How To Start Sweet Potato Farming In Nigeria: Step-By-Step Guidelines
Sweet potato farming in Nigeria is one of many ways to cease the ever growing opportunities in the agricultural sector of Nigeria today. It’s no longer news that the Federal Government of Nigeria is committing many resources to revamp the agricultural sector. Favorable policies are now in place to assist you, should you choose to venture into agricultural business in Nigeria. The survey conducted in Africa reveals that Nigeria is currently ranked second in the production of potato in Africa.
It will interest you to know that the bulk of potato production in Nigeria is cultivated by small-scale potato farmers in the country. This tells you that venturing into large-scale potato farming in Nigeria will fetch you so much money. There are two main varieties of potatoes farmed in Nigeria. There is the Irish potato and the sweet potato. The objective of this article is to guide you on how to successfully start commercial sweet potato farming in Nigeria.
This article will provide answers to questions like:
- Why should you invest in sweet potato farming business in Nigeria?
- When should sweet potato be planted?
- How do you fertilize sweet potatoes on the farm?
- How do you grow sweet potato vines?
- Do potatoes grow underground?
- How large is the sweet potato market in Nigeria?
- How profitable is the sweet potato business in Nigeria?
- How do you plant sweet potato slips?
- How important is the sweet potato business plan?
- How can you get a complete potato farming business plan?
You just sit back and keep reading as the answers to the above questions about potato farming in Nigeria will be provided in the course of this article.
Why should you invest in sweet potato farming in Nigeria?
There are many reasons you should consider starting a potato farming business in Nigeria. Below are some of the reasons for you to start potato farming in Nigeria’
Large sweet potato market in Nigeria
Currently, there is high demand for potato among the Nigeria populace. This large sweet potato market in Nigeria is mainly a result of the many ways of preparing the potato for food in the country. The Nigerian government is currently working to attain food sufficiency. The domestic demand for this crop tuber is very high in Nigeria that it will only take the influx of new potato farmers in Nigeria to meet such demand.
I want to inform you that there is no better time to invest agribusiness especially potato farming than now. There are friendly government policies and programs to provide good incentives to Nigerian farmers. It will also interest you to know that more than 1 million families in Nigeria consume potato.
Also Read: How to start cashew nut farming in Nigeria
High export value of sweet potato
Nigeria currently produces about 3.92 metric tonnes of potato and is also the largest producer in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is an average increase of about 6% on potato in the internal market. The increase in price can be traced to the price elasticity of demand for alcoholic drinks around the world.
Many products from sweet potato
Aside from consuming the potato directly by consumers, it also serves as raw material for many products around the world. Sweet potato serves as the raw material for the production of many industrial products like liquid glucose, ethanol, and starch. Sweet potato can also be used in place of wheat flour in the production of bread.
Sweet potato flour can be used as a thickener for gravies and sauces. It is also used in the breeding of fish and serves as a stabilizer in the ice-cream industry around the world.
Requirements for your sweet potato farming business
The major requirement when it comes to potato production in Nigeria is farmland. Once you have secured land for your potato farming business in Nigeria, then your work is almost done. To excel in potato business in Nigeria, then you need to pay attention to the following requirements listed below.
- A sweet potato business plan
- Startup capital
- Good farmland
- Labor (optional)
- Good marketing strategy
With the above-listed requirement in place, your potato farming business is good to go.
How to grow your sweet potato
The process of growing your sweet potato is an easy one if you know how to go about it. Since potato has no seedlings, you simply have to grow them from the vines of mature sweet potato. You will cut the vines of mature sweet potato to about 110cmin length before planting them.
When it comes to planting sweet potatoes in Nigeria, the best soil types are loose and organic matter rich ones. Thought this sweet tuber crop requires an adequate water supply, you should avoid waterlogged soil types. You can use either mounds or ridges to cultivate your tuber crop. Organic manure is very good for the cultivation of potatoes and other tubers crops as well.
The sweet potato planting process
Once you are done with the farmland preparation, the next step is to start planting your potatoes. Like aforementioned, you make use of potato vines or stems of mature ones. In order to plant the potato stems, you dig a hole with a depth of about 15-20cm. You either choose to add compost manure into the holes or apply it during the making of the mounds or ridges.
Planting of potatoes is always within the rainy season, but with a very good irrigation system in place, you can also cultivate your potatoes in the dry season. Once you have completed the planting process, then you wait for your potatoes to mature. The maturation takes a maximum of 4 months from the day of planting. It is your choice either to sell them in your farm or harvest and take the potatoes to the market.
If you desire to make more profits from your potatoes, then you must venture into value addition. This involves making the potato into chips, or any other form you know that is of high demand.
You should know that having a potato farming business plan will improve your chances of succeeding in this tuber crop business. At Entrepreneur Nigeria, we provide business plan writing services on any business niche of your choice. All you need do is contact us on +2347037281050. Our team of professionals will make your business plan available just within 2 weeks of your order.
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