ipomoea batatas commonly known as sweet potato is a rich in starch root vegetable that is consumed worldwide by all age grades. Also it is rich source of fibre as well as containing a good array of vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium and selenium.
Potatoes are high in an antioxidant known as beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A once consumed so when eaten helps to control the vitamin deficiency in millions of children worldwide.
Many people today eats potatoes in many forms and many never know how this potatoes are grown. Potatoes farming in Nigeria has increased over the years. And there is still going to be a rapid expansion in the method of planting and uses.
You are welcomed to Farmers Guide where you get practical and experienced ways of planting crops or rearing animals both for domestic use or for commercial purposes.
To we will be looking into how to plant potatoes and make profit out of it. We will be considering
Why start potatoes farming in Nigeria
- What is needed to engage in sweat potatoes farming in Nigeria
- Stages in planting potatoes
- Uses of potatoes
- Frequently asked questions on how to plant potatoes.
Be assured that as you join us in this article that you are getting first-hand knowledge on potatoes farming because we will to talking based on experience.
We will be giving you practical steps to follow when planting your crop.
The team at Farmers Guide has researched and worked on rice farming in Nigeria (practical steps) and maize farming in Nigeria, do well to see such wonderful pice of writing that will fatch you alot of money if you engage yourself with any of them.
So its time now to go into the business of the day which is everything you need to know about potatoes, its farming and uses and how to make money from growing sweat potatoes.
Why start potatoes farming in Nigeria
Some persons might still wonder why any person will think of venturing into sweat potatoes farming in Nigeria.
This is usually due to the fact that thete don't know how lucrative the business is and also the market for it. When i said market, i mean the demand for the product.
When you carefully watch your neighbourhood or your street, you will see that especially in junctions, that there is a certain woman or man making fried food. Many will be bean cake (moi moi) while others will also join sweat potatoes and yam.
When you ask for how the demand is, you will notice that almost every body demand for potatoes after buying any of the others.
Sweet potatoes are used in many homes and industries for different purposes. In homes, you can prepare your potatoes only and enjoy it with any source or red oil. Also it can be prepared with beans and it is very delicious too.
In industries too, potatoes chips in different forms are made for your benefits. Many people today while travelling loves to take this chips as snacks while on the way with chilled drinks.
Also potatoe poundo has been launched for those who love to swallow foods. This too have caused increase in demand for many people love this by-product of potatoes.
Apart from being a staple crop, sweet potato is a vital source of raw materials for industries in the manufacturing of starch, glucose and ethanol. It also serves as a substitute for wheat flour in bread production.
So be assured that you investing in sweet potato farming in Nigeria is a very lucrative business and that you will make your cool cash in this business.
What do i need to start potatoes farming in Nigeria
As any other business or ventures you what to start, there are things you must have or acquire to be able to start it.
In sweet potato farming in Nigeria, there are three important things you must have for you to start and have a successful potatoes planting. There are Capital, Land and Knowledge.
Investment capital is a very important aspect of planting potatoes in Nigeria. Like other business you want to start, you must have the start up capital before you go into the business.
This money will be used to get stuffs like rent land, buy vines and prepare the land for planting and for Labour.
To have a very smooth farming season, it is advisable to have a good type of soil which is suitable for sweet potato farming.
Though potatoes can be planted in any type of soil but loamy and rich sandy loam soil is preferable.
Knowledge of potatoes farming:
For a successful and lucrative potato farming, you need to have a full knowledge on how to plant and when to plant and harvest.
When you have the information you need in this business, it will be easier for you to work and have a relaxed mind that you will not loose.
Stages in sweet potato farming in Nigerian
Now let us move to the stages to follow when planting potatoes either in your personal garden or for commercial purposes.
- Land preparation
- Variety Selection
- Weed controls
- Fertilizers applications
Land selection and preparation
The first stage in potatoes farming is the selection of suitable land that the crop will be able to grow and mature at the proper time.
