How To Start Cassava Farming In Nigeria (detailed guide)


Cassava Farming in Nigeria

Cassava (Manihot esculenta) also called manioc, mandioca, or yuca is a plant extensively cultivated in the tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is mostly cultivated in the tropical region.

It is a major source of calories and carbs widely consumed in developing countries. Also, it is a good source of dietary fiber, rich in vitamin, calcium, phosphorous, thiamin, folic acid, manganese, potassium, and other important nutrients. The tuberous roots are used for cassava flour, bread, tapioca, garri, fufu, laundry starch, and alcoholic beverages.

Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava, while Thailand is the largest exporter of cassava with most of it going to Europe. In 2017, Nigeria produced 59 million tons making about 20% of global world production. Besides, it exports about 3.2 million tons annually and earned $136 million in 2013.

Cassava farming is a profitable agribusiness in Nigeria and is a source of livelihood for millions of farmers. Also, cassava serves as a primary staple food to over 800 million people worldwide.

Cassava grows very well in most parts of West Africa like Ghana, Senegal, Benin Republic, Nigeria, and Cameroon. The Brazilians are also know for cassava farming which they use for Tapioca production.

It is the third-largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics, after rice and maize. Cassava is used for producing food products like garri, flour, tapioca, fufu, chips, e.t.c. It is rich in vitamins, carbs, calcium, etc.

Cassava plants can be planted alone or together with other kinds of crops like maize, groundnuts, vegetables, and rice. There is a ready market for cassava and its farming is not very labor-intensive like some other food crops.

The industrial processing of cassava in Nigeria holds much potential for successful investment.  The crop is increasingly attracting attention of serious business people. And processing businesses are slowly starting to spring-up all over the country. You also know how useful cassava is to Nigerians in general in terms of consumption. Cassava forms the major part of our daily food. Almost no family can survive  a whole year without cassava related food.

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Starting cassava farming business

LAND PREPARATION 

First of all get a land, Clear the land from debris and stump, you can mold ridges or allow the soil as it is- leveled. The raising of ridges can be easily carried out manually if the farm is for small-scale. The soil should be sandy-loam, that is, soil that can absorb and drain water as cassava plant does not do well in a waterlog area.

When clearing the land if you are using tractor pour organic manure of cow, goat, pig, chicken etc on the land. So that it can be mixed with the soil for proper development of the plant.

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TYPES OF CASSAVA STEM

There are different varieties of cassava planted by farmers e.g TMS 30110, TMS 300017, TMS 30555, TMS 30001, TME 419 e.t.c.

TME 419, TMS 30572 These two are good for the production of starch.

TMS 4(2)1425TMS 81/00110TMS 92/0326TMS 30001TMS 50395NR 8082, NR 8083 All these are good for the production of garri because the contain low starch. to purchase the stem you can contact IITA, Ibadan.They have any type of cassava stem you maybe looking for or you buy from those who already purchased from them for planting and have gotten their own stem from it.

The variety you choose will determine your yeild. , you will need to cut each stem to a length of at least 20 – 25 cm with about 5-8 nodes for planting.

PLANTING THE CASSAVA

After clearing your farm and choosing a variety to plant, the next thing to do is planting, this should be done very early in the morning or late evening. In cassava farming, cassava stem is mostly used in the propagation of the plant although some people use the seed to propagate too. The con of planting with the seed is that it will not germinate fast.

The stem should be reduced to 3-4cm or should have about 6 nodes. Plant by slanting it to about 20-25` if you are planting on ridges do not stand it. It will still germinate if you stand it but the proper way for it is by slanting.

Allow a distance of 1m by 1m for maximum yield. Spacing is very important for cassava plant so that they can feed well overcrowding will result in nutrient competition and may result in some of them doing well while others will be stunted.

This can also be planted by digging the soil to about 10cm, lay the cut stem into it, 2 or 3 cut stems per hole and cover it up with the dug out soil. You have to cover them well if not sun might kill the stem.

WEEDING

Before planting cassava after clearing the land glyphosate should be sprayed on the soil in other to kill any remaining weeds and their seeds in the soil in other to prevent the weed from germinating for 3 months and by this time the cassava plant has already form canopy.

