Plantain farming has been a tradition in many countries of the world for centuries now. While as a business it has existed for some few decades as it is now widely known for its obvious and useful nutritional benefits.
Today I am going to navigate your attention to Plantain farming in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
Before that let me ask you;
Which of these two options will you choose?
- Farming as a custom or
- Farming as a business?
OK you chose farming as a business?
I guess chose that right?
But why that?
I will help you answer that question because i also chose the later option.
See! As far as the 21st century is concerned, it’s either business or live as a slave!
Entrepreneurs are Kings and Queens of their respective domains. Why not join them?
Are you saying farming is all you have got or what you are good at?
Good news! You can be an entrepreneur still!
You can be a rich farmer.
That’s why today at the Africa business classroom (ABC) we decided to write this tutorial for you reading this, about plantain farming.
Plantain farming can make you rich.
Let’s move to the axis!
Plantain farming is one of Africa’s most promising Agricultural business opportunities. And the good news about it is that its local and global demand is super-higher than it used to be.
Do you know why?
Only few farmers venture into plantain plantation business in Africa, that’s the obvious reason why it’s more expensive than banana (at least from where I come from).
There is a shortage in the supply and circulation of this humble fruit.
Ignorantly a lot of us in Africa think plantain farming is not lucrative or profitable.
But what if I tell you that having a plantain plantation can make you a millionaire?
What if I prove to you that plantain farming can be more profitable than running a provision store?
What if you know that starting and maintaining a plantain farm is easier than learning how to drive a car?
What will you do?
What if you get to discover that plantain carries more vitamin A and more Potassium than banana, thereby making it more demanded and recommended by doctors than banana?
I also think you deserve to know that every single plantain contains about 4.1 grams of dietary fiber (a nutrient that help to control blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels).
Just one plantain contains 20% of the fiber intake you need in a day.
Every single plantain you take comes with over 2000 units of vitamin A, which corresponds to the 67% intake for men and 86% for women.
Enough of facts, lets accelerate!
We are in an information age, which is why more and more people are discovering the health benefits of plantain faster and easier than in the 20th century.
Information flows almost faster than air now as a result of the internet which has made the world a global village….
Thousands upon thousands of people who cannot venture into farming for a vast variety of reasons are waiting to pay you handsomely to supply them with plantain.
Yes I mean you reading my words.
Here in this tutorial I have collected four major steps into being a successful plantain farmer in Nigeria and Africa…..
Let’s check them out!
As the popular saying goes “failing to plan is planning to fail” so it is in every situation and aspect of life.
Your life itself is a product of your plan, (conscious or unconscious) plan of yesterday.
Planning is everything!
To help you draft your plan in a basic manner, you will need to answer this questions;
How big is the land you intend to use for the plantation or farm? Write it down with the size specified.
If you don’t have a land of your own but you know of a place to rent one from, how big is the size of the land which you can afford to rent?
Write down at least 5 options where the land you need can be rented. Compare to see that which the price befits your financial ability note them down.
How good and fertile is the land?
Plantain is best grown on a good fertile and loamy-soiled land.
How many suckers will you need? Let the estimate fit in to the size of land you will use.
How many laborers will you need to hire?
Know all these things and how much it will cost you?
What can you do yourself without the aid of laborers?
How do you intend to maintain it?
Ensure to write all this things down plus the initial amount of money you would need to spark things up!
Planning goes far more than those things mentioned above, but at the basic level of it, those are the things you need to keep in mind.
When creating your plan, ensure that you note down when, where, how and with whom you intend to execute the plans.
Execute your plan.
At this point all you need to do is to execute your laid down plan which you created at step one above.
If your planning went well, then this should be the simplest step. Why? Because planning and preparation is the most difficult step in getting anything done.
Although it’s executing the plan that gets you physically involved in the process, however adequate planning serves as an unseen pathway which you are to follow in your journey to success.
Plantain farming is easy to start and easy to maintain with less expenses, but without planning you will find things as difficult as you never imagined.
Get the plantain suckers which are the seedling you will plant. Ask around for where to buy them if you dint’ know one and you will be surprised at finding out how cheap they coast.
Plant the suckers appropriately. When planting the suckers, clear the weed and take advantage of the areas with more exposure to sunlight.
Here are other things you should take note of;
- The planting hole should be deep such that the root ball of the sucker can be lost in it.
- Spaces between the holes should be at least 4 and at most 6 feet away from each other.
- An organic mulch of at least 6 inches thick should be spread in the hole before planting.
- The mulch should be kept 6 inches away from the trunk and extend its circle to 6 feet wide, this helps in preventing the soil from drying fast.
- Make provision for an alternative source of water.
- Water it as soon as the soil gets dry (more water during warm weather).
Weed the farm and protect it from pests of all kind, take care of and sit back to watch it produce fruits!
I assure you that you won’t be disappointed!
Plantain is not like other fruits or crops that require lots complicated treatments and maintenance, all it needs is your attention. You need to watch it closely especially at the time when it’s almost ready for harvest.
Harvest the plantain.
When the time is ripe for harvest, hire laborers who are professionals in plantain harvesting because plantain needs to be carefully treated when harvesting it. A little scratch or pressure on it can cause it to get rotten in a very short time, keep these things in mind just in case you intend to do it yourself or with some couple of friends and relatives etc.
When the plantain is ripe, cut the bunches from the stalk, do it carefully.
Chop down the tree to the ground and shred the above ground parts for yet another mulch. Spread this around your new plantain tree after you plant it.
Make sure that you have got a temporal place for storage. Plantain is best stored in a place that has high ventilation and less heat; this is because a minor amount of those things can spoil it, thereby reducing its quality.
Obviously, less quality equals less money.
Therefore finding and making a place ready for temporal storage should precede harvest.
Ideally if you can make arrangements for your plantain to be transported straight to the market from the farm, then you are on the safer side.
Why? This is business, or don’t you know that dealers who will buy your plantain usually prefer better looking, fresher and more attractive plantain?
So to be on the safe side, do what is right!
Market the plantain.
Like I said above, this is business…
Not just farming.
Marketing is the blood of business and it is something that without it, you can hardly succeed in any business.
Market your plantain as wide as you can, and reach out to as many markets as possible. If possible let the buyers know (through marketing) about your unique and nice plantain in few weeks or days before harvest.
Market it well and it will automatically sell well, i assure you that’s how it happens in business.
If you are interested in exporting your plantain rather than selling it in the local market, read our tutorials here about how to start exportation business.
If you have interest in starting a plantain exportation company or business but you have no idea how to raise capital or get investors, then I strongly recommend that you read our tutorial about how to get investors for your business idea.
I must also recommend that you get this training by the ABC, it was created for you.
You are a potential plantain farmer and you have all it takes to make a lot of money from this business….
It’s now time for you to go out there and work out your riches with knowledge, planning and action.
This tutorial has provided you with the knowledge you need to start.
It has also given you the basics of planning a plantain farm. You get advanced only with experience and reading of good business books.
The only thing remaining is Action!
Yes your action, not mine because I have done mine. Actions create educative experiences which you can learn from.
Take action today, because that’s how it works.