to Start Spinach Farming
Starting commercial spinach farming business is very easy and simple. It’s just like starting other vegetable farming business. You can start this business easily, even if you are a beginner.
Although, we recommend having practical experience before starting this business. Here we are trying to describe more information about this business from planting, caring to harvesting and marketing.
Selecting a very good site for commercial spinach production is very important. Spinach can be grown on any type of soil having good drainage system.
But the plants will grow better when they are grown on sandy loam and alluvial soil. Try to avoid acidic soils and also water logged soils for spinach farming.
Ideal pH of the selected soil should be between 6 and 7. Full sun is also mandatory for better production.
Prepare the Soil
Preparing the soil perfectly is another important part of commercial spinach farming business. You should prepare the soil by ploughing 2-3 times.
Do levelling of soil after ploughing for uniform bed formation. Also prepare bed and irrigation channels.
Climate Requirement For Spinach Farming
Spinach can be grown throughout the year, but they will not grow well in excessive hot climate. The plants can tolerate frost to some extent.
But the plants generally grow well during the winter season. The plants are extremely susceptible to water logging and bad drainage.
Choose a Variety
There are many different varieties of spinach available to to choose from. You can choose any variety depending on it’s production in your area. Consult with an expert farmer in your area for having better recommendation.
Propagation of spinach is done through seeds.
Spinach seeds are highly available in the market. You can easily purchase the seeds from any of your nearest seed supply store.
Before planting, prepare the soil by adding garden compost or FYM. And then sow seeds about half inch deep and one inch apart.
Water the soil after sowing without affecting the seeds. The seeds generally germinate within a week. Soaking the seeds in water before sowing will result beter germination.
Spinach plants generally grow very fast if good care is taken. So, try to take good care of your plants. Here we are tying to include the top caring process of the spinach plants.
Adding good quality compost or FYM will be good for better growth of the spinach. So, try to add as much organic contents as you can while preparing the soil.
In case of chemical fertilizers, apply Nitrogen at the rate of 35 kg (in form of Urea at the rate of 75 kg), Phosphorus at the rate of 12 kg (in form of Superphosphate at the rate of 75 kg) per acre.
Apply whole amount of well decomposed cowdung and phosphorus along with half amount of nitrogen before sowing. Apply remaining amount of nitrogen in two equal splits after each cutting. After fertilizer application provide light irrigation.
Adequate watering is very important for proper seed germination and also for good growth of the plants. Apply first irrigation immediately after sowing the seeds.
Apply irrigation at an interval of 4-6 days during summer. And apply 10-12 days interval during winter month. Try to avoid over irrigation and drip irrigation is proves to be beneficial for spinach farming business.
Controlling weeds is very important, because weeds consume most of the nutrients from the soil. 2-3 hoeing will help you to control most of the weeds.
Use Pyrazone at the rate of 1-1.12 kg/acre as pre-emergence herbicide for controlling weeds chemically. Do not use weedicide afterwards.
Pests & Diseases
Like many other commercial crops, the spinach plants are also susceptible to some common pests and diseases. Here we are trying to list the top and most common pests and diseases of the spinach plants.
Common Diseases & Their Control
Cercospora leaf spot is the most common disease of the spinach plants. Small circular to semi-circular spots with grey center and red margins are seen on the affected plants.
If you observe this disease, take spray of Carbendazim at the rate of 400 grams or Indofil M-45 at the rate of 400 grams in 150 liter of water per acre. You can repeat the spray if necessary with intervals of 15 days.
Common Pests & Their Control
Aphid is the most common pest of the spinach plant. If you observe infestation of aphids, then take spray of Malathion 50EC at the rate of 350 ml per 100 liter of water.
Remember one thing while spraying Malathion. Do not harvest the crop immediately after spraying, and wait at least 7 days for harvesting.
Exact time of harvesting depends on numerous factors. But depending upon variety, crop become ready for first cutting within 25 to 30 days after sowing seeds.
Use sharp knife or sickle for harvesting. Depending upon variety and season, subsequent cutting should be done at interval of 20-25 days.
It’s very tough to tell the exact number, because it depends on numerous facts. On an average, total yield of green leaves is between 80 and 100 quintals per hectare.
This is the most important part of commercial spinach farming. You will not be able to make good profits from this business if you can’t market your products well. So, try to determine your marketing strategies before starting this business.
These are the common steps and ways for starting and operating a successful spinach farming business. Hope this guide has helped you! Good luck & may lord Krishna bless us all