How to start Banana farming in Nigeria

 


Banana is mostly considered as fruit but it is a crop that saves but as food and fruits. Mother’s with young babies see banana porridge as the best food for the healthy development of babies. This is not far from  the truth because children who are fed with unripe banana porridge are not only very healthy but their skin glitters too. The market demand for this crop is very high, I have a friend whose best fruit is banana and its the same with many others. That is why banana farming is very lucrative. It is very simple to grow, the suckers can easily be gotten.

Unlike before when you can only plant the
 traditional sucker which takes a year plus or so to yield fruits, with tall trees that close canopies such that only but crops that like shade can be interplantedplanta. We now have hybrid suckers or tissue cultured seedlings that fruits at most 9 months. They are disease free, semi canopy, heavy bunch, big and healthy fruits . Banana is the as plantain farming, they are also from the same family, the only difference is in the size of the banana. Just like plantain flour, you can equally prepare banana flour and package for sale.
Banana plantation is mostly found in the southern part of the country; south west, south east and south south. This farming business can make you rich because it can be processed to other food type for more profit. Plantain can be used for chips, flour, flake etc.

Steps for banana growing

1. Land preparation

Clear the area to be used and get it ready.  For commercial banana farming you need a large expanse of land. For subsistence farming you can plant in any available space in your compound. It is a plant with good space management especially the short hybrid variety. Banana can be taken as ornamental plant, for decorating the environment. The soil should be well aerated, sandy loamy soil rich in organic manure. The pH should be between 6.5-7.5.
Dig holes of 45cmx45cmv45cm and allow the hole to take in sun to help kill insects and diseases.
fill the hole with topsoil mixed with 10kg of decomposed manure such as compost etc. Don’t plant in erosion prone areas.

Tissue culture is more advantageous than the sucker

  • It has uniform growth and increase yield
  • The young ones are true replica of their parent plant.
  • Tissue culture are pest and disease free
  • Early maturity
  • More than 90% cultivated bear bunches
  • Harvesting happens almost same time because of their uniformity.

2. Cultivation



The suckers or tissue culture are placed in the middle of the hole dug 2cm below ground level. Fill it with the soil you mixed with manure. Make the soil compacted and pressed. Irrigate immediately after planting.
For maximum production about 2000mm of water is required per annum. Driip irrigation is required for support where water is inadequate. This is the best irrigation method for good water management.

3. Manure application

Banana plant are heavy feeders , nutrients are often supplied only to certain part of the soil. They respond well to nutrients and require more urea, less potassium and phosphorus.

4. Inter planting in banana farming

The roots of banana plant are very fragile and can easily be damaged by cultivation as such short time crops such as; beans, groundnut and any other cowpea family can be inter planted.

5. Weeding



Weeding can be done manually, however,, in a large banana plantation you have to spray chemical. Before planting banana seedlings you have to spray Glycophate 2 litres per ha.

Harvesting

Banana should be harvested immediately the bunch is strong or matured in other to secure a good post harvest quality. Banana fruit is climate friendly and can reach consumption stage after ripening. The plant gets ready for harvest between 9-12 months after planting depending on the variety cultivated. After harvest the ration would be ready by 8-10 months.

Yield of banana per hectare

100 tons can be harvested per hectare. This is why banana farming is very profitable.

Marketing



Banana fruits are always never enough. Traders are always waiting for it same as consumers.  Unlike some fruits banana don’t stay long on sellers shelve. Recently, the price of banana fruits has gone up, it has become a goldmine that can only be afforded by the elites.

IN Conclusion Banana farming is very profitable. A bunch can be sold for #4000,assuming you have 150 banana plant in your plantation.. That will be 6 million, lets assume your expenses is 1 million that means you made a profit of 5 million yearly and this will continue for years. What are you waiting for, start banana farming today. Lawrencefasting.com 

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