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Plantain farming in Nigeria: Step by step guide



Plantain farming in Nigeria is another secret cash machine that a lot of people are really ignoring. On this article we are going to look into it and to see how it works. Unlike other cash crops that really require so much time and money to maintain, plantain is very easy to cultivate and maintain.

Furthermore, plantain farming is a low capital agribusiness and almost every Nigerian soil is good for cultivating it. Anybody in Nigeria that has any land with loamy soil can start plantain farming on the land. Actually plantain is one of the staple foods that are very popular in the tropical regions. This cash crop is the tenth most important food staple that feed people of all race around the continent.



Steps on how to start plantain farming Nigeria

     1. A proper land that has good soil: Like I said earlier, loamy soils are really the best producing soils for plantain farming because they contain a good organic to inorganic ratio. Actually organic materials like decaying plants and insects really provide the soil with air, nutrients and water-retaining matter. The combination of these ingredients when combined with other mineral particles will allows the soil to remain loose and fertile. Organically rich soils are shallow in the tropical rain forests part of Nigeria, plantains will only thrive for 1 to 3 years then die back because the layer of organic matter is easily depleted. In other to avoid depletion it is very important to provide the soil with compost and mulch.

     2. The preparation of the soil for planting: To prepare the soil for planting the land need to be cleared and trees need to be cut down. Actually plantain plant really grow best in bunches or groups because they protect each other from the harsh rays of the sun. It is very necessary to create an enable environment where the plantain plants are sheltered either because they are bunched up together or there are other trees to protect them. It is also very vital to maintain the humidity of the plantain plantation by allowing some of the trees to remain for the purpose of protecting the plantain plant from excessive sun.

      3. You need to get plantain suckers: Don’t forget that a plantain plant is not a tree but a type of herb. Plantain plant cannot be grown from seeds like most trees, they are grown through suckers. Actually plantain suckers grow from a dying, mature plantain plant and it can be transplanted and re-grown. Plantain suckers are considered as baby plants that are used to start new plantain plants. Make sure you choose suckers from plants that are vigorous, and also make sure they are having small, spear shaped leaves and they are about 4 feet high.
Furthermore, every mature plantain tree has a corm at the bottom. If you are transplanting the sucker, it is very important to cut downwards and get as much corm and root as possible. Then plant it and cut or decapitate the sucker to facilitate good evaporation. Make sure you keep around 2 to 5 meters between planted suckers. Make sure you keep the plantain plant moist in there early days but not too wet as they don’t have leaves yet to evaporate the water.

     4. Weed control in plantain plant: If you actually want the plantain to do very well, weed control is very important. You can use traditional weed control by employing laborer to do the weed cutting.  As the plantain plant is growing it is very important to also protect the plant from strong winds. Also it is necessary to keep it watered. You can also sprinkle fertilizer once in a while, although throwing the plantain plant dead leaves back into the plant is enough to sustain the rich quality of the soil. Unlike most trees, plantain plant do not actually need complicated pruning. You can just remove the dead leaves and the dead plants near the plantain.

The plantain plant will be ready to produce within eight to ten months. As one of the plantain plants are getting matured for harvest another one is replacing it, they will continue in that circle removing any stress expenses of planting again. The only thing you will be doing is to harvest and reap your profits all year round.

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