Plantain Farming is a low capital agribusiness and almost every Nigerian soil is good for plantain plantation as experience has shown. Therefore, if you have any land with loamy soil, you can start plantain farming on it and start harvesting cash now. Plantain is a staple food that is very popular in tropical regions.
To start a Lucrative Plantain Farming Business in Nigeria, The following needs to be considered:
Conduct a feasibility study:
Depending on the level of your investment, you can engage an expert to help you to write a feasibility note and a business plan.
You can write your business plan yourself by going around to ask for information and data about plantain farming in Nigeria and its marketability.
Do not skip this process. Don’t rely only on what you read on the web. Hit the street and ask critical questions about plantain farming.
2. Get trained in modern farming:
Cultivating plantain the way it was formerly done traditionally would likely make you lose your investment. A lot of plantain farmers in Nigeria do not know how to cultivate plantain efficiently. They just dig holes and plant. Opps, No No!
You need to get yourself trained on how to cultivate plantain in a modern way. If you cannot manage your farm yourself, ensure you engage experts who are skilled in plantain farming. Do not be deceived to employing those who claim to be experts but who do not know anything about farming.
3. Acquire farmland:
To maximize your profit from plantain farming, it is better you acquire farmland in rural areas in the rainforest belt of Nigeria, Because Plantain needs a lot of water in order to have a good yield. Rain forest and mangrove swamp zones of Nigeria receive more rainfall than all other climatic zones in the country.
Some rainforests in Nigeria states are Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Edo, Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ekiti, Cross Rivers, Imo state,
For states with less rainfall, you will need irrigation preferably drip irrigation.
4. Land preparation:
You must take off the trees and stumps on your farmland.
You can also plough and harrow the farmland. If your farmland is virgin, you can use no-till farming.
A lot of manure should be used when cultivating plantain.
Though not common, some farmers prepare wide beds when cultivating plantain.
It is also required to do soil and water test.
5. Get clean tissue cultured plantain seedlings:
Never be deceived into buying uprooted plantain suckers. In most cases, these plantain suckers are already infected and diseases. When you introduce a diseases sucker into your farmland, you can bring new diseases and harmful to your soil that will affect any crop you grew on the soil.
It is recommended that you buy a clean tissue cultured sucker. Some of these suckers are bred in laboratories while some are grown in clean greenhouses.
A clean tissue cultured sucker is likely to give you increased yield because they do not have any diseases or pests that can impact their growth.
6. Do the planting:
A lot of people who are engaged in plantain farming get it wrong from the planting stage.
The first rule is to get a lot of manure. When covering the hole you dig, you should not return the soil to the hole, instead use manure to fill up the hole.
This will make your plantain crop yield very well.
It is advisable that your plantain is planted in the months that will ensure that you harvest at the lean period.
7. Farm management:
You should endeavor to manage your farm well. Obey all the best agronomical practices.
If you do not know how to manage a plantain farm, it is always better you engage an expert.
You should harvest your plantain after 8-11 months depending on the variety.
It is better you harvest your plantain when they are still unripe.
Start marketing before you even plant.
Go around and ask questions about plantain marketing.
It is also better you plant and harvest during the lean times of the year. The price of a plantain bunch in Nigeria varies as much as 50-100% in Nigeria.
If you can, avoid selling your plantain in local markets. Do not sell through middlemen as they are likely to cheat you.
Selling processed plantain products will make you more profit.
Plantain farming is one of the most profitable farming ventures in Nigeria; you can make a good profit from it.