Table of Contents
- Importance of plantain farming
- Nigerian plantain tree
- How to Start Plantain Farming
- 1. Get A land
- 2. Prepare your Farmland for Planting
- 3. Get Healthy Plaintain Suckers
- 4. Get Labor
- 5. Planting
- 6. Plantain Season
- How to Know your Plantain Plants Growing Well:
- 7. Harvesting Plantain
- 8. Marketing
- Exporting plantain to Europe
- Exporting plantain to the United States
Most people are not aware of the fact that Nigeria has been a hub for plantain farming for many years. Plantains, also known as “dodo” in Nigeria, is a very popular food item and is eaten by most Nigerians on daily basis.
The origin of this fruit is from West Africa and it can be found in various parts of the world including Latin America, Asia and Africa.
In recent times there’s been an increase in demand for plantain due to its high nutritional value and affordability which has led to an increase in cultivation all over the world.
This article will give you information about how to start plantain farming even if you’re not a farmer by profession or experience; we’ll discuss everything you need to know about it.
Plantains are a food staple in many countries of Africa and the Caribbean. It is also one of the most profitable crops you can grow with very little labor, which makes it an ideal crop for small-scale farmers or subsistence farmers. Read this article to learn more about plantain farming in Nigeria.
Plantain farming is one of the most profitable business in Nigeria. It is a lucrative and profitable venture that will guarantee you success if done right. Plantains are not only eaten as fruit, but they are also used to produce plantain flour which is an important ingredient for many dishes such as puddings, pancakes, muffins etc. Plantains are also used in making natural vegetable oil.
A plantain is a type of banana that looks like a small, green or yellow banana but larger than the average size and with thicker skin. Plantains may have black spots on their skins depending upon how ripe they are. The fruit can be eaten when it’s green.
The plantain tree is a perennial crop so you do not need to buy new seeds every season as with other crops and plants. The only thing that needs replacing are the fruiting trees which should be replaced about once in ten years. Plantains usually produce fruit from February to September.
A plantain tree can produce up to 100 fruits per year when it is well cared for and the weather conditions are favorable. Plantains should be harvested as they ripen because once ripe, the fruit will not grow any further or change in taste or character.
Importance of plantain farming
The plantain is an important crop to Nigeria as it provides a variety of uses. It can be consumed before ripening for the starch that we get from its ripe state, used as animal feed when green and after harvest, dried and ground into flour or made into wine. The leaves provide good fodder for animals like cows, sheep, goats, and horses.
- Grow your wealth through farming plantain
- Plantains are in high demand and there is hardly any supply of them
- You can sell them for a higher price in Nigeria because they are scarce, for example a bunch of plantains is sold ofr around N650-N1,500. (This differs based on where you live)
- Plantain farming is an excellent way to make money if you have space, it’s Easy to do and it’s an inexpensive investment
- Potentially higher profit margins than other crops like yams, cocoyam and cassava
- Can employ up to 10 workers at a time with the right irrigation system
- Potential for exports
- Plantain farming is an easy and lucrative business
- You can expand your farm or find a location to plant in
- Grow your wealth quickly with this simple income builder
Nigerian plantain tree
A Nigerian plantain is usually a tall, robust tree with dark green leaves and fruits that turn yellow when ripe. The Nigerian plantain has an excellent taste because of the type of soil it grows in as well as its natural fertilizers like manure and composts which are later used to grow other crops.
How to Start Plantain Farming
The Nigerian plantain is a variety of the Musa AAB group and grows up to four meters in height, with long dark green leaves that can reach lengths of two feet or more. The tree produces bunches of bananas weighing between six and twelve pounds each.
1. Get A land
The first thing you need before starting plantain farming is to get a suitable land. Acquiring a farmland in Nigeria is done by taking a lease agreement from the landlord on any parcel of land that you can use for your farming purpose and then get permission to cultivate it.
The only condition attached to this agreement is that if after cultivation, the produce cannot be sold within thirty days,
the tenant will have to pay an average rent fee for each month.
The best type of land for plantain is a level parcel of land with a slope in the southern or eastern direction. Level ground is preferable to sloping terrain because it allows for greater uniformity when planting and harvesting from a distance,
provides better drainage (which can help prevent waterlogging), reduces disease risks by providing good air circulation around plants,
and improves nutrient uptake. Also loamy soil with good drainage is preferable to clay soils, which take a long time for water and fertilizer
The best climate for plantain cultivation is that of a tropical or subtropical region; in these regions the average annual temperature ranges from 25°C (77°F) to 27°C (81-82°F ), and the average annual rainfall is at least 100 cm (39 in).
