Cocoyam farming information guide for Nigerians
This article cocoyam farming information guide for Nigerians will be a guide to anyone that wishes to live the life of a millionaire farmer by farming cocoyam especially in Nigeria.
It chronologically gives to the reader the guide and the steps to follow in farming cocoyam in Nigeria to meet success no matter the situation.
Cocoyam being the type of food with much economic benefits can be grown in large quantities for commercial purposes.
For some people in Nigeria, cocoyam is just to be used to cook soup. But cocoyam is used for many other purposes. For instance, it can be processed into floor, hence cocoyam floor. Yet, some part of the Igbo community make a good food out it; sometimes, they pound it and eat as fufu or they process it into Achicha as every Igbo would would recognize the food.
Cocoyam can be grown successfully in any part of Nigeria, be it in the east, west or south. All you need to do is to do everything right at the right time and you are bound to get the same result as those in the North.
The right thing to do is to know-know what to do and the right time to do it and you are sure to succeed.
There are some cocoyam farming information guide that any interested farmer who wishes to make extra cash from it must have.
One, it must not be planted for commercial purposes during any time when there excessive sunlight. Especially if you do not have possible means of irrigation as it do not thrive during this period.
And two, if you are planting it for commercial purposes, you must surely take adequate care of it that you are bound to apply fertilizer and treatment chemicals.
Then finally, you must make sure that your land is fertile.
Cocoyam farming information guide for Nigerians; materials and tools needed
Materials; these are all the needed substances that are required for your cocoyam farming business. Such as;
4. Treatment chemicals
5. Solid fertilizer/composts/animal droppings
Tools; these are the devices required for your watermelon and cucumber farming to aid your task. Such tools are;
1. Knapsack sprayer
Sourcing For Some Materials and Tools
Some if not all of the materials and tools listed above are available in the respective local markets near you. All you need to do is to seek the nearest agro-chemical shop near you and ask for these materials and tools.
Cocoyam farming information guide for Nigerians; land for farming
To some people, sourcing for land has been one of their major challenge with regards to starting agro business in a large scale. But this is because they lacked the information on how to source for land.
Don’t get scared!
Because you don’t need to buy a land or own one before you could run your own agro-business.
You can get land for your cocoyam agro-business through government agencies or from individuals communities that has available land.
Community Rural Lands
Most communities around us has some large expanse of land that are yet developed. These land spaces can be leased out at a very cheap price by the community or the person taking care of the land like the Igwe, Orba, Obidepending on your location. All you need to do is to approach them and talk with them about how many acres of land you need to see if it is available.
This is one of the easy and cheapest ways to obtain land for your cocoyam agro-business. All you need to do is to ask first and see if it shall be given to you.
There are government agencies that offer land lease services to farmers in Nigeria. They have their offices almost around the 36 states in the federation. These agencies include:
1. River Basin Development Authority (RBDA)
2. Ministry of Agriculture
3. Land Settlement Scheme
All you need to do is to find out about any of these agencies offices around you and then go to them. When you do, they will tell where they have available land for lease.
Acquiring land from these agencies is as easy as ABCD. They feel very happy to see someone that wants to venture into agro-business and are always ready to help you out. But you wouldn’t know until you go close to them. Some of them will even offer to till your land for you with tractor at a very cheap rate.
The leasing price for one acre of land “close to 15 plots” with these agencies is as low as N3000 to N4000 for the period of 8months or so. It is very cheap and affordable.
These Are Some of the Office Locations of These Agencies in Some States
|Agency||Area of operation||Location|
1. Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority
|The whole ofAnambra and Imo state||Owerri|
2. Benin-OwenaRiver Basin Development Authority
|The whole ofBendel andOndo state excluding those parts ofBendel drained by the Benin,escravos,forcados andramos river creek system||Benin|
3. Ogun-OshunRiver Basin Development Authority
|The whole ofoy, ogun andlagos state||Abeokuta|
There are a lot more but since I don’t know your location, it would be better you type the keyword in Google and get the first hand information.
Cocoyam farming information guide for Nigerians; land preparation
Once you have obtained the ready for your agro-business, the next thing to do is to get the land ready for planting. This can be done using two different approaches viz:
1. Traditional Means
2. Mechanical Means
Traditional means of land preparation
This method is the one used by most farmers in the rural areas which involves clearing, gathering and burning of the bushy part of the land and then making hips or ridges where the crop will be planted.
