Cassava farming in Nigeria is a very lucrative business because cassava is one of the staple foods in the country which is consumed by most tribes in Nigeria and serves as the raw material for most daily edibilble products.
There is basically no family in Nigeria that doesn’t consume at least one or two products made from Cassava daily. From garri to bread, starch and more you can be sure cassava and its derivatives are some of the most consumed foods in the country.
Cassava can be processed into garri, wheat flour, animal feed, and commercial caramel, used for cassava fufu, and more. It can be processed into a few products including starch, flour, chips, ethanol, and glucose syrup, and recently into bread.
These products made from cassava enjoy high demand in Nigeria and can as well serve as potential products for export.
With the uses of cassava and its product increasing exponentially, cassava farming is become more lucrative with Nigeria being the largest producer of cassava in the world.
If you’re looking for a viable agro investment, Cassava farming holds a lot of money-spinning potentials starting from farming the product and engaging in the processing of it and making use of the processed cassava in the production of a lot of food materials mentioned earlier in this article.
Steps To Start Cassava Farming In Nigeria
1) Select A Site For Your Cassava Farm
To ensure the success of your cassava farming, it is significant to make use of a piece of land that is easily accessible, well-drained, and fertile.
You can provide a sample of the soil you want to use for cassava farming to the IITA to assist you to verify if the soil will result in a high yield of cassava.
In Nigeria, practically all the land areas in the south are good for cassava farming, however, it is better to verify and ensure that you are investing properly.
Your choice of land for a cassava farm has to be an area with deep well-drained loamy soil, with adequate rainfall together with warm and moist climatic conditions.
2) Choose Good Cassava Varieties
There are broad varieties of cassava that you can plant. To ensure a good yield of cassava, choose from any of the following recommended cassava breeds: TMS 30572, NR 8082, NR8083, TMS 4(2) 1425, TMS 81/00110, TMS 92/0326. They have a high yield and processing capacity.
Additional varieties are soon going to be added to the list. It is better to verify from experts to ensure you get it right.
3) Prepare The Land For Cassava Planting
You need a total herbicide like glyphosate applied to the cassava farmland at the rate of 4–5 l/ hectare ten days before preparing the land for planting.
To get a cheaper and optimal number of cassava plants per hectare, it is better to make use of mechanized farming in the production of ridges and planting.
The types of fertilizers that are suitable for cassava farming in Nigeria
The recommended fertilizers for the cultivation of cassava include the following:
- NPK 15:15:15–12 (50 kg) bags
- NPK 20:10:10–9 (50 kg) bags
- NPK 12:12:17–15 (50 kg) bags
Fertilizer application should be done two months after planting. The fertilizer should be applied in a ring of, 6 cm wide and 10 cm from the plant.
You can also use the broadcasting method of fertilizer application but you must ensure that the fertilizer does not come in contact with the leaf or stem of the plant.
4) Choose Healthy Cassava Stem Cuttings
Cassava is grown through stem cuttings. Using healthy stem cuttings ensures that your cassava crops grow well.
You can buy cassava stem cuttings in the market and the villages from local farmers.
After purchasing good cassava stem cuttings to start your farm, you need to keep replicating the breed from your farm when you harvest your cassava or from a cassava tree with a few branches.
The best way to get a good cassava stem cutting is to:
- Go to farms with healthy cassava plants.
- Avoid buying from cassava farms and plants that have suffered from pests and diseases in the past.
Cassava yield is about 25 tons/ha and above. This can be easily achieved with good agronomic practices and management.
Thus, you need to take care while planting your cassava to do it right.
After the planting season and the harvest, your profitability will depend on the market where you sell your products at the right price.
When you invest right in Cassava farming, you are sure to make a lot of money out of your investment.
In conclusion, cassava farming is a viable and profitable business opportunity in Nigeria that can offer a steady source of income for farmers who are willing to put in the effort and resources required.
Starting a cassava farm involves careful planning, research, and investment in the right infrastructure, equipment, and crop inputs.