Plantain farming is a lucrative business idea and unarguably one of the most profitable agro-business ideas in Nigeria.
Unlike several other cash crops, plantain farming is very easy to cultivate and maintain and only a little time and money is needed to maintain it.
Plantain is one of the most popular diets in Nigeria, as a result, it is a good agro-business opportunity in Nigeria as the demand for plantain meals is high.
The plantain plantation is also a low capital agro-business idea and can thrive in almost every soil in Nigeria.
Therefore, if you have any land you can start this agro-business idea easily and start making good profit from your plantain farming business.
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How to start a plantation farming business in Nigeria
To start your plantain plantation here are things you need to do/need to start.
- A piece of land
- Soil preparation for planting
- Purchasing plantain suckers
- Planting the suckers
- Weed control and fertilizer application
1. A piece of land
You will a good piece of land for the plantain business, therefore, the best piece of land to acquire is a land with loamy soil and should be located in an area with favorable weather condition for the growth of plantain.
Loamy soils are the best-producing soils for plantain farming because they contain a good organic to inorganic ratio.
You can also apply organic manure like chicken manure, cow dungs, etc. to improve the fertility of the soil.
2. Land preparation
When establishing a new plantain farm, you need to implement certain actions to ensure success in produce. Therefore the land preparation is one of those actions and should be done prior to transplanting of the plant suckers.
You can employ manual laborers to do the clearing of the land or you can do mechanical clearing of the land by hiring a tractor and paying for the labor depending on your scale of production.
3. Purchasing plantain suckers
Unlike most agricultural plants, plantain is like herbs, as a result, you cannot grow your plantain plantation from seeds. Therefore you need to purchase plantain suckers from reputable farms.
A reputable farm will give you suckers from plants that are vigorous. These plants should have small, spear-shaped leaves and are about four feet high.
4. Planting the suckers
After you have purchased your plantain suckers from a reputable farm, you will need to plant the suckers on the prepared plot of land.
So below are steps to follow when planting the suckers in your piece of land.
- The suckers should be spaced about 8 to 10 feet.
- Plant the plantain suckers in a direct row to allow sufficient airflow and good lighting
- Ensure that the soil is moderately wet as plantain plants do not like waterlogged areas.
5. Weed control and fertilizer application
Weeds can compete for the nutrient of the soil with the plantain plant, therefore you need to constantly weed your plantain farmlands.
Therefore to control weeds in the farmland you can employ manual labor to help with the wedding or you could make use of chemicals.
Similarly adding nutrients to the soil in the form of organic and inorganic fertilizers contribute to the proper development of the plantain plants.
Therefore you can add nutrient to the soil in the form of organic and inorganic fertilizers or mix both for optimal efficiency. You can start adding fertilizer to the soil one month after planting.
Usually, plantain fruit would be ready for harvest after like 8-10 months. While some special breeds can produce earlier. So depending on the breed you purchase you should ensure to do a proper followup to know when to harvest.
If you are new into this farming business you can ask the farm where you purchased your suckers to know how long it will take before harvesting the plantains.
There is an increase in the demand of plantains in the country and as a result, there is a ready market for your products.
You can contact companies that process plantain into flour and supply them. Similarly, you can sell in the local market or export the farm produce to other countries depending on your scale of production as the market for plantain in West Africa is very large and increasing on a daily basis.
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