This approach takes a lot of time and labor and is not recommended for you because you are expected to run your agro-business in a commercial scale. Since you are expected to work on a fairly large farmland, this approach will be energy, time and cash consuming. So it is not advisable to use this means.
Mechanical Means of Land Preparation
This is the recommended approach as it is very easy and fast means to use. If you are lucky enough to get a land that is free from trees and tree roots, you are expected to hire the service of a tractor which will help you till your land.
The tractor will turn the soil very well and this will help the plant in your farm to do well, as the crops planted on tilled soil tends to do better than the ones planted on untilled soil.
If for instance after tilling your land with tractor and you happen to see many grasses that were not well covered with soil in the land, it isadviceable that you use herbicide to kill-off these weeds before planting.
Cocoyam is planted directly from seed and sometimes, the seeds must have grown some leaves. So it’s advisable to spray herbicide before planting.
Cocoyam farming information guide for Nigerians; planting
All things being equal, cocoyam can be planted anytime of the year. But because of differences in weather condition and non availability of irrigation in some areas, cocoyam can only be grown during some periods of the year in the east, west and southern part of Nigeria.
Being that cocoyam likes a lot of water and fair sunshine, this plant can do very well in the east, west and south Nigeria too.
Planting Seasons in the East, West and South
Well, sometimes the weather in this areas are not predictable, but it is also known that some periods are characterized by too much rainfall where as some with much sunshine.
Therefore, it is not advisable to plant cocoyam during the time when there is too much sunshine else there is irrigation means.
So, it is best to plant cocoyam in the east, west and south Nigeria when rainfall is moderate.
When rainfall is moderate: this can also be referred as early planting season. This season is between the last weeks of April to the 1stweek of May.
Since cocoyam is a annual crop, it has only one planting season as indicated above in the east, west and southern part of Nigeria.
Planting Season in the North
Cocoyam can be planted anytime in the north since there is steady and functional irrigation services.
Cocoyam farming information guide; seeds
Sourcing for cocoyam seeds
Cocoyam seeds can be gotten from local markets around Nigeria. There are six places in Nigeria where cocoyam can be sourced in large quantity which are ; Edo state (Uromi side) , Enugu ( Nsukka) , Abakiliki, Jos , Ondo state and cross river state. If you are able to go to the local market’s around this states, you are sure to source for your seeds.
Seed per Hole/Plant Spacing
The spacing between two cocoyam plant stands should be something not less than 40cm by 50cm.
This in essence is to ensure proper spacing between two cocoyam plants in other to attain maximum yield.
Seed per Hole
The depth of the hole should be something like 12 to 14cm deep and then just one healthy seed per hole is recommended.
Cocoyam farming information guide; treatment of cocoyam plant
This is one of the one of the activities performed by smart and commercial farmers that makes them different from noncommercial farmers.
This is the act of combining treatment chemical such as foliar fertilizer (liquid fertilizer), pesticides and insecticides, and fungicides with water and spraying or applying it as recommended on the plants. This is to ensure maximum productivity.
Recommended treatment for cocoyam
Cocoyam is the type of plant that does not require much treatment. But not withstanding, it is advisable that you look out for the following in your farm.
To save cost, apply only pesticides to your farm and be sure to have good yield as you apply enough manure to the plant.
What normally leads to excessive decay of cocoyam seeds after harvest is the use of much treatment chemicals on the plant.
Therefore, pesticides and fungicides are enough to be used on your cocoyam farm.
These are treatment chemicals for the cocoyam leaf part against insects and pests.
Leaf part insecticides/pesticides and application
These are pesticides for the leaf parts alone against insect and pests.
Examples are; Best, Best Action, Imi Force etc.
Best or Best Action is the one we use and it has proven to be very effective. It kills off insects and pests effectively. It is in liquid form, just like water. Imi-force can also be used in place of Best and best action.
Best insecticide/pesticide application
Now, depending on the nature of damage being caused on your farm, you should mix at least one or two cover of Best/Best Action, being 20ml to 40ml per a 16litres knapsack sprayer together with other treatment chemicals and apply on the leaf part of your cocoyam plant when insects begins to attack.
These insecticides/pesticides mentioned above are sold for N1700 to N2000.
