Are you planning on growing cassava in Nigeria?
Or would you just like to be familiar with the whole cassava farming?
No matter what your reasons, this write-up is here to assist you. As you read, you will learn more about cassava farming in Nigeria from beginning to end.
In order not to waste too much time, let us move on to serious matters.
Cassava Farming in Nigeria
Most tropical African countries such as Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, the Republic of Benin, and Nigeria are well known to grow cassava.
This is because the crop succeeds in these areas and can be used for several purposes such as alcohol, glucose, fertilizers, animal feed, etc.
Therefore, several manufacturing industries find their way to these countries to make the best out of cassava.
One other interesting fact about cassava farming is that with or without continued rain the crop will continue to grow to maturity. Even if it doesn’t rain until the next five months, the crop will still survive.
That is why it is a favorite choice of most farmers across the country.
Among other African countries that cultivate cassava, Nigeria happens to be the leading state. Based on 2017 statistics, about 59 million tonnes of cassava were grown in Nigeria.
Second, about 3.2 million tonnes are exported each season, generating nearly $136 million as revenue for the government.
Not all areas of Nigeria are supporting cassava cultivation. The crop is said to grow well in the South and some parts of the west, such as Akwa Ibom, Edo, Ondo, Cross River, Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ogun, and many more.
Nevertheless, we have some regions in the middle belt that also support the growth of cassava.
How Can Cassava be Cultivated in Nigeria?
Among the steps you should take when cultivating cassava include setting up a farm budget, choosing a farm site, tilling the ground, planting the best cassava seed, and so forth.
All you have to do is check below, and see how you can get started.
Prepare Your Farm Budget
Before you start cultivating cassava, you are expected to write down all the necessary things you will need for the upcoming task. It includes the cost of purchasing land, labor, and so on.
In terms of a start-up cost on a medium scale, you will need nothing less than ₦170,000.
Select a Farm Site
When selecting farmland that will be suitable to grow cassava, the fertility of the soil is what counts the most. Well-drained soil is best for such a crop.
So you should aim for sandy-loamy soil. However, if you are not lucky to get fertile land, you can spray organic or inorganic fertilizers to increase soil fertility.
You can also apply a good quantity of farm lime during land preparation. With that, you can plant two crops on the same crests to achieve a double harvest.
In addition, regions with adequate precipitation and weather support the cultivation of cassava. This is true in most south-south and southeast regions.
After the land acquisition, clearing and tilling should be the next line of action. You can either choose to make your peaks manually or involve machines on a large scale.
But if you reside in the southern part of Nigeria, you do not need to plow the ground because it is already soft, due to its topography and climatic conditions.
Select the Type of Cassava to Plant
Cassava is into different varieties.
Among them are some that have high output and processing quality. Some of these varieties are TMS 30572, NR, 8082, NR, 8083, TMS 4(2) 1425, TMS 81/00110 and TMS 92/0326.
These cassava seeds contain a small amount of starch, which is good for the production of Garri.
Best Time to Plant
The most convenient time to plant cassava is from April to September. Over these periods, the ground became soft and ready for planting.
Before you set out to bury the cassava seeds, the stem should be reduced to 3-4 cm, and then the gap between crops must be at least 1 m by 1 m. This is to achieve maximum yield and to avoid overcrowding.
After planting, weeding is an inevitable activity that needs to be done correctly to improve crop growth. Fertilizer should be applied 8-10 weeks after seeding is complete.
Stand by for Harvest
Once you notice that the leaves of the plant have begun to turn yellow and fall off the stem, this is a sign that cassava is good for harvesting.
The harvest is done by removing the stalk of the crop and keeping it for the next planting season. For small and large cassava plantings, you can employ edible hands to harvest.
Advertise your Farm Product
In today’s world, there are ways you can market your agricultural products beyond your local borders. The market is one alternative where you can sell your cassava and transact with the client visually.
You may use the Internet and other social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Telegram, Twitter, and many more to facilitate the search for potential buyers.
Usefulness of Cassava
Some perks are associated with cassava cultivation, either for private consumption or industrial use. These include the following:
- The pharmaceutical industry relies on cassava as a source of glucose.
- Cassava can be used to manufacture starch to strengthen body tissues.
- You can also use cassava bark to nourish your animals, especially goats.
- Cassava can also be used as flour, and more.
Cassava has a lot more uses than the ones we have mentioned. Perhaps in our subsequent discussion, we will talk about that.
To make a huge profit from the cassava farm, you need a lot of managerial skills and follow proper procedures.
Cassava requires a certain amount of time to materialize, so you should be patient. If you follow the steps we have provided, you will successfully grow cassava in Nigeria.
But keep in mind there are some challenges you would face along the line.