With the increasingly diverse use of cassava products in Nigeria, cassava farming is getting more lucrative with every passing day. This farm product has always been a source of lively-hood and food for millions of Nigerians. About 90% of Nigerian households consume cassava products every day. Some of the meals are: Starch, Flour, Chips, Bread, Garri, Wheat-Flour, Animal Feed and a lot more.
CURRENT RESEARCH ON CASSAVA
As the population of Nigeria continues to grow, the demand for cassava products will continue to skyrocket, leading to higher revenues generated by cassava farmers. This widespread consumption of cassava products will continue to place it as a cash crop that always gets bought after a harvest, and guarantees a good profit after sales.
REQUIREMENTS FOR FARMING
- Selecting a good Site for Your Cassava Farm involves getting an area with deep well drained loamy soil, adequate rainfall, and warm & moist climatic conditions.
An easy way to identify lands with these conditions is to see if: There’s thick vegetation around it, the soil texture is good and the land is flat or gently sloping.
- Select the Best Cassava Variety to Plant: There are wide breeds of cassavas that you can grow. But the best breeds to cultivate are the types that are widely accepted by your target market, give great yields, grow fast, and are resistant to pests and diseases. The major factors involved in selecting the right cassava breed to grow are: Varieties with good food quality, Varieties with good cooking abilities, Varieties that bulk early, Varieties with good ground storability, Varieties that are tolerant to pests, diseases, and weed.
- Select Healthy Cassava Stem Cuttings: You can buy cassava stem cuttings in town /village markets. After your initial purchase of the cassava stem cuttings, the best place to keep getting healthy cassava stem cuttings are on your own farm. Planting healthy stem cuttings is important because they’d help you to greatly reduce the spread of cassava pests and diseases. When getting cassava stem cuttings, this is the best guide to follow:
- Find healthy cassava plants and
- Stay away from cassava plants that have or have had a history of pest and diseases.
Plant the Cassava Right: Before you plant your cassava crop products, you need to consider the land tillage method, the time of the year, the seed bed type, and the method of preparation, handling, and planting of the cassava stem cuttings.
- Setup & Production Cost: Understanding the cost of farming, help to ensure you’re not going to generate a negative cash flow. Here is a sample costing for setting up a cassava farm:
- Land Cost: (Depends on the location)
- Land Preparation: (Depends on the location )
- Cassava Stem Cuttings: (Bundle price could vary per location)
- Fertilizer (The price could vary by location)
- Fermentation Tank: (The price could vary by location)
- Hydraulic Press: (The price could vary by location)
- Hammer Mill: (The price could vary by location)
- Carriage bags (The price could vary by location)
- Insecticides (The price could vary by location)
- Farm maintenance (The price could vary by location)
- Harvesting labour fees (The price could vary by location)
- Employee salaries and a couple others.
Note: Some other costs and unforeseen expenses are not listed, and the costs listed here are heavily subjected to change because of inflation and other uncontrollable market vices.
- Marketing Your Cassava Products: After growing and harvesting your crops, you’d need to ensure maximum returns by selling your harvests to the right buyer and at the right price.
SOIL TYPE: For Cassava plantation, it is important to choose a well-drained fertile soil. You can take sample of the soil where you want to start your cassava farming to Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to help determine whether the soil is suitable for high yield cassava variety.
LOCATION OF POSSIBLE CULTIVATION
Location should be a well drained loamy soil with adequate rainfall with warm & moist climatic conditions.
COMMONLY CULTIVATED SPECIES
- For good cassava production, the following varieties are recommended for their high yield and processing quality with Local names given as Give-me-chance, Babyodi, Sisilagos etc while the scientific varieties are -TMS 30572, -NR 8082, -NR8083,
-TMS 4(2) 1425, -TMS 81/00110, -TMS 92/0326.
FERTILIZER TYPE AND WHEN TO APPLY
Where a total herbicide was not used before land preparation for cassava farming, it is recommended that a selective pre-emergence herbicide be applied within three days after planting.
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.
HOW MANY TIME WEEDING
- Weeding is recommended before planting and before harvest. Cassava planting starts in February and can be extended to late October and beyond.
EXPECTED INPUT PER HECTAR