NOTE: when there are less insects and pests in your farm, you should reduce the spray of insecticides/pesticides and then finally stop when they die off or are gone.
This is used to prevent fungi attack on your plant. Examples are; z-force and fungus force.
Z-force and Fungus force: these are good examples of fungicide that you should use on your plant.
Application: half milk cup of fungicide should be mixed in a 16ltres knapsack sprayer with other treatment chemicals and sprayed on the leaf part of the plant.
Cocoyam farming information guide; weed removal
Weeding should be done on the farm once or twice before the coconut plant is due for harvest.
There are two means of weed removal;Traditional and Chemical means.
This is the normal local means of removing weed in the farm using cutlass and hoe.
As we know, this does take a lot of time and labor. Also it will cost much if you are farming in a large scale.
This “means” involves the use of weed killing/control chemicals called herbicide to kill off weeds in the farm.
The form of herbicide that you are going to use in your farm is called non-selective herbicide. It should interest you to know that; non-selective herbicide spares no green plant that it comes in contact with. It will even kill your cocoyam plant once it comes in contact with it.
Herbicide Types and Application
Materials for herbicide application;
2. Knapsack sprayer
3. Plastic plates/nylon/used cement bag
Some non selective herbicides to use;
1. Force up
Herbicide application is based on the nature, size and disturbance being caused by weed in the farm.
If the farm is not bushy, 150ml per 16ltres knapsack sprayer should be used.
When the farm is moderately bushy, 200ml per 16litres knapsack sprayer should be used.
When the farm is bushy which is not advisable, 250ml per 16litres knapsack sprayer should be used.
After application, the weeds will not start dying instantly since we are using systematic herbicide.
It will take like 6-8days for the weeds to start losing its greenish color and then eventually dies off.
NOTE: make sure that the herbicide does not touch any of your plant.
Also, make sure to wash your knapsack sprayer thoroughly after using it to spray herbicide or better still, you can buy 2 or more knapsack sprayers some for herbicides and the others forothr treatment exercise.
Cocoyam farming information guide; fertilizer application
This is another source of applying/supplying nutrient to our plant apart from the use of liquid fertilizer on the leaf.
Fertilizer is very much needed by the plant for maximum productivity.
If you planted in a fertile soil, applying fertilizer once can do, but if you planted in a land that is not fertile it is recommended that you apply twice at most.
Forms of Solid Fertilizer
Animal wastes/composts: this is the one used by most local farmer. It can be just as productive as other fertilizers but you should make sure to let it decompose before applying. This can be achieved by allowing it stay for few days. This is because it will be too concentrated at first and might burn your plant.
This is very much recommended for cocoyam as improper use of synthetic fertilizer might lead to decaying of cocoyam seeds.
NOTE: if you could get your hands on animal wastes, you can use it and get a result as good as when you use synthetic fertilizer. Sometimes it’s preferable as bad application of synthetic fertilizer causes leaching which leads to poor yield.
Synthetic Fertilizer Types: synthetic solid fertilizer comes in two types. They are NPK and Urea.
If you must use any of this, you must do so as soon as before your cocoyam plant starts producing seeds. But since you wouldn’t know when, it is recommended that you do so one month or one month and a half after planting.
NPK: NPK is a crop macro-nutrient containing Nitrogen, Phosphorus and potassium. It comes in various ratios of its constituents, for example we have; NPK 10:10:10, NPK 15:15:15, NPK 15:10:10 etc. NPK comes in different colors depending on the ratio of its constituents. There are brown, gray etc colors of NPK.
NPK can be applied a bit closer to the plant unlike Urea because it is less harsh. It should be applied at least 7-8cm from the root of the plant. The measurement should be not more than a full table spoon per one crop stand.
A bag of NPK costs between N8000 to N9000 per 50kg and should be able to cover at l/2 hectre of cocoyam farmland.
Urea: this type contains more of Nitrogen and is white in color. It is very harsh when compared to NPK and should not be applied closer to the root of the ccocoyam plant. This is to avoid burning the root.
The distance during application should range from 12-14cm away from the root of the cocoyam plant.
Cocoyam farming information guide; maturity
It’s very easy to find out if your cocoyam plant is mature and ready for harvest. As soon as the leaves totally dries up, this is when you say that your cocoyam plant is mature.
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