Plantain farming in Nigeria is without a doubt a standout amongst the most profitable agri-business wanders. Most young business visionaries do not have the information required to set up a plantain farm, passing up a significant opportunity for the profitability of this business.
After the primary cluster, your plantain plant would continue delivering more fruits till the end of the planting season. This implies that planting is done once,and the rest is to harvest each season.
Plantain generation in Africa is evaluated at over half of overall creation. The greater part (82%) of plantains in Africa are delivered in the range extending from the swamps of Guinea and Liberia to the focal bowl of the Democratic Republic of Congo. West and Central Africa contribute 61 and 21%, individually (FAO). It is evaluated that 70 million individuals in West and Central Africa derives over 25% of their starches from plantains.
Nigeria is one of the biggest plantain delivering nations on the planet. In spite of its noticeable quality, Nigeria does not highlight among plantain exporting countries since it creates more for local consumption than for trade.
In Nigeria, plantain is an exceptional delicacy prepared by boiling, frying, roasting or made into plantain chips. As of late, plantain has been processed into flour which is bit by bit substituting the utilization of wheat flour because of its prevalent healthful esteem. Plantain flour is likewise sent out from Nigeria to different nations of the world for consumption.
Plantain farming in Nigeria is a staple sustenance that is exceptionally a mainstream in the tropical area. It is the tenth most imperative staple food that bolsters individuals of all race all over the world. Plantain is dealt with similarly as potatoes,and it accompanies comparable characteristic flavor when the unripe natural product is cooked by steaming, bubbling or fricasseeing.
Plantain plantation in Nigeria is not at all like starting a successful maize farming business or cassava farming and many other crop cultivation, starting a plantain farming and developing it is simpler and less convoluted. All be it, developing plantain farming still require one’s concentration and support, the level of expertise needed isn’t as demanding as another tree crop.
Plantain plants additionally develop best in clusters or gatherings since they shield each other from the cruel beams of the sun. It is critical to making a domain where the plantain plants are shielded either because they are grouped up together,or there are different trees to secure them. However, there must be a plan to regulate the clustered population so as not to affect each tree growth and development.
A plantain plant isn’t a tree yet but a kind of herb; it can’t be developed from seeds like general trees. Plantain trees are gotten by suckers. Suckers are those that develop from a diminishing, develop plantain plant that can be transplanted and re-developed. They might be considered as child plants that are utilized to begin new plantain plants. Pick suckers from plants that are fiery. They ought to have little, skewer molded leaves and are around one-foot high.
As the plantain develops, it is critical to shield it from solid breezes. It is additionally vital to keep it very much water. One can likewise sprinkle composts sometimes yet generally tossing the dead plantain leaves once again into the plant as this is sufficient to support the abundant nature of the dirt. Not at all like other crops, plantain don’t require much pruning. Just remove the dead plants close to the plantain. Likewise remove suckers from the plantain keeping just a single or two.
To establish a plantain plantation or farming, follow these steps:
Purchase/lease an organic rich land to begin your own plantain cultivate
Plantains develop best in conditions where the dirt holds water (rich loamy soil), that is the reason plantain estates in Nigeria are inundated. You might not have the way to complete water system so you ought to consider soils that hold water, have a decent humus layer. You can likewise make your own particular fertilizer by utilizing chicken compost to build its fruitfulness.
Land Clearing and Preparation
Clearing of land incorporates evacuation of trees, brush, stumps and stones among different obstructions. This is important to build the territory of the land base for cultivation, or to make your property reasonable for plantain farming operation.
Based on on your financial plan and the area of your plantain cultivate, you can go for either manual or motorized clearing.
Once the land for your plantain cultivation is cleared, you should make certain strides for making the land reasonable for developing plantain. This is essential for making the correct soil conditions for a sound development of these youthful plants, and to guarantee that your plantain estate is effective n the long run.
Land arrangement ought to be done well before you begin the process of planting the suckers. Despite the fact that this progression may require huge endeavors and speculation, you can’t skip it, or you will have an unsuccessful reap, which will set back your plans of owning an effective plantain farming.Preparing the land will likewise empower you to structure and plan your farming operational procedures and strategies.
