How to start yam farming business in Nigeria is what this post seeks to explain. It will serve as a step by step guide for farmers who want to learn how to cultivate/plant yam tubers.
Yam is consumed almost everywhere in the world, but this particular food is considered popular in Africa. In Nigeria, yam production was what sustained the economy until oil was discovered. Yam farming is cultivated and popular in almost every state of the country as farmers who engage in this kind of farming either sell their yams for money or use it for feeding. Either ways, Yam farming business is a lucrative one which is sure to yield you profit.
It baffles me that Nigeria who is the major producer of yam in the world don’t export to other countries the way Ghana, a neighboring country does on a yearly basis. The profit one can make from this venture runs in millions if its on a large scale which makes yam farming in Nigeria an important business opportunity to start. If you are a beginner and are looking for an easy yam planting guide on how to plant yam tubers, then this article is sure to answer all your questions.
There are some factors to consider if you want to start planting yam anywhere in the country. Factors like the land to use, soil, the season to plant the yam and cultivate it, cost of yam farming and the capital needed, e.t.c. We shall take a look at some of the important rationale below.
Easy Steps on How To Start Yam Farming In Nigeria
1. Preparation of the Land/Soil
If you have a land, lets say one hectare; you would have to prepare the soil for planting the yam seeds. If there are bushes and grasses in the land, you would have to clear it before the rainy season. This would allow the weeds dry up with the soil and form organic manure. Once that is done, you can now prepare the heap or ridge beds. Measurement should be one meter apart from each ridge and one meter high. Take care to note that all beds must be carefully made with the land’s contour to checkmate erosion.
According to an agricultural experts, yams are best planted in an upland well-drained field, which is the land suitable for yam farming. The best soil for planting yam is sandy loam and silt loam soil. If you must use clay loam soil, they must be rich in organic matter. If you plant yam on stony hard soil, you might find it difficult to cultivate later. You might also want to grow yam tubers in forest lands as most tropical region might be the best environment for growing yam tubers both in soil quality and climate conditions.
2. Prepare your Setts properly
Proper preparation of setts is vital. Pre-sprouting according to experts can help reduce weeds which in turn help the setts grow. Setts are also known as the yam seeds that will be planted. Just like heat sett, tail sett and middle set that forms a healthy yam tuber, they are small pieces of the yam tuber. Treat the cut sets with fungicide or with ash. Also take the size of the sett into consideration.
3. Plant the Yams
Every seed, vegetable, cereal etc has a time and season to be planted. Yam is best planted during rainy season within the months of February and April. These periods are also the best periods for land preparation. If you are planting white yam, it would be best you do that during march although, it depends on when the rainy season starts. If you have a hectare of land to start off, you can have between 19,000 to 25,000 setts.
This is essential as you would want your yams healthy when harvested. It all depends if you planted pre-sprouted or non-sprouted setts, you might just weed about two to four times.
5. Harvesting & sale of tubers
The time to harvest your yams should be when the stalk and leaves shows yellowish signs of drying up. This occurs around November and can stretch till the next year around February. Its best you first harvest your commercial tubers early before it reaches the stage of yellowing and drying up. The rest can be done later.
Cost of Yam Farming in Nigeria
The cost of cultivating yam is dependent on the sizes of yam, barn and land you tend to use in planting. In Nigeria today, purchasing yam tubers can be a expensive, as hundred tubers can be sold for N50,000 or more. This is dependent on the area of the country in which you purchased the yams.
Although, if you have a land and would want to start, N200,000 to N500,000 should be enough money or funds you would need to start a yam farm in Nigeria. This include hiring labourers and purchase of farm equipment.
There is hardly a person you would find who doesn’t eat yam in Nigeria or even the world. It is one of the best sources of starch. The market will always be there for you to sell these yam tubers and make profit from it. I believe this step by step guide on Yam farming in Nigeria will help open the eyes of beginners on how to go about this business venture easily.