How To Start Cassava Farming Business
Starting the agriculture business of growing and producing cassava for local consumption, processing for industrial use and packaging for export is a smart investment decision you can make as a farmer. Industrial processing of cassava has a great potential for successful investment.
Local And Industrial Uses Of Cassava
Cassava is a root crop, rich in carbohydrate present in form of starch. It is also eaten by many people in different regions of the country from Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Owerri, Ibadan, Kano, Portharcout to Calabar. Cassava can be used in processed into ruminant livestock feeds.
Products Made From Cassava
Cassava roots are also processed into:
==> Cassava flakes popularly referred to as Garri
==> Cassava flour can be eaten as Elubo Lafun or used in the bakery industry for the production of bread.
==> Starch for industrial and pharmaceutical use
==> Glues and adhesives
==> Chips, ethanol and glucose syrup.
These products have high demands here in Nigeria and also for exportation to other countries in Africa. You can easily make millions from this lucrative investment if you know how to go about it.
Factors To Consider For Site Selection In Cassava Production
Siting A Cassava Plantation
When you want to choose farm land to start a cassava plantation, ensure you select a site that is accessible, fertile and well drained. You can procure cheap farmlands from the government or from individuals. An acre of farmland should cost you around #150,000- #250,000. You will spend between N10,000 - N30,000 per hectare to prepare the farm land.
Best Cassava Varieties For High Yield
Top Quality Cassava Breed
If you want to make good profit from cassava business, you should plant the following recommended varieties for their good yield and quality:
TMS 30572, NR 8082, NR8083, TMS 4(2) 1425, TMS 81/00110, TMS 92/0326. Ten new cassava varieties will be released soon.
Weed Control Before Planting Cassava
Ten days before starting land preparation, a total herbicide should be applied to the land where you want to start planting cassava at the rate of 4.5 litres per hectare. If you want to cut down costs, it's advisable to mechanize most cassava production processes. A litres of this herbicide is between #1,000 - #1,500.
Liming Farmland In Cassava Production
During land preparation for cassava planting, application of 250kg of lime per hectare of farmland is recommended.
Cassava planting commences in April and can go on till October. 60-65 bundles of cassava stem per hectare is recommended as planting material. Each bundle of cassava stem goes for #300. 25cm long cuttings from cassava stem is usually planted using a spacing of 1metre by 1metre (1mx1m). You will spend almost N20,000 (#1,000/day/worker) employing four persons to plant an hectare of farmland. It is smart to always ensure a planting rate of 100 percent by replacing stems that die or fail to sprout.
Post-Planting Weed Control On Cassava Plantation
If you didn't use a total herbicide before planting cassava, it is advisable to spray your cassava plantation with selective herbicide within five days of planting. 5 litres of Primextra per hectare is recommended. A litres goes for #1500.
Types And Rates Of Fertilizer Use In Cassava Farming
The number of NPK fertilizer bags to be applied per hectare of a farmland of cassava are given below.
NPK 15:15:15 ==> 12 (50 kg) bags/ha
NPK 20:10:10 ==> 9 (50 kg) bags/ha
NPK 12:12:17 ==> 15 (50 kg) bags/ha
The fertilizer is applied on the farmland in a ring eight weeks after planting the cassava stems. The rings must be 6cm thick and placed 10cm away from the plant. Ensure that the chemical does not touch your cassava stem or leaves.
Harvesting Cassava: How much tuber will my farm yield?
With effective practices and management, you should be able to turn out 25 tonnes of cassava roots per hectare of farmland.