Nigeria as a country needs to boost their agricultural production apart from oil. Starting a potato farming business is a way to meet that need. Potato Farming in Nigeria is lucrative business. However, before you jump in to start potatoes farming in Nigeria; note the following things because they can either make or mar your potatoes farming;
Things to consider before starting potatoes farming in Nigeria
- Capital – capital is one of the major impediments to any business start-up. For commercial farming of potatoes, you’ll need huge capital to start it. However, you can start with what you have on ground or obtain loans from banks in Nigeria. Some banks in Nigeria offer loans to farmers. You can go for SME loan. Some state in Nigeria give SME loan to agricultural Farmers. Personally, I will advise to save the capital for this business.
Read more on…. How to raise capital in Nigeria to start a business
- Seed quality –Go for viable potato seed. Some seeds are more prone to disease and therefore should not be planted. Ensure you plant seeds from species that produce good yield. Lack of appropriate seeds and poor agricultural practices) can lead many farmers struggle to sell to formal commercial buyers
- Land improvement – Loamy and sandy loam soils that are rich in organic matter, with good drainage and aeration, are the most suitable. Soil with a pH range of 5.2-6.4 is considered ideal. Land improvement is crucial. Consider land that has stay for least 2-3 years fallow.
- Species – Consider the demand of specie you’re planting. Many species are available but the major species are Irish and sweet potatoes and there is much demand for the Irish potato in the Western part of the world due to its medical benefits. In Nigeria, a basket of Irish potatoes costs more than sweet potatoes.
- Store your potatoes well to avoid post-harvest losses – Nigeria loses a reasonable amount of potatoes and other crops due to post-harvest losses. Since you are starting as a business, study the market before start and know where to sell.
Other things to know that affect yield of potatoes
- Optimal temperature- According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “Potato is grown in more than 100 countries, under temperate, subtropical and tropical conditions. It is essentially a “cool weather crop”, with temperature being the main limiting factor on production: tuber growth is sharply inhibited in temperatures below 10°C (50°F) and above 30°C (86°F), while optimum yields are obtained where mean daily temperatures are in the 18 to 20°C (64 to 68°F) range“.
- soil moisture
- adequate soil nutrients.
- Pest and disease resistance
Read also: Problems/challenges in vegetable farming
The above things should be taken into consideration before going potato farming if you actually what to succeed in potato farming