Nigeria being one of the top cassava producing countries in the world makes its farming business more profitable. But wait, one can’t just start a business without knowing all details about it. Starting a business without first doing research on it, is likely to cause problems while the business is moving. Without wasting your time, this article is clearly about how to start cassava farming in Nigeria. Most people look at farmers as poor, uneducated and uncivilized set of people. Cassava is an amazing and lucrative business in Nigeria, along with snail farming in Nigeria and poultry business
But they don’t know the importance of farmers in Nigeria. They don’t only make money, they also save the nation from famine. Cassava, just like yam is a root and tuber crop. It has underground roots which can be consumed by man and livestock animals after processing. It has other advantages over yam, in that it can grow in relatively poor soul and in low rainfall area. The root of cassava is also rich in carbohydrates.
Things You Need to Start Cassava Production in Nigeria
There are some requisites of cassava farming business in Nigeria which you need to know. I will list out them with full explanation of each requirement.
Capital includes all man-made productive assets which will be used in production. You need money to start any business, don’t think you can start cassava farming business in Nigeria for free.
The capital can be used to get almost all other things needed to start this business. If you start cassava farming in your land and you also do the work by yourself (without hiring anyone), then the cost of production (capital) will reduce.
My advice is that you should start on small scale first before going all in. You can easily get your capital from agricultural banks like NACB, cooperative societies, individuals (friends, relatives), commercial banks like UBA, First bank, union bank and you can also finance the business by yourself without any external sources.
Land can appreciate or depreciate and it is an important factor of cassava production in Nigeria. You can get a land through leasehold, rent or you can buy a land for the cassava production business.
3. Labour or Workers
Farm work is very stressful and you may not be able to do them all by yourself. This is why you will need farm workers that will help you with all the required farm activities. You will need to pay them daily, weekly or monthly depending on how large the farm is.
4. Cassava stem cuttings
In case you don’t know, cassava is not propagated through seeds. To grow a new cassava plant, you need cassava stem cuttings. You can easily buy this from farmers.
5. Planning and business strategy
You need to plan everything before even making any movement about the business. Just sit down and plan everything out to see what the business will cost you and the interest you will get from it. If you can’t do this by yourself, you can hire professional business strategists. You don’t need to pay a lot of money for this, just make sure the strategy is very good and workable.
6. Marketing strategy
Marketing involves all the activities required to move farm produce (cassava) from the farm to the the final consumers. You can either sell your farm produce (cassava) directly to people that would buy it and convert it to garri, fufu, tapioca, etc, or sell it to middlemen that would resell it at a higher price.
You should plan how you are going to make sure that all cassavas are sold at a good price that will bring in profits for you.
How To Start Cassava Farming In Nigeria
Follow these steps to start your cassava farming business in Nigeria easily.
1. Have all the things needed to start the farm before anything: check the list of the things needed to start cassava production in Nigeria above.
2. Plan and work out the business strategy: I have explained this above.
3. Get a good land Cassava requires a temperature of 21°C – 35°C, rainfall of 150cm – 200cm, a well-drained, rich, friable, loamy soil. It can also grow in poor soil. You can buy or rent a land for the cassava farm, but since buying is more expensive, I will advise you to rent a land for a year. Some people do rent a plot of land for ₦3k – ₦10k for one year. Just find the cheapest one so that you can see profits in this business.
4. Prepare the land for cassava farming: The bush is cleared with cutlass, stumping is done and ridges should be made with hoes (using ridgers have a lot of disadvantages).
5. Plant the cassavas in the right time and right way Cassavas should be planted between March and September. Cassava is spaced 1m by 1m and a stem cutting of 25 – 30cm long is pushed into the ridge or heap slantly at an angle of 45° and ⅔ of it is buried. Sprouting occurs 7 – 14 days after planting.
6. Maintain the farm after the cassava plants start growing: Weeding should be done regularly. Apply 250kg/ha of N.P.K fertilizer four to six weeks after planting. There are two major pests of cassava which remedy variegated grasshopper and rodents. You can control them by trapping and using chemicals to kill them. Cassava also have some diseases which are cassava mosaic disease, bacteria blight and angular leaf spot. You can control and prevent these diseases by growing resistant varieties of cassava, spraying with fungicide (Bordeaux mixture) and using disease-free stem cuttings.
7. Wait for the cassavas to mature: The cassavas will mature within 8 – 15 months depending on the varieties of the cassava.
8. Find a buyer or buyers before harvesting.
9. Harvest your cassava tubers: Use cutlass to remove some soil and pull the stem gently so that the tubers are pulled along or use a cassava puller.
10. Sell the cassava tubers: sell it to the buyers you have already found and make sure you know the correct price that it is being sold before selling it.
Is Cassava Production Business Profitable in Nigeria?
The business is profitable if you do it well. With all the tips in this article, you should be able to plan the strategy you will use to make sure that the business is a successful one. One way to confirm if it is successful or not is that you should always keep records of the money you spend, then after selling the cassava, you can check the amount made and amount invested. From there you should if it is profitable or not for you.
This article has explained what you need to know about starting cassava farming business in Nigeria. Am sure you learnt new things and you can now plan the business and give it a try. As I said before, start small and see if it is compatible or good with you. Since cassavas take about 1 year to mature, you can rent 1-3 plots of land for a year to give it a try. Cassava farming is not hard if you the basics which I have explained above. If you have any questions about cassava farming in Nigeria, leave a comment below and you will get a reply as soon as possible.