Another secret cash machine that many people tend to ignore is plantain plantation, Plantain is very easy to cultivate and maintain unlike other cash crops. And it’s a low capital requirement farming business. Almost every Nigerian soil is good for the plant as experience has shown contrary to what scientist will tell you. Therefore, if you have any land with loamy soil, you are good to go.
Plantains are a staple food in the
tropical regions of the world, the tenth most important staple that
feeds the world. Plantains are treated in much the same way as potatoes
and with a similar neutral flavor and texture when the unripe fruit is
cooked by steaming, boiling or frying.
all year round, which makes the crop more reliable all-season staple
food, particularly in developing countries like Nigeria with inadequate
food storage, preservation and transportation technologies. In Africa,
plantains and bananas provide more than 25 percent of the carbohydrate
requirements for over 70 million people.
plantains, thrive in
tropical regions. Warm temperatures, bright sun and adequate moisture
create optimum growing environments. Tropical soils, however, are not
always suitable for plantain production.
Tropical regions of the
world, including the plantain producing regions of southeastern Nigeria,
often exhibit soils that are nutrient poor, that’s what scientist says
but experience has proved contrary as you can see. There is hardly any
part of Nigeria that you wouldn’t see plantain, that means it can do
well on most Nigerian soil. To cultivate a plantain plantation, you’ll
need the following:-
1. Land with good soil - Loamy soils
are the best producing soils because they contain a good organic to
inorganic ratio. Organic materials, such as decaying plants and insects,
provide soil with air, nutrients and water-retaining matter. This
combination of ingredients, when combined with mineral particles, allows
soil to remain loose and fertile.
In tropical rain forests part
of Nigeria, organically rich soils are shallow. Plantains will thrive
for one to three years but then die back because the layer of organic
matter is easily depleted. To avoid depletion, it is necessary to
provide soils with compost and mulch.
2. Prepare the soil –
Clear the land and cut some of the trees if any, Plantain plants also
grow best in bunches or groups because they protect each other from the
harsh rays of the sun. It is important to create an environment where
the plantain plants are sheltered either because they are bunched up
together or there are other trees to protect them.
important to maintain the humidity of the plantain plantation by
allowing some of the trees to remain for the purpose of protecting the
plant from excessive sun and to enhance the humidity.
3. Get the plantain suckers
- Considering that a plantain plant is not a tree but a type of herb,
they cannot actually be grown from seeds like most trees. Plantain
plants are grown through suckers. Suckers are those that grow from a
dying, mature plantain plant that can be transplanted and re-grown. They
may be considered as baby plants that are used to start new plantain
plants. Choose suckers from plants that are vigorous. They should have
small, spear shaped leaves and are about four feet high.
a corm at the bottom of each mature plantain tree. In transplanting a
sucker, it is necessary to cut downwards and get as much corm and root
as possible. Plant these and cut or decapitate the sucker to facilitate
good evaporation. Keep around two to five meters between planted
suckers. In the early days of your plant, keep them moist but not too
wet as they don’t have leaves yet to evaporate the water.
4. Control the weeds
– The weeds control is very important if you want your plantain to do
well, the cost of weed management could account for up to. 45% of the
total cost of plantain plantation management in Nigeria. Use traditional
weed control of employing laborer to do the weed cutting.
plantain grows, it is important to protect it from strong winds. It is
also important to keep it well watered. One can also sprinkle
fertilizers every now and then but mostly throwing the plantain dead
leaves back into the plant is enough to sustain the rich quality of the
Unlike other trees, plantain do not need complicated
pruning. Just remove dead leaves and dead plants near the plantain. Also
remove suckers from the plant keeping only one or two that have spear
If you must use a fertilizer, Use an NPK
fertilizer, or a fertilizer mixed with nitrogen, potassium and
phosphorous. Fertilizing the plantains once a month will stimulate
growth. The fertilizer should be placed evenly in a circle that is four
to eight feet from the trunk.
Within 8-10months your plantain
should be ready to produce, and as one is getting matured for harvest,
another one is replacing it, they continue in that circle removing any
stress expenses of planting again. All you do is to harvest and reap
your profits all year round. The same thing apply to Banana.