Potatoes are a major meals crop that’s broadly grown in Nigeria and all through Africa. Thousands and thousands of farmers within the area have the potential to learn from potato farming when it comes to meals safety, income technology, and employment creation. Nigeria, behind Egypt and Ethiopia, is the third best producer of potatoes in Africa, in line with statistics. On this article, you’ll study the whole lot you should learn about potato farming which might additionally apply to candy or Irish potatoes, the gear utilized in farming, and begin the farming course of.
What Is A Potato?
The potato (Solanum tuberosum) is a starchy root vegetable that may be a key staple crop around the globe. It belongs to the nightshade household, Solanaceae. Potatoes are farmed for his or her edible tubers, which will be present in a wide range of colours, shapes, and sizes. They’re excessive in carbs, nutritional vitamins, and minerals and are utilized in a wide range of cuisines. Potato farming is a standard agricultural approach in Nigeria and Africa, with an growing demand for the crop on account of its culinary variety and dietary worth.
What Is Potato Farming In Nigeria?
Potato farming is the manufacturing of potatoes, that are starchy root crops farmed and consumed all around the world. With the intention to present for the wants of each the farmer and the patron, the federal government has mandated that every one agricultural actions be performed in accordance with the legislation. Potatoes are utilized in a variety of meals resembling chips, fries, and mashed potatoes, in addition to potato flour and potato starch.
Potato farming necessitates cautious preparation of the soil, planting, irrigation, and bug management. Potatoes are used to make industrial starch, alcohol, and animal feed along with being an essential meals crop.
Varieties Of Potatoes Used For Potato Farming In Nigeria
In Nigeria and Africa, many varieties of potatoes are utilized for potato farming. They’re as follows:
#1. Irish potato
That is the most typical potato selection grown in Nigeria and Africa, and it will also be utilized in farming. It’s excessive in nutritional vitamins and minerals and is in excessive demand in each home and worldwide markets.
#2. Candy potato.
These potato tubers are actually candy and scrumptious! This potato’s unimaginable sweetness is continuously out there in two varieties. Crimson candy potatoes with pointy ideas characteristic reddish-brown pores and skin and candy, moist orange flesh.
The Cuban, white, or bonito candy potato has pale tan pores and skin and yellow, extra dry flesh. Each will be roasted, steamed, baked, boiled, mashed, or pureed and are utilized in desserts resembling pies, muffins, and bread. It may well even be spiralized to create noodles. In the event you totally clear and dry the thick skins, you possibly can roast them for a crispy delight that can be excessive in fiber and vitamins.
Yams are much less candy than candy potatoes. They will have white to deep crimson flesh and will be substituted for candy potatoes relying on the applying.
#3. White Potato
These spherical or oblong-shaped potatoes have skinny golden-colored pores and skin and waxy meat that’s yellow or generally pale in hue. This potato is also called an all-purpose potato and is accessible in White Rose or Finnish yellow variants. They are often steamed, boiled, roasted, or sautéed.
Yukon Gold is one other white potato selection/sort that’s spherical, medium-sized and has a skinny, smooth pale yellow pores and skin. They’re in style due to their creamy golden flesh with a buttery taste. They are often cooked by boiling, baking, roasting, or frying.
#4. Crimson Potato
When cooked, the white and waxy flesh of those roundish, tiny, and reddish thin-skinned potatoes turns into creamy. They’re out there in Crimson Bliss, Norland, and Crimson Pontiac sorts. They’re nice for crispy roasted potatoes, in addition to boiled, steamed, or simmering soups and stews.
#5. Purple potato
These regal-looking Spuds characteristic skinny deep purple pores and skin and vivid purple, strong, and starchy meat with an earthy and barely nutty taste. Cooking darkens the pores and skin whereas considerably lightening the flesh. They are often roasted, boiled, steamed, or simmered. Purple potatoes which might be bigger in dimension are perfect for baking and delicate mashing.