For every crop, you have to plant in a fertile land for successful and good output, same applies for potatoes.
After you must have selected a rich loamy or sandy loam soil,you need to prepare the land to welcome the vines of potatoes.
The soil that is very suitable for planting sweet potatoes must be well prepared to improve aeration and mixing of soil nutrients.
The preparation is done by ploughing and harrowing the soil few times to lossen the soil for water, air penetration and also enable proper tuberization.
After the ploughing, you are to make beds or ridges for your planting. Both method is good bu for commercial purposes, ridges is advisable as it enables proper weed control and management.
The ridges should be about 1m apart and this could be added with organic or inorganic fertilizer when making the ridges.
After the ridges have been made, herbicides which kills the weeds in their early stage or roots is applied to the field. This helps in weed control in potatoes farming.
You will allow the farm for about two weeks before planting to aviod attack on the vines by the applied chemical.
When you want to start Planting you potatoes, is is essential that you choose the right potato type that will favour you.
There are more than 300 varieties of potatoes worldwide and any of them is good. But before planting, it is best for you to know the type that grows well in your locality and with better results.
Potatoes varies in
- Time of maturity
- Disease resistance
- Production rate
All these must be put into consideration when choosing a type of sweet potato to plant in your far.
Below are list of potatoes varieties you can plant in your farm
Locally sourced potatoes
After the farm has been prepared and ridges are made, trenches of 4 to 6 cm are made on the ridges. This trenches is for planting the potato vines.
The vines are gotten from sprouted potatoes and about 30cm, having 3 to 4 nodes onneach vine.
Each stems or vines is planted 40cm apart. This will give enough space for the tubers to grow well and also control weeds.
How do you plant potatoes
- Make a ridge(s)
- Make trenches of about 6cm deep
- Cut the vines in 40cm with 3 to 4 nodes
- Place the vines in the trenches and cover up to 2cm
- Apply little water after planting but do not waterlog the crop.
- Leave it to sprout and cover it a little with dry soil.
- Continue to water it with 3 days apart untill it is fully germinated.
- Continue to cover it with soil to aviod direct sunlight on the tubers which might make it turn green and become toxic to human consumption.
Weed control in potatoes farming
The control of weed in any crop is very important for high yield. Though potatoes is a creeping crop which resists the growth of weeds but need help when still in the young age.
Controlling weed on farms can be done manually or by the use of chemicals. Both ways are good but care must be applied when using chemicals on the farm to avoid damage to the crops.
Best way to control weed in potato farms is to apply post planting herbicides on the farm. This herbicides helps to destroy the seeds of the weeds and the roots also, this prevent the fast growth of weed untill the crop is fully grown and covers the surface of the soil.
Make sure that you control the weed in your farm. Weed can reduce for output up to 50% if not properly handled. This is very important when it comes to potatoes farming in Nigeria.
Like any other crops, the application of organic or inorganic fertilizer always increase growth and output. Potatoes too need fertilizer for proper growth and tuberization.
Care must be taken not to apply too much fertilizers on the crop, this might cause decay of the tubers.
Harvesting of potatoes
Harvesting of potatoes can be done mechanically or manually. Harvesting of potatoes is done when the leaves of the crop has turned yellow and start shrinking.
The turning of yellow to brown of the leaves shows the crop is matured and ready to be harvested.
When harvesting potatoes, care must be taken not to cut the tubers since this will lead to decay of the crop and hance reduce income.
Harvesting is done when the soil is dry but not too compacted to scratch the tubers. Also after harvesting, allow the tubers for about 1 hour before taking it to the warehouse or storage room.
Storage of potatoes is done on a dry land that is covered from sunlight. Storage is important since the market for the product is not close and for future sales. The potatoes should stored in a well ventilated place to avoid too much heat which might damage the crops.
Potatoes farming in Nigeria as we have seen is a very good business which can accommodate all who want to venture into the business. So give it a try to invest here