2. Prepare your Farmland for Planting
When you read that you need to prepare your farmland for planting, this is the time when we will make sure it’s level and smooth. You need to remove stumps, stones, rocks and other obstructions so that the land is ready for planting.
You have the option of choosing either mechanised labor or manual labour to level the land.
Preparing your farm for planting is really important as it ensures that you have a good foundation on which to start raising plantains. This involves tilling, turning and leveling out any bumps or high spots in preparation of planting the tubers later.
3. Get Healthy Plaintain Suckers
If you want to start your own plantain farm, the first thing that you need to do is get healthy plants for planting. These can come from a friend or family member who already has a plantations of their own. The suckers are also called “pups” and they grow from one stem but have developed roots. You can also look up to research institute such as IITA to get suckers to start your farm.
You can also purchase plantain sucker online by researching on the internet or contacting suppliers such as African Plantains Limited in Nigeria for a variety of options and varieties of plants from which you could choose from.
Types of plantain suckers are water suckers, maiden head and sword sucker. Water suckers are the most common types of plantain suckers. They are called water suckers because they can be planted in wet soil with little or no preparation and still grow well. The only issue with this sucker is that they are not so suitable for plantain business.
Maidenhead and sword sucker are the best type of suckers we recommend.
Some varieties of plantain suckers are resistant to certain diseases, and they also differ in time taken for maturity too. If you want your farm to grow fast, then go with green or red suckers as these mature faster than black ones which would take longer before mat
4. Get Labor
If you have not enlisted labor before planting, it is best to start looking for workers a month or two in advance so that they will be available on the day of planting. You may want to consider hiring an agency if you don’t know anyone with experience and skills.
Oftentimes farmers do their own harvesting but need help with the planting and tending to the plants.
laborers carry out different farming activities such as planting, harvesting, weeding etc.
You can chose to do this mechanically using sophisticated farm machines if you are capacitated.
When planting your platain sucker, make sure make the suckers are 4 to 5 feet long and 8 to 10 fee apart from the other sucker.
Then, fertilize the area before planting so that you will have a good harvest of marketable platain suckers.
In order to maintain this farm for long-term benefits, it is important to cultivate your land regularly by weeding and removing vegetation from around the plants. Maintain weed control as well in between crops.
6. Plantain Season
It is best to have a few short-season plantain varieties as well as one or two long-season types, which are usually harvested from November. The short season plants will produce from July up until the beginning of October while the long season type takes about four months to mature and can be planted in May for harvesting around September.
How to Know your Plantain Plants Growing Well:
-The leaves are a dark green color,
-It’s heavy to lift up from the ground when pulling out,
-There are roots coming down from the stalk where it was planted.
This includes the land to cultivate, containers for planting and harvesting, nursery materials like soil, manure or composts as well as fertilizers in general.
7. Harvesting Plantain
Harvest your platain when the skin is a yellow-green colour and when it starts to show splits at the bottom end.
When harvesting, cut off suckers from the plant base with a sharp knife as close to soil level as possible before they are completely mature or have turned dark green in color.
To market your plantain, it is important to make sure that the skin of your fruit is completely yellow. This will ensure a good quality and marketable plantain.
If you are unable to harvest the entire crop before it matures, cut off suckers from around the base of each plant, as close to soil level as possible, in order to prevent rotting and maintain.
No doubt, the demand for plantain in Nigeria is on the increase. Plantain is regarded as a food of choice among Nigerian people because it can be eaten raw or cooked, and its consumption has become ubiquitous at all meal times in homes across Nigeria.
The plantain market also sustains regular supply demands from local consumers to international markets that are seen with increased imports by over 20%.
Your target market markets are companies that process plantain, retailers, wholesalers and distributors. local markets, and exporting to other African countries or Europe.
Exporting plantain to Europe
The European Union imports about three thousand tonnes of plantains per year. The largest supplier is Nigeria, at 40% followed by Colombia and the Dominican Republic, with 20%. Other suppliers include Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti and Ecuador. There are no regulations on importation to Europe for this type of fruit because it can be classified as a vegetable.
Exporting plantain to the United States
A shipment of 400 metric tons of fresh, ripe plantains arrived in Miami from Honduras on a container ship where it will be exported to Europe and Canada. Plantains are an important crop for farmers in Central America because they grow year-round with little care or fertilization