The added antioxidants from anthocyanins within the purple flesh and pores and skin for extra plant vitamins make this potato distinctive! Purple Majesty, Purple Peruvian, All Blue, and Purple Viking are only a handful of the colours out there.
Advantages of Potato Farming In Nigeria
Some benefits of partaking in potato farming in Nigeria, whether or not candy or Irish potato, embrace:
- Nutritious: Potatoes are a great supply of nutritional vitamins and minerals, making them a wholesome meal alternative.
- Employment: Potato farming can provide folks employment choices, thereby serving to to decrease unemployment charges in Nigeria and Africa.
- Earnings: Potato farming could also be a worthwhile enterprise enterprise, offering farmers and their households with a supply of cash.
- Meals safety: Potato farming, as a vital staple crop, can contribute to meals safety in Nigeria and Africa.
- Drought-resistant: Potatoes can endure drought situations, making them a viable crop in locations with minimal rainfall.
- Excessive yield: Potato vegetation produce a excessive manufacturing of potatoes per unit of space, making it an environment friendly crop.
- Versatile: Potatoes are a flexible crop that can be utilized for a wide range of functions, together with meals, livestock feed, and the manufacturing of commercial starch and alcohol.
- Rotational crop: Potatoes are a superb rotational crop, enhancing soil fertility and decreasing soil-borne diseases.
How To Begin Potato Farming In Nigeria
Right here’s a step-by-step information to getting began in potato farming in Nigeria and Africa:
#1. Land Preparation
Plow the land to loosen it up and permit for aeration and water penetration. To cut back the impact of the medicines, use glyphosate with paraquat on the land and wait two weeks earlier than planting. Create good ridges or beds for planting; develop potatoes on the mattress for correct tuberization. Enable 1m between the sphere and any adjoining farmland to stop rodents from consuming the tubers.
It might develop in a wide range of soil sorts, however sandy loam soil wealthy in natural matter produces the very best outcomes. If the land lacks vitamins, you would possibly add manure when getting ready it. A PH of 5.5-6.5 is perfect for progress.
Potatoes are grown from stem and vine cuttings taken from the dad or mum plant. The vine reducing ought to be 20-30cm lengthy, with roughly 2-3 nodes per vine. Sow the vine 4-6cm deep within the soil, leaving a portion of it above floor. On ridges, house them 25-30cm aside; 60-75cm aside. You may plant as much as 27,000-50,000 vine cuttings per hectare, relying on the spacing distance. In an acre, there are 11,000 vine cuttings.
Weeding ought to be performed as quickly as doable after planting to make sure that the potato younger vegetation don’t have any competitors, maybe 2 weeks after planting after which once more 2 weeks later. Nevertheless, as a result of the plant crawls and covers the earth, the weed will likely be unable to germinate.
Potato farming will be performed fully with natural manure; however, if chemical fertilizer is required, make the most of NPK 10:10:20.
After germination, mulch the younger plant to preserve moisture and permit for optimum root progress.
It may well endure drought for a brief time frame, but when it lasts longer than 6 weeks, the yield will undergo.
Candy potatoes are available a variety of colours, together with brownish-yellow, reddish-purple, and pale. Additionally they differ in leaf form, maturity interval, root depth, and illness resistance. Hybrid candy potatoes are proof against pests and ailments, have a excessive yield, and mature early.
#6. Pest/Illness Management
Weevils are the most typical insect that assaults candy potatoes; whereas the grownup feeds on the leaves and stems, inflicting the vines to thicken and crack, the larva bores into the shop roots, producing a bitter substance.
Aphids and white flies (viral sickness) induce dwarfing, yellowing of younger vine leaves, and over-branching.
Potatoes mature in 3-4 months; the white selection matures in 3 months. The favored selection matures in 4 months. When the leaves of the candy potato flip yellow, it’s time to harvest. Dig the tubers out of the dust with a shovel, hand fork, and decide axe, being cautious to not hurt them as a result of they received’t final lengthy.
