Many Nigerians go to bed hungry, suffering of starvation and malnutrition. We constantly complain of lack of good paying jobs and no money to spend and take care of our immediate needs. In effort to get jobs, will sell themselves into slavery in the hands of Chinese and Lebanese right in their own country all in the name of working in a factory. While in reality, we are sitting on a goldmine known as cassava farming and production!
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.
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.
Cassava can be processed into a number of products such as starch, flour, chips, ethanol and glucose syrup, and bread to name a few. These products are all in high demand locally and also have significant export possibilities. These therefore, place a lot of raw cash in the hands of anyone who goes into cassava farming right now.
As a smart person, you should be thinking about how to take advantage of the government support for agriculture and the increased budget to create wealth for yourself. This is because cassava production surely provides opportunity for investors. If you are ready, here are what you need to start your own cassava farming in Nigeria.
1. Selection of Cassava Planting Site
For Cassava plantation, it is important to choose an accessible well-drained fertile soil. You can take sample of the soil where you want to start your cassava farming to the IITA to help determine whether the soil is suitable for high yield cassava variety.
While most forest lands within the South West are known to be very fertile for cassava farming, it is important to further verify in other to be sure of your investment.
2. Decide On Cassava Varieties
For good cassava production, the following varieties are recommended for their high yield and processing quality: TMS 30572, NR 8082, NR8083, TMS 4(2) 1425, TMS 81/00110, TMS 92/0326. An additional 10 varieties are in the process of being released. Check from the cassava production specialists in Ibadan
3.Preparation Of Land And Planting
A total herbicide – Round up (a glyphosate) should be applied to the land where you want to plant your cassava at the rate of 4–5 l/ha 10 days before land preparation. For cost effectiveness and optimum plant population of your cassava , mechanization and planting on ridges are recommended.
It is recommended that 5 (50 kg) bags of agricultural lime be applied /ha during land preparation.
Planting and planting material
1. Cassava Planting starts in April and can be extended to October.
2. The quantity of cassava recommended for 1 ha is 60 bundles of cassava stem.
3. Cassava Stem cuttings 25 cm long should be planted at a spacing of 1 m x 1 m.
4. Maintain 100% cassava planting rate by replacing dead or nonviable stems.
Post-planting weed control
Where a total herbicide was not used before land preparation for cassava plantation, it is recommended that a selective pre-emergence herbicide be applied within three days after planting. Five liters of Primextra is recommended /ha.
4. Types Of Fertilizer To Use
The following fertilizers and their rate/ha are recommended
• NPK 15:15:15–12 (50 kg) bags
• NPK 20:10:10–9 (50 kg) bags
• NPK 12:12:17–15 (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.
Cassava Yield of 25 t/ha and above can be obtained with good agronomic practices and management.
Therefore, every step must be taken seriously in the process of planting your cassava.
To reduce cost of production and attain high yields, it is recommended that land preparation be fully
mechanized. A power tiller can be used if the total land area under cultivation is not more than 250ha
Note: Fixed capital investments are not included. Such capital investments include knapsack or boom sprayers, tractors or power tillers, stem cutters, planters, and harvesters. With planters and harvesters, manual labor use can be minimized.