Plantain farming is an agribusiness that you can easily start and profit from for a long period of time in Nigeria. But farmers seem to neglect it and pay less attention to it. Only a few set their eyes on it.
Plantain farming is a lucrative farming in Nigeria that can earn you millions of naira, looking at the consumption of plantain in Nigeria as a sweet delicacy in food and its use in flour by flour industries, to start farming, it will be a good step and idea to make yourself lots of money, enrich yourself by setting a farm.
If you are an entrepreneur or a farmer looking for an idea of how to start plantain farming in Nigeria, then here you will get all the required steps needed and a guide to starting a successful plantain farming.
What You Need to Start Plantain Farming
Before you start any farming or agribusiness you must have estimated and known how much it might cost so the same with plantain farming, there is a certain amount of money and resources needed in possession that will ace your start to it. Then what amount and resources will you need for a start?
The cost of starting a plantain farm in Nigeria depends on several factors such as the availability of acres or plots of land, the minimum amount of suckers which starts from 500 to 1000, the Labour force to be used and its care. Let’s look at each factor separately to have more understanding and view of it
1. Acre or Plots of Land
To start plantain farming in Nigeria, you need plots of land. An acre may consist of 6-8 plots depending on size and measurement in square kilometres of the plot. So if you own an acre or two three plots then you are good to go if not you then need to hire one. But it will cost you some money depending on the location you are, if you aim for a long time farming then it’s advisable to get your own land.
2. Minimum Plantain Suckers
Another thing needed to start plantain farming in Nigeria is plantain suckers. The minimum number of plantain suckers that you should start with should be 500, therefore get a hybrid sucker which is more nutritive. Each sucker currently costs around #250 – #300, though the price might vary depending on the location.
3. Workers or Staff to Cultivate
The amount of money to spend in labour for use in cultivating a plot or acre of plantain may vary depending on location because you might spend around #40 000 in cultivating one plot of plantain and above that in an acre.
Its care will be on the use of pesticides to prevent from insects and fungi attack because you only prevent those attacks but once they reach your plantain farm they will kill your plantains. Use of fertilizer to boost its growth, the use of irrigation systems to water it if you have set your farmland in the northern part of Nigeria because it requires a lot of water, thus mangrove or swamp regions.
How do you Prepare Soil for Plantains?
Do water and soil tests to know much about the fertility of the soil so as to avoid ditching plantain suckers on infertile soil, the soil should be at optimal pH and rich in nitrogen. Plantain before being sewn on any farmland trees, stumps and other grass must be cleared, so after that, then apply organic manure because plantain needs a lot of organic manure.
In some practices, there is a need to harrow, plough or prepare wide beds. Therefore in preparing the soil to plant, make sure the right soil is being cleared and make it ready for planting plantains.
How do you Plant Plantain Seeds?
To succeed in plantain farming in Nigeria, you need to plant your plantain seeds well. Plantain trees are beautiful when they grow, and to get to the tree stage clear soil and a good estimation of plantain farming cost must be done as it is explained in the early part of this article. Plantain trees and plants thrive in warm, mulch and moist areas.
In Nigeria, plantain plants thrive in southern Nigeria due to its warm climate and much annual rainfall. In Northern Nigeria, plantain farming will only thrive with irrigation or drip irrigation due to the hot climate and less annual rainfall.
The plantain seeds are sowed and germinate in 14 days. To start a plantain tree, plant or seeds you must get fertile soil and a warm moist farm.
How many Plantain Suckers can I Plant Per Acre?
If you have an acre of land to start plantain farming n Nigeria and don’t know how many plantains will be contained in it, then know that each acre of land it can contain from 750 to 1200 plantains subject to the farming space or dimension used.
What is the Spacing for Planting Plantain?
According to many plantain farmers in Nigeria, plantain grows well in loamy soil and when planting 4 to 6 feet deep inside the land and 3 gaps should be applied because it gives it more balance on the soil, and spacing between each should be 3m × 2m or 2.5m × 2.5m. What it literally means is that in two rows there should be a 3m difference while in a row there should be a 2m difference.
How to Apply Fertilizer to a Plantain Farm
Plantain farming in Nigeria can’t be established successfully without the application of fertilizer, therefore appropriate application of fertilizer is the right thing to do. Many plantain farmers have expressed that fertilizer should be applied 3m away from the risen plantain.
Do not apply it directly to the root as it may severely cause damage to it, so it is advisable to be applied during the rainy season and it will gradually drill into the plant. Also, apply fertilizer once through its growth and it usually starts one month after the plantain is being planted on the soil. Knowing how to apply fertilizer is a great step to successfully start a plantain farming.
What is the Best Fertilizer for Plantains?
If you are starting a plantain farm in Nigeria the best fertilizer is the next thing to worry about after spending on planting it. Then relax, the best fertilizer to use is the one that contains much concentration of phosphorus, nitrogen and NPk, therefore, a suitable one for this job is PNK.
How long does Plantain take to Harvest?
After planting plantain in farmland the next thing to think of is the duration it will take to be harvested. It takes a year and a month for it to be harvested because it takes 3 months for plantains to mature and 8 months to be ripe for yield.
So most plantains are harvested without being allowed to ripe because that’s the best way to harvest them. For 3 to 4 months plantains do flowering and it continues year-round while producing fruits.
Plantain Marketing Strategy for Beginners
It will be good to start consultation for marketing your farm plantains after it begins developing fruits. You can market to hotels, restaurants, the food industry and other places where plantains are being consumed. Do not sell your plantains locally as you might not profit as well as expected, therefore marketing strategy should be in your focus after you have set your farm well.
Plantain farming in Nigeria is profitable farming if done properly. It requires a good start and estimation by following the tested and proven strategies. After reading about the strategies to start a plantain farm here, I suggest it will be of immense help to locate a plantain farm in your area and hear from the farmer.
Because hearing from those in the farming business will help you a lot. Hope you got the idea of starting a plantain farm.