I realize you are searching for an approach to make cash out of cassava cultivating that is the reason you are reading this post right now.
I guarantee you that before the end of this article, you would have gathered enough knowledge about cassava cultivating business that will make you begin cultivating cassava immediately.
It is unfortunate to see many Nigerians go to bed hungry, suffering of starvation and malnutrition. We constantly complain of lack of good paying jobs and no money to spend and take care of our immediate needs. In effort to get jobs, we sell themselves into slavery in the hands of Chinese and Lebanese right in their own country all in the name of working in a factory. While in reality, we are sitting on a goldmine known as cassava farming and production!
Cassava grows very well in most parts of West Africa like Ghana, Senegal, Benin Republic, Nigeria, and Cameroon. The Brazilians are also know for cassava farming which they use for Tapioca productioAs a smart person, you should be thinking about how to take advantage of the government support for agriculture and the increased budget to create wealth for yourself. This is because cassava production surely provides opportunity for investors. If you are ready, here are what you need to start your own cassava farming in Nigeria.n.
1. Select Site For Your Cassava Farming
For Cassava plantation, it is important to choose an accessible well-drained fertile soil. You can take sample of the soil where you want to start your cassava farming to the IITA to help determine whether the soil is suitable for high yield cassava variety.
While most forest lands within the South West are known to be very fertile for cassava farming, it is important to further verify in other to be sure of your investment.
Step 2: Land Preparation for Planting Cassava
After successfully choosing a suitable site for cultivating your cassava, clear all bushes in the area immediately.
The reason for clearing the bushes around the area is to allow more sunlight to the soil and to remove weeds and undergrowth which might otherwise compete with the growth of your cassava.
By clearing the bush in the selected area using the burning method, you will destroy disease vectors and other parasites present in the soil.
Ridges or mounds which are 0.75m-1m apart are constructed depending on the availability of planting materials and the fertility of the soil.
Step 3: Planting the Cassava
In planting stage of the cassava farming process, the first thing to do is to carefully select a cassava variety that you will grow.
Select varieties with multiple pest and disease resistance, high and stable root yields, and acceptable quality.
The optimal cassava plant spacing is 1 meter by 1 meter apart along each row and across ridges or mounds.
The remaining space between the cassava plants can be used you grow vegetables, maize, legumes, and other plants.
Intercropping cassava with other crops reduces the danger of loss caused by unfavorable weather and pests by spreading the risk across several plants with different vulnerabilities.
Ensure you are planting cassava stem cuttings taken from plants that are up to 8 – 18 months old. Use a sharp machete or cutlass to cut the stem.
Take care not to bruise the buds or otherwise damage the stem. The cuttings should be about 20-25 cm in length with 5 or more nodes.
Cuttings from the base of the stalk are better planting materials than those from the top in terms of germination and plant yield.
4. Types Of Fertilizer To Use
The following fertilizers and their rate/ha are recommended
• NPK 15:15:15–12 (50 kg) bags
• NPK 20:10:10–9 (50 kg) bags
• NPK 12:12:17–15 (50 kg) bags
Apply fertilizer at 8 weeks after planting your cassava. Apply fertilizer in a ring, 6 cm wide and 10 cm from the plant or broadcast with care around the cassava plant, making sure the fertilizer does not touch the cassava stem or leaves.
Cassava Yield of 25 t/ha and above can be obtained with good agronomic practices and management.
Therefore, every step must be taken seriously in the process of planting your cassava.
Step 5: Harvesting the Cassava Tubers
Cassava maturity differs from one variety to another. You can harvest your cassava 8 – 18 months after planting.
However, the exact time for harvesting cassava depends on the variety of the cassava, the environment where it is planted, and the agricultural practices adopted.
The best way to harvest cassava is to do it manually. The stems of the cassava plant are first cut by hand, machete or machine.
When you are cutting the stems, leave a small portion of the stem at the base of the plant to serve as a handle to pull the storage root up.
Don’t damage the stems when you are cutting them. Keep the stems you will plant next season. Stack them together in small portions as you move.
How to make money from cassava farming business
Sell the cassava stem out to make profit and use the excess as firewood for cooking when they are dried.
Another way of making money from cassava farming business is by processing and selling off the young succulent leaves of cassava as a vegetable.
Also, sell off all the green leaves including the young parts of the stem or feed them to your livestock you keep any.
Uproot the cassava immediately by pulling the plant from the soil while holding the small portion of stem you left when cutting the stem.
If the soil is too hard, use a hoe to dig out the part stuck in the soil so that the tubers will not break in the soil.
Cut off the tubers from the stem. Be careful not to bruise the roots as you are harvesting otherwise, they will deteriorate very rapidly.
It is better to harvest roots only when you have a ready market to sell your cassava tubers to prevent them from decay and forming post-harvest waste.
You can process the roots as soon as they are harvested. Once the roots are harvested, they begin to deteriorate within about 48 hours, and then begin to rot and decay.