The areas to consider are:
- The accessibility and also the nature of water for water system that you have
- Mechanical activities that should be actualized and how they will be executed
- Determination of land
- Any synthetic necessities for enhancing the dirt before transplantation
- Tools and equipment’s that will be required for the development of plantain
- Work and labor necessities
- Time plan
- Money related prerequisites
Purchasing Plantain Suckers
Plantains are engendered vegetatively from corms, which are underground knobs or rhizomes from suckers, which are shoots that develop from the bud that is at the plant base. Since the utilization of the whole corm is very difficult, the more typical strategy is to develop those little corms. The mother plant makes three (3) types of plantain suckers, in particular sword suckers, maidenheads and water suckers.
- Sword suckers accompany a short pseudostem and have limit leaves, like edges, alongside a thin base. When they develop, they have productive and sound pseudostems.
- Maidenheads accompany a pseudostem that is expansive and does not deliver any natural product; white water suckers have wide leaves with short pseudostems.
- Water suckers don’t have a solid connection to the rhizome, and deliver less natural product with weaker plants. They are less favored in contrast with huge sword suckers and maidenheads.
It is basic that you buy suckers just from a farm that is respectable and trusted and it must be an hybrid plantain sucker. There is no settled cost for these, a regular sucker differs from one plantation to the other.
It is fundamental that before you start your plantain farming, the land must have been cleared. However, to keep any emergence of weed round the plantain stands, you can utilize mulching.
Be that as it may, for turf grass, you should either utilize herbicides or pass by the hoeing system. On the other chance that you are intending to plant for delivering organic product, there is a need to practically make use of organic inputs. Also the land must not be a waterlogged area since plantains are not resistance to waterlogged conditions.
Fertilization and Weed Control
Subsequent to planting, you should fertilizer them utilizing a mix of chemical fertilizer (if not into organic farming), poultry compost and woodash a month after planting for enhancing the development and yield of plantains. It will likewise lessen the invasion by nematodes and borer weevils.
Natural fertilizer keeps up the temperature of the dirt, increase its dampness substance and help manage soil structure and fertility. This will enable you to attempt the vast majority of your endeavors for plantain farming in Nigeria.
Plantain should always be free from weed. This start during land preparation. Weed must first be eliminated after every 6-8 weeks when the canopy is yet to close but when the plantain reaches 5 -6 months after planting, weed infestation reduce due to shading. Grasses and herbs are the most dangerous weeds of plantain as they derive soil nutrient at same level of soil and this wiill definintely reduce yield. Wee can be control by the use of chemical, biological and manual method. Manual weeding is not advisable to use as it does not destroy the weeds effectively and the use of hoe and cutlass during operation could hamper the root system of plantain.
Biological means involve introducing another animal that will prey on the weeds. For example, the use of ducks, turkeys has been proven to be effective as they make sure that they weeds are continuously destroyed by feeding on them.
Chemical method is the most widely used. The active ingredients in the chemical are powerful enough to destroy the weeds when applied at the right ratio with water. However, this method must be carefully used as it has residual effect on the soil and ecosystem when abused.
By 8-10months your plantain is ready for harvest, and as one is ready for harvest, the suckers beside will take less number of months before its ready for harvest and then the generation continues in such cycle. This gives no worry of plantain suckers again. In fact, you keep harvesting suckers for sale.
In the event that you find that your plantain tree is about falling because of the weight of the hanging bunch, utilize a string and/or bamboo poles to prop the tree.
As a plantain farmer, your definitive point is to secure purchasers for your farm produce. In many occasions this ought to be straight forward as there is as of now an appeal for plantain. Plantain can be sold at farmgate or main market or supplies to industries. Majorly of of local buyers ( about 80% of women) prefers buying at farmgate and move the plantain produce to the main market to resell to the final retailers and consumers.
Farmers can also sell to industries who buy in bulk and process it into plantain flour, plantain chips and others.
Resources and Learning Materials:
Here are few interesting material that will give you a head-start in maize cultivation if you are seriously considering investing in plantain farming business and processing business in Africa.
Biology of Banana and Plantain manual is an interesting and detailed handbook from Uganda council for science and technology in collaboration with Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS). It is well written and has enough information needed for beginners.
Another well written book is Plantain cultivation in West Africa. It is simply written for plantain farming beginners in West Africa by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). The handbook is well written and covers from site selection, land preparation, sucker production, fertilizer application to harvesting and market.
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