If you live in India, Florida, the Caribbean and Africa especially around West Africa and Central Africa, then one of the most profitable businesses you can go into if you are interested in the farming sector is to go into plantain farming.
West Africa happens to be one of the few places around the world where plantain can successfully be cultivated simply because they have the best soil composition that can support the growth of plantains and they can boast of having over 100 species of plantain.
The capital required to setup a plantain farm can be considered to be moderate but it is indeed a very profitable business to go into as an entrepreneur who lives in Nigeria or in any country with a tropical climate.
The basic thing you need to do to get started with your own plantain farm is to secure farming land, prepare the land and then cultivate your plantain.
The fact that loads of people eat plantain makes plantain farming a very lucrative business. Plantains can be eaten when fried or cooked.
Plantains can be processed into various forms; it can be processed as juice, and it can as well be processed as plantain chips, amongst others.
Now let us quickly go through the 7 steps to follow to be able to start your own plantain farm from the scratch in any location of your choice;
Starting a Plantain Farm – Sample Business Plan
1. Conduct Your Research
Plantain does not grow in every part of the world; there are selected regions where plantains can be cultivated. For example, plantains do not grow in South Africa. So, if you want to go into plantain farming, it is very important that you conduct your research before committing your money into plantain farming.
Your research exposes you to the most suitable area to start your plantain farm; it will give you idea of where to get plantain seeds (suckers) and how to market your plantain.
2. Write Your Business Plan
Every serious entrepreneur makes it a point of duty to write a workable business plan before starting a new business.
Hence, the right thing to do if you intend starting your own plantain farm, is to sit down and write your business plan. Your business plan should be able to capture all the strategies you would use to run your plantain farm business, your vision and mission statement and your expansion strategies et al. As a matter of fact, when you pencil down your business plan, you might see the need to even go beyond just running your own plantain farm to including food processing (plantain processing) plant to your business.
3. Acquire Suitable Land and then Prepare the Land
Plantain is known to grow only in regions with tropical climate. So, if you want to start your own plantain farm, you must make sure you acquire suitable land with the right soil composition for your plantain farm.
On the average, you might need at least 2 hectares of land if you want to go into commercial plantain farming. Once you have been able to secure a farm land, the next thing that you should do is to prepare the land.
In preparing your land for your plantain farm you might have to adjust the PH value of your farm land if it is not suitable. Also in preparing your land for plantain farming, your laborers would have to dig holes all over the land where the suckers (plantain seeds) will be planted.
4. Source for suckers (plantain seeds)
One key factor that can affect your plans to start your own plantain farm is how to source for suckers (plantain seeds) in large quantities. One good thing about plantain farming is that once you are able to get started, the farm can be sustained for over 3 decades without sourcing for new suckers (plantain seeds). Plantain grows rapidly and they reproduce without stress once they are planted in a suitable land.
5. Hire Laborers
Running a plantain farm is not a business that an individual could run alone. You would need laborers to help you. You would need laborers to help you in clearing and preparing your farm land, you would need laborers to help you in planting the plantains, you would need laborers to help you in watering your plantain farm, you would need laborers to help you weed your farm and also to help you during harvest.
One good thing about farm laborers is that they are cheaper simply because they are considered as unskilled. But if you are running a mechanized plantain farm, then you would have to up your budget to accommodate machineries and operators.
6. Make Plans for Harvest
One thing about plantain farming is that if you are not apt in harvesting your plantain when they are due, they might become over ripe and get rotten (spoilt) and that may mean bad business for you. So, once you know the cycle of plantain farming, then you must make plans to harvest and sell your plantain at the right time so that you won’t run at a loss.
7. Market Your Plantain
The market for plantain is large and as a plantain farmer, you must explore all the available avenues to sell your plantains as soon as they become ripe for harvest.
You can market your plantain to food processing companies, and you can market it to plantain retailers. The fact that plantain are consumed by many people and can be processed into different forms makes plantain farming business a very lucrative business to go into. So ensure that you develop a good marketing strategy for your plantain farming business if indeed you want to maximize profits in the business.
Lastly, if you have the capacity to establish your own plantain processing company alongside running your own plantain farm, then you will be rest assured to truly maximize profits.
Truly plantain farming business has been proven to be a profitable venture and you can make more money from the business if you engage in mechanize farming, it will give you leverage in the market place.