Almost all Nigerian youths are looking for white collar jobs that are not available but little do they know that starting cassava farming could lead them out of the economic mess they found themselves in the country. In efforts to get jobs in the country, instead of going into cassava farming to pay their bills they sell themselves to Lebanese and Chinese companies who places them on a work target that are far more stressful than managing a 1 hectare of cassava farm.
You don’t need to be a pro farmer to start cassava farming in Nigeria. It can be done by anybody irrespective of your status in the society. So far you are ready to learn the pros and cons of cassava farming believe me you are on your way to become a millionaire in Nigeria.
Cassava thrives very well in West African countries which Nigeria is one of with some South American countries like Brazil and Argentina which they use for their tapioca production.
There are wide varieties of foods that can be gotten from cassava after harvesting like Garri, Fufu, Cassava Flour, and Chips. Also, it can be processed into a number of products like ethanol, starch and glucose syrup. These therefore, give farmers the opportunity to turn their crop into any raw materials they desire and also give them the room to rake in profits from any angle they deem fit from cassava.
However, the truth in Cassava farming is that it is advisable to turn your crop into other raw materials than to sell it off after harvest. If you are ready to start cassava farming in Nigeria these are the necessary steps to look into.
Site selection: The first set of process in cassava farming is to get an accessible well drained fertile soil for your crop as this determines how its going to yield at the end of your harvest period. There are different ways to identify a fertile soil which one of them is soil testing. If you are in the South Western part of Nigeria you can take a visit to IITA for your farm soil test.
Choose your farm cassava varieties: Cassava has different varieties to choose and plant from but for good production, these particular varieties are recommended for high yield
- TME 419
- TMS 30572
- TMS 4(2)1425
- TMS 92/0326
- TMS 81/00110
- NR 8082
- NR 8083
Land preparation and planting: Herbicide (Glyphosate) should be spread on the farm where you have selected for your cassava farming at the rate 4-5L/hac 12 days before land preparation. To achieve maximum cost effectiveness endeavour to use mechanization for harrowing, ploughing and ridging.
Liming: Based on practise, it is essential to use 5 (50kg) bags of agricultural lime on the farm during your land preparation. Most importantly if after your soil testing you discovered that your farm soil lime isn’t enough for first planting.
Weed control: If for some reasons a total herbicide was not sprayed on the cassava farm before planting, it is important to use a selective pre-emergence herbicide on the farm within three days after planting.
Fertilizers: The following sets of fertilizers are recommended for cassava farming.
- NPK 12:12:17-15 (50 kg) bags
- NKP 20:10:10-9 (50 kg) bags
- NPK 15:15:15-12 (50kg) bags
Apply one of these fertilizers on your cassava after 8 weeks of planting. Use the fertilizers in a ring, 6cm wide and 10cm from the plant or use with care around the plant. Ensure the fertilizer does not reach and touch the cassava leaves and stem.
Yield: If well taken care of cassava yield up to 25 tonnes per acre. Which means you must follow good ergonomic strategies and management to get good yield with your cassava farming.
Other necessary things to take note off before starting cassava farming
- The best time to start planting cassava is from April to October
- The maximum stem you can plant on 1 acre of land is 60 bundles
- Cassava stem cuttings 25cm long should be planted with a spacing of 1m x 1m.
In summary these are the necessary things needed to start cassava farming in Nigeria
- Consultant ( optional )
- Intermittent irrigation ( optional )
- Means of transportation ( optional )
How to maintain a cassava farm
- Get the farm land yourself
- Get a professional tractor operator for mechanization
- Hire a consultant to monitor the plant and some other necessary issues on the farm
- Process your cassava into other varieties of food after harvest to maximize profit
- Discuss price with market men and women 1 month before harvest incase you are not interested in the processing stage.
Cost analysis of 1 acre of cassava farming
- Land N20,000
- Cassava stem (60 bundles) at 300 per bundle is.. N18,000
- Land preparation.. N30,000
- Planting. N5,000
- Fertilizer. N10,000
- Herbicide. N2,000
- Weeding N10,000
- Harvest.. N10,000
- Application of herbicide.. N3,000
- Total 108,000
Note: Consultancy fee is not included in the analysis as this will be based on agreement between the farmer and the consultant.