Potatoes are very sweet. That is why some of them are called sweet potatoes. Potatoes is among the most popular food crop and is a well consumed meal in the country, very helpful for humans health. More than 500000 households consume potatoes on a weekly basis whereas it is a staple food in Ireland. Irish potato farming originated from Ireland. The potato crop belongs to the crop of the kingdom Plantar, and of the genus Solanum. The crop is tuberous and starchy. It is not just their tasty nature that caused their demand, they are also of high nutritious value. The planting season of potato in Nigeria varies. The Irish potato market in Nigeria is a booming market. A medium sized potato, sweet potato or Irish potato offers very low calories, sodium, fat, fiber, vitamin B6, iron and potassium.
Procedures For Starting A Potato Business In Nigeria
Introducing Potato Farming
Potato farming is the cultivation of potatoes for food and commercial purposes. Potatoes are normally planted during the month of March after which they are harvested between 13 to 20 weeks later.
What Are The Opportunities That Exist With Potato Farming?
1. Food source
Potatoes are a good source of food due to their nutritious content. It can be fried, boiled, roasted, baked or made into salads. Potatoes are fried or boiled largely in many regions of the world and they are used to make cookies, chocolates or pizza.
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The value of potatoes have made them a venture worth engaging in.
2. Experimental And Domestic Utility
Potatoes are not just a food source but they are used in many domestic and experimental forms like removing window stains, energising light for bulb, industrial application in cosmetics, treatment of cardiovascular infections etc.
What Are The Benefits Of Potato Farming?
- Employment opportunity
- Food source
- Major product for exportation
- Removal of stains
- Cleaning of windows
- Warts removal
- Cosmetic use
- Shining of your silver wares
- Relieving burns
- Absorbing excessive salt from a cooking pot
- Rust elimination from wheat
- Powering a light bulb
What Are The Major Facts About Potatoes?
- The word potato is gotten from the Spanish word ‘ patata’.
- They are starchy vegetables
- They contain minerals and vitamins
- Potatoes grow rapidly
- Potatoes are among the major food crop on the planet
- Varieties of potatoes exist but all of them are not viable commercially
- China is the largest potato producer on the planet
- There are many ways of preparing and serving potatoes and this include boiling, frying, baking and mashing
- Another name for potatoes is spuds
- Potato chips happen to be the most common snack across the planet
How To Set Up Your Potato Farm
1. Select a site that is appropriate
Having potatoes grown in an area that is open with access to the sun is the way to handle the cultivation.
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The should be sloping of the site in a slight manner, with wind protection and facing towards the south. There should be a good water source and the location of this should be near the farm so as to promote better irrigation when required. Their should be proper draining of the soil, with efficient depth, loss with a PH range of 5.5 to 6.5 for optimal results. Even though potatoes have the potential of growing on many categories of soil, it is necessary to handle soil tests to figure out the line and fertilizer requirements. Acidic soils that are partially acidic is the best. Selecting a farmland where there has not been any crop for a period of 2 consecutive years is necessary to reduce the risk. There is also maintenance through crop rotation that is constant. This is necessary for the prevention of nematodes like eelworm which can stay between 20 to 30 years.
2. Get the approximately machinery
For large scale farming you will need machinery like tractors and tipping devices. Other items you will need are fertilizer applicators and equipment for spraying, equipment for cultivation, the tipping device, the forklift, machines for bag sewing. Small scale farmers can still utilize the traditional methods for potato cultivation.
3. Soil Preparation
Before you have your potatoes planted, you have to prepare the soil ahead in order to have it settled properly before planting is done. This process of preparation could have to do with the application of fertilizer and the organic matter to the very soil. The removal of weeds and stones is also involved.
4. Select Your Potato Varieties
The category of potatoes you select should be marketable. Considered these terms before choosing your category:
- Resistance to disease
- Quality of food
- Storage span
- Yield capacity
5. Consider These Factors
- Soil temperature
There should be planting of potatoes in dry soil at a temperature of 70°C.
- Rate of seeds
Potato size and cost have an effect on the seed rate.
- Depth of planting
The depth should be between 12 to 15cm just below the surface and 4.5cm above the furrow base.
- Drip irrigation method
This method ensures proper management of the moisture content.
6. Application of fertilizer
Reasonable quantities of nitrogen and phosphates and potassium should be applied for the improvement of the tuber size, quality and crop yield.
7. Pest and disease control
Practices that eliminate weed should be introduced for improving the level of water, eradicating pests like slugs, eelworm, wireworms and aphids and diseases like black powdery scab has to be curtailed.
8. Harvesting Your Potatoes
The appropriate time to harvest your potatoes depends on the conditions of the weather, the season of growth and the tuber size desired.
9. Storing The Potatoes
Storage of the potatoes should be done around the 14 days of it’s harvest to help potatoes cuts to get properly healed.
What Challenges Are Facing Cultivation?
- Irrigation water
- Cross rotation strategy
- Labour storage and staff
- High production costs
- Costly fertilizers
- They are perishable
This article is about the cultivation of potatoe and the strategies and processes. This business is very profitable since potatoes are consumed very much in Nigeria. The business is worth doing. You can see that this business is profitable.
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If you have any questions on starting your potato farming business, feel free to use our comment box.