Cassava Farming in Nigeria – All You Need to Know
Cassava farming is the cultivation and growing of Cassava crop. Cassava is a staple food in Nigeria. Almost everybody in Nigeria consume cassava directly or indirectly. Cassava farming is also one of the most popular farming ventures in Nigeria.
Cassava is grown in all states in Nigeria. You will see cassava farmers anywhere you go in Nigeria. This is to tell you how popular the growing of cassava is in Nigeria.
Delta, Edo, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers, Bayelsa, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Lagos, Ekiti, Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Kogi, Kaduna and Abia are some of the largest Cassava producing states in Nigeria.
About 63 million tons of cassava is produced annually in Nigeria (as at 2021).
Cassava known as Manihot Esculenta is a starchy tuber crop widely grown in tropical areas around the world. It is grown widely in Africa, Asia and Southern America.
Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava (Source: Wikipedia). Cassava can be used to produce fufu, garri, and lafun. These are some of the most consumed foods in Nigeria.
Cassava can also be used for the production of ethanol, cassava flour and starch.
How to Cultivate Cassava in Nigeria
Below are the steps to take to grow Cassava or start a Cassava plantation in Nigeria:
- Selection of Site for Farmland
- Soil Preparation
- Picking the Cassava Variety to Plant
- Climatic Conditions
- Planting Cassava Stems
- Weed Control
- Fertilizer and Manure Management
- Management of Pests and Diseases
1. Farmland to use for Cassava Plantation
You can rent a farmland to plant your cassava crop. However, it is better if the farmland is freehold or leasehold.
The farmland should have a fertile soil. The farmland should also be easily accessible so that the cassava produce can be easily evacuated to the market.
If you do not have irrigation, it is better you situate your farmland in the rain forest belt of Nigeria where you are sure of good rainfall level.
2. Climatic Conditions Suitable for Cassava Farming
Cassava grows in tropical conditions. Cassava will not do well in cold and temperate areas or regions.
Cassava can grow well in all the climatic conditions prevalent in all areas in Nigeria.
Cassava loves water, though it will not do well in water logged areas. During the later stage of the life of the cassava plant, the level of water should be reduced.
3. Soil Suitable for Cassava Cultivation
Cassava does well in sandy soil, sandy loamy soil and sandy laterite soil. Cassava can grow in any soil. Cassava is known to survive in very poor soils. However, it is better if your soil is fertile. Poor soil can be amended with manure, compost and fertilizers.
Cassava prefers areas with dry soil; it will not do well in water logged soils.
The soil pH should be 4.0 – 7.0. Cassava will not reach its optimum yield if grown in very acidic soil. Acidic soil should be amended with lime or dolomite.
4. Soil Preparation
For large Cassava plantation, bulldozers can be used to remove trees, stumps and weeds. The type of bulldozers to be used for land clearing should be the type that will not remove the top soil. Due care and skills should be exercised so that the top soil will not be affected during land clearing.
Ploughing should be done after the removal of the trees, stumps and weeds. After ploughing, harrowing should be done. Several rounds of ploughing and harrowing may be done depending on the condition of the soil. Ridging should be done for areas prone to flooding.
Soil that has poor fertility and low organic matter should be amended with manure and compost. Humus can also be added to the soil.
Phosphatic fertilizers like Single Super Phosphate fertilizer or Diammonium Phosphate Fertilizer should be buried near every cassava stand. Depending on how fertile the soil is, up to 10 grams of Single Super Phosphate fertilizer may be applied near each cassava stand.
Up to 10,000 cassava plants can be accommodated in a one hectare farmland using spacing of 1 metre by 1 metre.
5. Cassava Varieties
Some of the cassava varieties cultivated in Nigeria include TME 419, TMS 90257, TMS 91934, TMS 81/00110, TMS 82/00661, TMS 30001, TMS 30555, TMS 30572 and local cultivars—Nwugo, Nwaiwa, Ekpe and Okotorowa.
Other cassava varieties planted in Nigeria are Game-Changer, Hope, Obasanjo-2, Baba-70, and Poundable.
The list of cassava varieties available in Nigeria can be viewed here.
The following equipment can be used for Cassava farming:
- Boom Sprayer
- Farm House
- Power Tiller
- Earth Augers
- Motorised Sprayers
- Weeders etc.
