Cassava farming has over the years being a chief food in Nigeria and has become of the most lucrative business in recent times.
This is believed to be as a result of the many food derivatives gotten from it. Derivatives such as Garri, fufu, bread as well as glucose, animal feed, solvent fertilizer and many other industry based materials.
White the rising unemployment and lack of white collar jobs, more people are turning to commercial agriculture. It becomes pertinent to state that it has given ecomomic transformation to many youths in Agribusiness.
Cultivated in about 24 states out if the 36 states of the Federation, cassava farming is mostly done in the southern part of the country and areas with an adequate rainfall and sunshine.
Nigeria being a country blessed with a good climate favours cassava cultivation and the country is one of the major producer in the continent.
Cassava serves as a major food item in the country which can be seen as a reason for the almost cult followership. Below are the steps and procedures to follow while setting up a cassava farm.
Firstly, a suitable plot of land should be selected. This is important as different soil types has different varieties of cassava that yeilds well on it.
A feasibility study should be carried out detailing the topography, access to sunshine and rainfall, soil texture as well as proneness to pest attacks.
This procedure should be followed with the preparation of the land proper. This has to do with preparing ridges, applying manure in the farm as well as cutting and selecting of the most appropriate cassava stem like TM30572 and TMS92/0326 are known to yeild better than others.
Furthermore, the land needs to be prepared before planting i.e application of herbicide, making of ridges and application of quicklime where appropriate.
The next step of cassava farming is the planting. Cassava should be planted around April to September or October and should be on ridges of an average of 40cm in with and 60cm in row.
Periodic weeding of grasses should be done with fertilizer applied within 8-10 months of cultivation.
Harvesting and processing of the already matured cassava tubers in the next stage. The sign that the cassava is ripe for harvest is when the leaves turn to yellow and fall of the sterm.
One if the many advantages of cassava farming is that the sterm can be used for the planting of the next planting season. Processing of the cassava is next and it can be processed into fufu or Garri that can be used as raw material for other derivatives.
Cassava farming is one of the cost effective farm production. A budget of 200,000 naira can be used for the production with an expected turnover of more than 200%.