Potato Farming Business Plan in Nigeria – In Nigeria today, one of the major sources of carbohydrate for food is potato. The demand for this farm produce is growing by the day and yet the market is still not saturated. For those considering potato farming business, you are on the right track because is a very profitable business.
One good thing about potato is that everyone loves it from children to adult. It can be prepared in different ways and its eaten daily by millions of Nigerians because its not expensive. Potato can serve as a food to both the rich and poor and it has a very high nutritive value and this is one of the major reason its demand is still very high.
There are different varieties of potatoes, over 400 worldwide, In the United States alone, over 200 varieties are sold and all of this different varieties of potatoes are combined in a total of seven categories. White, a red-brown, red, blue/purple, yellow.
Potatoes are differs in terms of the amount of starch they produce. In Nigeria we are more conversant with sweet potato and Irish potato. Potatoes with 22 percent of starch are called mealy, crumbly potatoes. This type of potatoes mainly used for baked or ground potatoes. This is the type of potatoes that gets soft quickly once its on the fire for few minutes. This kind of potatoes are good ingredients for mashed potatoes, potato dough, etc.
There others with less than 10 percent of starch content. This ones are called Waxy. This type of potato retains its shape, unlike the mealy or crumbly potatoes. This type is most suitable for dish like salad, etc.
There are other types of potatoes that have less sugar, they taste more like vegetable and there are lots of people that prefer this type mostly because of health reasons. While there are others that prefer the ones mentioned above. Irrespective of the ones you prefer, the fact is that potatoes are consumed on daily basis and it has great nutritional benefit.
Also Read: Yam Farming Business Plan in Nigeria
One potato can provide about 45 percent of the daily recommend vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and about 100 calories. It contained more potassium than banana and it does not contain fat, cholesterol, sodium which makes potato a very good.
How to start Potato Farming Business
There are lots of things you must consider before venturing into potato farming. The fact is that statistics shows the growing demand of potato so starting a potato farming is a good venture. However not everyone will do well because its takes diligence to do well in a business and how to be diligent is to take all you need into cognizance.
Potato farming is not difficult, its one of the easiest farming but you need the right information, what to do to get a huge farm produce so you can maximize your profit at the end of the day.
Land Preparation – Potato farm should be located at a open farmland. The trees should be cut down because potatoes need sunlight for optimum yield. So when acquiring a land please ensure that the soil is rich and the trees are cut down to ensure proper exposure to sunlight. The position of the farmland should influence your decision while choosing a farmland for your potato farming business.
Planting – In planting potato, usually for Sweet potato is grown through stems from mature plants, its done using the vine or stem cuttings. That is, planting the stem from the parent plant.. The stem should be about 20cm, to 30cm long and should also 3 nodes.
There different ways you can plant potato, some varieties would require that young plant the seed some as stated above you plant the stems from the parent plant.
Get Fertilizers – This is a vital part of this farming. You may have a very good land and decide to grow your potato without any fertilizer but as soon as you add fertilizer to that good land you would be amazed of how the turn out will be. The importance of this can not be overemphasized. Whether you are adding an organic fertilizer or an inorganic fertilizer do the due diligence. What I mean by that is get to know how to n apply the, usually when applying a fertilizer it should be blended with the soil and this should be done before planting. If you are getting an organic fertilizer be diligent enough to follow the right way on how to apply in before planting. Compost for example helps the soil retain moisture, lowers the PH of the soil and adds nutrients.
As for inorganic fertilizers they contain chemicals that may burn seed potatoes and this is the reason why they need to be added to the soil before planting. So doing the due diligence about how to start potato farming will help a great deal. Knowing what to do before and after planting your potato will determine whether or not you will have a bumper harvest.
Watering – This is another vital part. You should be careful how you water your potato farm. The recommended should be once or twice a week. Soil moisture has a huge role on how well the the potato will produce. When too much water or too little water is added this can affect the potato yield and encourage diseases. The amount of water that is needed for potato farming depends greatly on the soil texture and moisture levels. Make no mistakes about this because would be amazed of the outcome if you would stick to this instruction about watering your potato farm.
To have a good yield you must properly prepare the soil during the planting time because the success of your potato farming lies in the soil. The best way to do that is getting a deep, loose, acidic soil from 4.8 to 6.5 pH, adding lots of potassium and nitrogen will help your potato grow very well.
Later on in the season depending on the result from the soil test you can add shot fertilizers to form tubers.
Harvesting – It takes about 3 – 4 months for potato to grow to maturity. You have to be careful to monitor it all through the process so that during harvesting you can get a bumper harvest.
To harvest potato you need, spade, hoes, hand forks, pickaxes.
It is recommended that even before you harvest your potatoes, its better you customers that will be ready for them so you don’t keep them for in your store for too long running the risk of damaging them. This is one of the major issues Nigerian farmers are facing the challenge of getting their farm produce to the market and most of this farm produce are perishable so by the time they finally do almost half of their farm produce are damaged. So its advisable to market your farm produce even before its time of harvest so that as soon as they are harvested , they are taken to the market.
Business Plan – Potato farming business plan is very important. Whether you have been doing this business or you are about to start. You need a comprehensive business plan to help you, give you the proper guide lines. If you have not gotten a business plan for this business, i advice you to do so because it will help you in ways you can not possibly imagine. A good business plan contain, the executive summary, competitors analysis, SWOT, method of operation, financial projections and analysis, etc.
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