Irrigation can significantly enhance the yield of cassava. Besides, with irrigation, you can practice high density planting of Cassava.
Irrigation involves the artificial application of water to crops. In the case of Cassava, with irrigation, plant population can be increased and yield can also be enhanced.
The following types of irrigation can be used for Cassava:
Drip Irrigation: Drip irrigation is a type of irrigation that passes water to the root zone of plants. It is the most effective and efficient type of irrigation for Cassava farming.
Sprinkler: Sprinklers spray droplets of water to crops. Sprinklers can be used for Cassava farming.
Furrow Irrigation: This is the passing of water between the ridges or beds on a farmland. Though, this is a type of irrigation, if not well done, it can lead to root rot in plants.
8. Planting Cassava Stems
The cassava stems should be dug into the soil. A spacing of 1 metre by 1 metre should be used when planting the cassava stem.
10 grams of Single Super Phosphate fertilizer should be applied near each cassava stem.
Mychorizhae and other microbial innoculants should be added near each cassava stem. This will increase the number of beneficial microbes in the soil. Nematicides may also be used if the soil is infected with harmful nematodes.
9. Weed Control
Herbicides can be used to kill weeds on Cassava farms. Weeders and other mechanical tools can also be used for weed management in Cassava farming.
Plastic mulches and other types of mulches can be used for the prevention of the growth of weeds.
Tools like cutlasses and hoes can also be used for weed management.
10. Fertilizer and Manure Application in Cassava Farming
Manure and compost should be added to the soil before the transplantation of the Cassava seedlings.
The types of fertilizers that can be used for Cassava farming includes:
- NPK Fertilizers
- Muriate of Potash (MOP)
- Single Super Phosphate Fertilizer (SSP)
- Calcium Nitrate
- Potassium Nitrate etc.
11. Pests and Diseases of Cassava Crop
The following are the pests and diseases that can affect Cassava trees:
- Cassava Brown Leaf Spot
- White Leaf Spot
- Witches Broom
- Cassava Mosaic Disease
- Cassava Bacterial Blight
- Bud Necrosis
- Cassava Root Rot Disease
- Nematodes etc.
Source: Plant Village
Cassava is usually harvested after 10 – 12 months of planting. To harvest your cassava, you need to partially cut the stem. After the partially cutting the stem, you pull out the remaining stem from the soil, this will lead to the pulling out of the cassava tuber.
Harvesters can also be used to harvest matured cassava tubers. After the harvest of the cassava tubers, you need to peel the tubers and start processing the cassava into the product you want.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a One Hectare Cassava Farm in Nigeria
The cost to start a one hectare Cassava farm is shown as follows:
- Acquisition of one hectare farmland: ₦90,000 – ₦350,000
- Surveying and Land Documentation: ₦90,000 – ₦190,000
- Clearing, Ploughing and Harrowing: ₦45,000
- Cassava Stem: ₦20,000
- Planting: ₦11,000
- Irrigation: ₦290,000 – ₦640,000 (Optional)
- Fertilizers and Manure: ₦20,000 – ₦100,000 (Depending on soil fertility)
- Pesticides: ₦10,000
- Others: ₦90,000
For a detailed cost analysis, please contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advantages of Cassava Plantation
The following are the advantages of having a Cassava farm:
- It can provide income for farmers and gardeners.
- Unemployed youths can engage in cassava farming.
- Cassava produce can be used as food for human and animal.
- Biodiesel and other industrial byproducts can be gotten from Cassava.
- The export of Cassava products can improve the foreign exchange reserve of the nation.
Cassava Market in Nigeria
A large percentage of Cassava produced in Nigeria is consumed locally. Nigeria produced 63 million tons of Cassava in the year 2021, according to Statista.
Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the world.
Questions and Answers on Cassava Farming
a) Question: Can I contact you about how to start Cassava farming in Nigeria?
Answer: Yes, you can contact Veggie Grow on 08025141924
b) Question: Can drip irrigation be used for Cassava farming?
Answer: Yes, drip irrigation can be used for Cassava farming. It can also significantly increase the yield of Cassava.
c) Question: How profitable is Cassava farming?
Answer: Cassava farming is very profitable.
Should you wish to know more about Cassava farming or you want to set up a Cassava farm, please contact us on 08025141924 or send an email to email@example.com.