After amassing potatoes, permit them to remedy for about 2 weeks earlier than holding them in a cool, dry place. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be too lengthy to keep away from tying up your cash unnecessarily.
Promote to market sellers who’re anticipating the arrival of the potatoes. Others embrace livestock breeders, flour millers, and meals producers. You may add worth to it by establishing your personal flour mill firm and turning the potatoes into powder. It should earn you more cash than promoting all the factor.
In both candy or Irish potato farming, the next gear can be utilized to course of and bundle potatoes in Nigeria and Africa:
- Potato Washers: Potato washing machines are used to scrub and wash potatoes, eradicating any dust or particles which may be current on the floor.
- Potato Peelers: Potato peelers are used to take away the pores and skin from potatoes. They’re categorized into three sorts: guide peelers, electrical peelers, and computerized peelers.
- Potato Cutters: Potato cutters are instruments used to form and dimension potatoes. They’re out there in a wide range of types and sizes, together with hand-held cutters, electrical cutters, and automatic cutters.
- Potato Fryers: Potato fryers are machines that cook dinner potatoes. They’re categorized into three sorts: electrical fryers, gasoline fryers, and deep fryers.
- Potato Packaging Machines: These machines are used to bundle potatoes. They’re categorized as guide packaging machines, computerized packaging machines, or semi-automatic packaging machines.
Whereas farming, every of those items of kit serves a vital operate in processing and packing both Irish or candy potato. They contribute to the method’s effectivity and make sure the last product’s top quality.
Why You Ought to Begin Candy Potato Farming
The next are among the the explanation why it’s best to take note of both Irish or candy potato:
- Potatoes are a low-risk crop.
- Greater than 100 tubers will be obtained from a single stand.
- It’s not costly to ascertain a potato plantation.
- As a result of it’s a creeping crop, it is rather simple to deal with and can restrict weed improvement.
- Potato farming in sacks and containers is feasible.
- They mature shortly (3-4 months), permitting you to lease land for potato manufacturing if you happen to don’t have already got one.
- Extraordinarily worthwhile
How Lengthy Do Potatoes Take to Develop?
Small younger potatoes will be harvested as quickly as ten weeks. Full-sized potatoes, alternatively, require roughly 80-100 days to mature.
Which Month is the Finest to Plant Potatoes in Nigeria?
The primary planting season for potatoes in Nigeria is between Might and August, with the harvest season falling between October and November. Nevertheless, in some areas, notably in irrigated areas, potatoes will be grown all through the dry season.
Is Potato Farming Worthwhile in Nigeria?
Regardless of Nigeria’s wonderful local weather for the event of the money crop, folks have but to find the chances of the potato enterprise. This demonstrates that individuals are passing up alternatives to drastically enhance their revenue and even develop into rich via the staple crop.
How Many Potatoes Do You Get Per Plant?
What number of potatoes can one plant yield? various potato sorts will present various yields when harvested. Typically, if the plant is wholesome, it’s best to be capable to pull up roughly 5 or 6 full-size potatoes. Each potato plant will very actually have a slew of smaller, baby-size potatoes.
How Quick Do Potatoes Reproduce?
Rising potatoes sometimes takes 3-4 months. New potatoes are sometimes prepared 8 weeks, or 60 days/2 months after sowing. Commonest styles of full-sized potatoes mature in 3 months (90 days), nonetheless, some specialty sorts and bigger potatoes can require 4 months (120 days).
To Sum It Up
Lastly, potato farming represents a major risk for long-term agricultural growth and financial improvement in Nigeria and Africa. The potato is a invaluable and marketable product as a result of it’s a extremely nutritious, numerous, and versatile meals crop.
Regardless of the difficulties related to potato farming in Nigeria and Africa, resembling illness, pests, and restricted entry to inputs and markets, there are important benefits, together with higher meals safety, revenue technology, and job improvement.