With the increasingly diverse use of cassava products in Nigeria, cassava farming is getting more lucrative with every passing day. This farm product has always been a source of lively hood and food for millions of Nigerians. 90% of Nigerian households consume cassava products everyday. Some of the meals are: garri, wheat-flour, animal feed, commercial caramel, and a lot more.
As the population of Nigeria, and Africa as a whole continues to grow, the demand for cassava products will continue to skyrocket, leading to higher revenues generated by cassava farmers. This widespread consumption of cassava products will continue to place it as a cash crop that always gets bought after a harvest, and guarantees a good profit after sales.
Why then haven’t a lot of people ventured into cassava farming? The popular answer is the lack of capital. Capital hinders a lot of business activities from taking off. But with the economic recession been experienced in Nigeria, the Nigerian government through the country’s Bank Of Agriculture (BOA) has now made more agriculture loans available to millions of potential & active farmers. Taking advantage of the government’s agricultural loans and incentives at this time is a good way to start up your own cassava farm.
If you’re looking for an agricultural business that would ensure you always almost sell out all your harvests, cassava farming is one great farming business to start.
Here’s a business plan template for how to start a cassava farm and processing business in Nigeria:
1. Select A Good Site For Your Cassava Farm:
When getting a site to setup a cassava farm, pick an area with deep well drained loamy soil, adequate rainfall, and warm & moist climatic conditions. Cassava grows best in these areas. An easy way to identify lands with these conditions is to see if:
- There’s a thick vegetation around it,
- The soil texture is good,
- The land is flat or gently sloping.
Picking the right location to setup your cassava farm is extremely important. Make sure the locals and food scientists can verify the richness of the soil before you proceed to make a purchase.
2. Improve The Soil For Planting The Cassavas:
This step is not important if you already selected a good site to grow your cassava crops. But if you didn’t, you’d need to spend a lot of money to improve the soil. Some practices commonly used to improve the soil for cultivation are:
- Manure your soil,
- Prepare good seedbeds,
- Planting the cassava along with other crops, and more.
Your soil must be very fertile for cultivation else, you’d lose millions. Little mistakes as this should be totally avoided. But the best route still, is to choose a good site. This way, you don’t have to go through the pain of improving the soil for planting the cassava stem cuttings.
3. Select The Best Cassava Variety To Plant:
There are wide breeds of cassavas that you can grow. But the best breeds to cultivate are the types that’s widely accepted by your target market, gives great yields, grows fast, and are resistant to pests and diseases. The major factors involved in selecting the right cassava breed to grow are:
- Varieties with good food quality
- Varieties with good cooking abilities
- Varieties that bulk early
- Varieties with good ground storability
- Varieties that are tolerant to pests, diseases, and weed.
Selecting the right breed to go with, will determine how successful your cassava farm will be. If you grow what people are not interested in, you’d go out of business faster than you imagined. Find out what the available buyers in the locality are interested in, then grow those types of cassava crops.
4. Select Healthy Cassava Stem Cuttings:
Cassava stem cuttings are used to grow cassava crops. Selecting healthy stems is crucial to growing rich cassava crops that your market would quickly purchase. You can buy cassava stem cuttings in town markets and villages. After your initial purchase of the cassava stem cuttings, the best place to keep getting healthy cassava stem cuttings are on your own farm. Planting healthy stem cuttings is important because they’d help you to greatly reduce the spread of cassava pests and diseases. When getting cassava stem cuttings, this is the best guide to follow:
- Find healthy cassava plants.
- Stay away from cassava plants that have or have had a history of pest and diseases.
5. Plant The Cassava Right:
Before you plant your cassava crop products, you need to consider the land tillage method, the time of the year, the seed bed type, and the method of preparation, handling, and planting of the cassava stem cuttings. Planting the cassava within all the right conditions will ensure you reap a healthy harvest. It will increase chances of good yields, and would ensure you always have the cassava harvests just when a lot of buyers need it.
6. Setup & Production Cost:
Just as any other startup business, a great execution of your cassava farming business can make you a millionaire. You need to understand the perfect costing needs to ensure you’re not going to generate a negative cash flow. Here is a sample costing for setting up a cassava farm in Nigeria:
- Land Cost: NGN 75,000 (Depends on the location)
- Land Preparation: NGN 25,000 (Could Vary)
- Cassava Stem Cuttings: NGN 50,000 (For 100 bundles. Bundle price could vary per location)
- Fertilizer NGN 25,000 (The price could vary by quantity)
- Fermentation Tank: NGN 220,000
- Hydraulic Press: NGN 280,000
- Hammer Mill: NGN 700,000
Many other costs that’d run deep through the cassava farm are: carriage bags, insecticides, farm maintenance, harvesting labour fees, general employee salaries, and a couple others.
Note: Some other costs and unforeseen expenses are not listed, and the costs listed here are heavily subjected to change because of inflation and other uncontrollable market vices.
7. Marketing Your Cassava Products:
After growing and harvesting your crops, you’d need to ensure maximum returns by selling your harvests to the right buyer and at the right price. This article gives a detailed explanation on how to market all types of farm products. Hope you find it highly informative.
Cassava farming remains a lucrative agricultural venture if executed right. Try not to cut corners when setting up a cassava farm, and you’d end up growing the right crops everyone desperately wants to buy. With this agric business, you can be guaranteed your farm products would sell out all the time.