Planting season is here again, some farmers, their cassava is almost set for harvest, some are still growing, while others are preparing to plant new set of cassava stems in the month of August, the goal is just to make sure food is available for the family and most Nigerians consume this house hold product a lot.
Some persons go into commercial agriculture, some are into subsistence agriculture, large number of farmers are into both. Whichever way, in the long run all you need is good harvest and nothing less. Some cassava produce don't do well and some farmers don't know the reason why it happened that way.
As an agriculturist, it is important you know the procedures that will help your plants grow as it should and not the other way round. Is not all farmers who grow cassava that have access to fertilizer, especially the rural inhabitants, most of them grow their cassava without fertilizer application, in the end the agricultural produce will be appealing to the eyes.
I'll share some procedures to follow in order to make your cassava farm grow better than what it used to be without fertilizer application for those that do not have access to it. I do not mean fertilizer is not good for your products, this article is to help those set of farmers that fertilizer is out of their reach, to enable them do better in terms of cassava produce.
The soil should be fertile enough for planting: what do I mean? Is not ideal to plant in a soil for 5 conservative years, by then you must have over used the land and in the end you may harvest a product that is unsatisfactory and it may discourage you. If you plant on a particular piece of land, let's say this year, give a space of one or two years before you go back to plant again on the said land, before then, the soil must have been fertile enough for another planting season.
Do not plant on a farm land characterized by erosion, your cassava plant may not do well because of adverse effects of erosion. I suppose we all know what erosion is? ''It is a condition in which the earth surface is worn away by the action of water and wind.'' If this happens, the soil will loss a lot of fertility, and it will not be suitable for planting.
Plant your proposed cassava stems at the right time. Based on my years of experience as a local farmer, I think the right time to plant cassava stems is between September and October, in these months, one will be in between the raining and dry season, before the dry season will come in full, the crops must have gotten enough water to enable it survive the scotch that comes with dry season. Some farmers plant anytime they feel like, I think is not proper because everything has procedures, agriculture is included.
Till deeply, to 21 or 24 centimeters, so that the root we go down well. After planting the cassava stems, it will germinate and grow as desired, as the cassava grows, the grasses will also grow alongside your plants. At this point, it will be time for weeding. The grasses you intend to weed can serve as manure to your plant.
When I was still new in the farming business, after weeding I threw the grasses away, but that was not the best thing to do, I learnt from my seniors in the business. During the process of weeding, drop the removed unwanted plants on the bottom of your cassava plant, with time it will die off, rotten and go down into the soil and form manure that will help your cassava grow better.
Weed the grasses at least three times before harvest time, don't allow unwanted plants to suffocate your cassava plant, and the end result will be awesome and acceptable.
I know everyone must not go into farming and as well go through the stressful cassava processing method, however, some will buy the finished product with their hard earned money.
Farming is indeed very good. Some Nigerians that have cassava farms did not find it too difficult to cope during the lockdown. I recalled that one custard full of garri was sold for N1500, N2000 or more in some places, but things are a bit better now. This product do not need advertisements before it will do well in the market, just make sure your finished product has what it takes to attract customers, that is all.
The aforementioned tips are mainly for the rural farmers who do not have access to the needed agricultural tools and finance to aid farming.
In conclusion, I urged the farmers especially the ones in rural settlements to put into action the tips I shared in this article and see what will become of their cassava plants when it will be time for harvest.
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