Easy ways to start cocoyam farming in Nigeria



Another tuber crop that is mainly use for human food in Nigeria is cocoyam. Cocoyam is commonly grown among the small scale farmers in Nigeria who operate within the subsistence economy. Before now cocoyam is regarded as a low important crop which the cultivation and the consumption lie within the less privileged farmers in Nigeria.


Step by step on how to grow cocoyam in Nigeria

Land selection: Actually cocoyam really thrives better on a well drained sandy loamy soil. This tuber crop produces optimum yields when it is planted in fertile soil with a good water retention capacity.

The land preparation: Start by clearing the bush and then burn the thrashes if it is a virgin land. If the land is actually a plough able land, make sure you plough twice at fifteen days interval. Also you can make heaps or ridges at 1 m x 1 m apart.

The time for planting: You can start planting immediately the rain is steady.  

Cocoyam varieties: Cocoyam has 2 main varieties which are white and pink.

The spacing: You can plant on the crest of the heaps or ridges at 1m apart on the row. Actually the whole cormel or the cut sett from corms needs to be planted at about 15 to 20 cm deep. Make sure the cut surface of the sett is face upwards in a slanting position.

The planting material:  The whole corm or cormel need to be cut into setts for planting. Make sure the sett or corm is not too big or too small.

The seed rate: This should be 10,000corms/ha.

The fertilizer application:  Fertilizer application may not be needed but it may be needed if the soil has been depleted. You can apply N.P.K. 15:15:15 at five to six beer bottle capfuls in a ring form about 10 cm to the plant.

Weed and pests control: Cocoyam plants are attack by Fungus. Some of the leaves will turn yellow prematurely and the entire plant will become wilt and it will also result to damping -off of the seedlings. If there is severe attack you can uproot the affected plant and then bury it or burn it.
Cocoyam plants are also attacked by white ants. These white ants normally cause damage to the tubers at any stage of development. Some other pest that attack cocoyam plants are rodents that eat the corms and cormels on the field.

Harvesting of cocoyam:  There are a lot of cocoyam varieties that mature in about eight months from planting. The harvesting of cocoyam is actually done by shaking up the plant and uprooting it and bringing out the cormels while those cormels that remain in the soil are also dug out. The cormels must not be bruised in other to ensure proper storage.

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