But if you did not do this then you should weed within 4 to 5 weeks after planting, the next one can be after 3-5months.

FERTILIZERS

Types of fertilizers recommended

  • NPK 15:15:15–12 (50 kg) bags highly recommended because it contains nitrogen which is essential at their early stage of growth for the building of their tissue and in their development. If you see a healthy cassava plant whose leaves spreads out and very succulent sure it will produce a healthy.
  • NPK 12:12:17–15 (50 kg) bags
  • NPK 20:10:10–9 (50 kg) bags

Apply fertilizer at 8 weeks after planting your cassava. Apply fertilizer in a ring, 6 cm wide and 10 cm from the plant or broadcast with care around the cassava plant, making sure the fertilizer does not touch the cassava stem or leaves.

PEST AND DISEASE CONTROL

These can affect cassava growth if not properly taken care of, Although diseases in cassava farming are not as threatening like other plants but the still show up as in other plants.

The most common disease in cassava farm is cassava mosaic; it causes the folding of the leaves.

Another one is wilting it causes the decaying of roots (tubers). Uproot affected plants out immediately you notice their activities in other to stop the spread of the disease.

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You can apply insecticides, fungicides, bacteriacides etc. I will advice that you plant the new improved hybrid cassava steps which are resistant to diseases.
Also make sure not to use affect cassava stem for planting.

HARVESTING
Cassava harvesting can be done between 8-12 months after planting. The process of harvesting is done by first removing the stem with leaves then uprooting the cassava plant to remove the tubers. You can use your hand to cut them off or use a knife but care must be taken not to cut the body of the tubers. But for a large-scale you will use harvester machine for the harvesting, this method is fast but can injure the tubers and it is also expensive.

It is advisable to leave your cassava to be fully matured before harvesting especially if you are selling to companies that produces starch.

Your crop might be rejected if it is not matured enough besides you might run into a loss if you harvest earlier than when it should be done. Sometimes the ground breaking of cassava will tell you that harvest time has come.

A hectare of cassava should produce between 25 tonnes and above (especially on a virgin land) depending on the yield. A trailer load of cassava contains 30 tonnes, so have this in mind when selling.

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MARKETABILITY

Depending on the specie you are planting you have to source for buyers accordingly. For cassava that contain high level of starch, companies that produce starch should be located and sold to. Most of those companies can be found in Ogun State, there is Green Tech in Agbara Estate. Search online for companies that buy cassava tubers.

Processed garri can be sold to market women in wholesale price. Other products that it can be processed into are; flakes, chips, alcohol etc. It can be exported to other countries thereby raising our economy.

Remember that any business that wants to grow beyond its locality must invest in market promotion and advertisement, locate them and sell your product.

PROFITABILITY

There are a lot of profit form cassava farming, you can sell to companies and you can also processed it to garri to sell or sell as fufu to market women, profit from all angles.

USES OF CASSAVA

  • The cassava plant, leaves and roots are all useful and important. For instance, fresh cassava roots can be processed into different food products fit for human consumption and for local/export markets.
  • Cassava bark can be served to animals, example goat for food.
  • It can be used in the production of starch by companies for strengthening clothes.
  • In the production of glucose which is mostly used by pharmaceutical industries in the production of drugs.
  • The leaves are sometimes used in cooking of soup especially by some tribes.
  • It can be used for tapioca, chips, flour, flakes, fufu etc.


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Some of the equipment that can be use for the whole process includes;

  • Tractor
  • Sickle
  • Soil cultivator
  • Harrow
  • Broadcast seeder
  • Plough
  • Planter
  • Sprinkler
  • Mower
  • Truck
  • Wheel Barrow

As soon as the start-up capital is ready, the next thing is to swing into action.

CONCLUSION

Cassava arming can really create huge profit if the right variety is used for planting and cultivated with good and proper management skills. Looking at the whole process, if done right it will yield good yield and profit and money all the way.

Agriculture is really a profitable business to venture into, so take the step and create a business plan for your agricbusiness and i tell you it will pay hugely, hundreds of thousands, millions of millions in you pocket.

I hope this shows there is enough to gain from agriculture, please join us on Facebook @FinstTv/Finstbizz and please don't forget to share this post and subscribe to get prompt notification on our next article. Thanks

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