Setting up one hectare seed yam farm – Seed yam otherwise called yam-planting material is the most essential input of yam tubers production. It is important in terms of its quantity and quality. The quantitative aspect rests on the fact that it has to be available, in enough quantity for the farmers’ use, while the qualitative aspect has to do with the production of healthy and viable ones that can yield heavy yam tubers.
[covertplayersinglevideo trvideoid=”WCDg6i22Ahs” trdisplaytype=”5″ trnumbervideosdisplay=”” trvideoperpage=”36″ trthumbnailwidth=”155″ trthumbnailheight=”100″ trpopupwidth=”500″ trpopupheight=”350″ trvideoalign=”left” trytautohide=”0″ trytautoplay=”1″ trytcontrols=”0″ trytrelvideo=”0″ trytshowlogo=”1″ trytshowtitle=”0″ tryttheme=”dark” trythighquality=”hd720″]However, getting seed yams quantitatively and qualitatively in Nigeria is still an elusive programme. This can be attributed to low level of awareness among people, lack of technical know-how, and lack of interest and problems of finance. The purpose of this article is to elucidate on the solutions to this problem with a view to advising interested investors on how to go about the project.
Yam is one of the root crops cultivated in the tropical region of the world. It is a staple food crop consumed by over 200 million people. Yam provides calorie efficiently, it has some traditional importance attached to its production. Yam tubers are used to worship deities and it is part of bride prize during betrothals and marriage ceremonies. Many African homes consider pounded yam as a special dish. It can also be processed to other forms.
Going by the above, it is a glaring fact that the demand for yam tubers is very high. Empirical facts have shown that the demand for yam tubers is higher than its supply. Reasons for the short supply are due to high inputs requirements and the non-availability of planting material or the seed yam. The traditional way of yam cultivation entails that big yam tubers are cut into smaller pieces and planted directly in the field.
This method makes the supply of planting material to be very critical. Furthermore, it exposes the planting material to a lot of hazards. In the final analysis the yield obtained from the method will be very poor.
[covertplayersinglevideo trvideoid=”SU3rTYzjFAs” trdisplaytype=”5″ trnumbervideosdisplay=”” trvideoperpage=”36″ trthumbnailwidth=”155″ trthumbnailheight=”100″ trpopupwidth=”500″ trpopupheight=”350″ trvideoalign=”left” trytautohide=”0″ trytautoplay=”1″ trytcontrols=”0″ trytrelvideo=”0″ trytshowlogo=”1″ trytshowtitle=”0″ tryttheme=”dark” trythighquality=”hd720″]This is why it has been discovered through researches that seed yams can be produced first and later be used as planting materials. Seed yams are small yam tubers weighing between 600-800gm. They are better because they can survive long storage periods with little or no losses, easy to handle and can be harvested mechanically.
Investors are, therefore, being advised to look into the possibility of investing in production of healthy and certified yam planting materials which can be sold to yam farmers. The project is further justified by the ever-increasing demand for yam tubers outside the country. Yam has already found its way into British and American markets.
Seed yam production is very simple, its production is systematic. It involves preparation of nurseries where they are first planted. Before the minisetts are planted, they are treated with ash and some chemicals mixed in appropriate concentration. This is to allow the minisetts to sprout before being transplanted to the permanent field.
The pre-sprouted minisetts are later planted in well prepared ridges, well-drained field with good fertility level and low nematode population. Ridges should be made 1 meter apart and covered with polyethylene (plastic) mulch. This makes staking un-necessary and is highly effective in controlling weeds, reducing soil erosion, preserving moisture and maintaining soil temperature for good plant growth and development. Pre-sprouted minisetts are planted between May and June, which are harvested 5 to 6 months later. Farmers use the harvested seed yams as planting material in the following planting season.
100,000 minisetts can be raised from one hectare of farm. This can be sold at N50 each. This gives as a gross of N5 million. Annual operating cost of N1.5 million has been computed. This gives us a minimum net income of N3.5 million per annum. This is another viable source of livelihood for Nigerians.
Posted by Hope for Nigeria