How To Start Irish Potato Farming In Nigeria: See Modern Guidelines

How To Start Irish Potato Farming In Nigeria: See Modern Guidelines

Irish potato

Irish potato farming is another agribusiness investment that you can venture into and make good money in Nigeria. The agricultural sector has become one of the promising sectors of the Nigerian economy. Currently, Irish potato production has increased to the point that Nigeria sits eight in the continent of Africa in terms of Irish potato production. Even with the increasing potato farming in Nigeria, the total yield per year is placed at about 843,000 tonnes.

See: How to start sweet potato farming business in Nigeria

The above yield per year is still below the yearly potato consumption in Nigeria which is placed above a million tones. This tells you that there are abundant opportunities in potato farming in Nigeria. It will interest you to know that about 60, 000 tonnes of Irish potato is exported annually from Nigeria. This further reduces the available potato for local consumers in Nigeria.

You are already seeing that the demand for potatoes in Nigeria is far higher than the supply, especially when you put into consideration that more than 50 million families consume potatoes. This further makes potato farming in Nigeria more profitable for you that will invest in it. Irish potato thrives very well in states like Plateau, Kaduna, Kano, and Kastina.

The objective of this article is to help you see the great profit potential of Irish potato farming in Nigeria. This article will also give you reasons why you should consider taking part in the highly lucrative Irish potato market in Nigeria. The potato business in Nigeria is really worth your consideration. To be able to enjoy the high-profit turnover that potato farming provides, you need the requisite knowledge of this tuber crop farming. Such knowledge is what this article provides for you.

Why you should invest in Irish potato farming in Nigeria

Well, if you still doubt the profitability of Irish potato farming in Nigeria, perhaps the following reasons will give you a change of heart.

  • Large Irish potato market in Nigeria

Irish potato

The great impact that potato farming in Nigeria has had on farmers is worthy of consideration. Irish potato production in Nigeria has really witnessed a boom due to the ever-growing demand by local consumers. The growing demand for potato can be traced to the understanding of the health benefits of this tuber crop. The Irish potato market in Nigeria is what every business-minded investor should consider.

Also Read: How to start yam farming business in Nigeria

The new ways of cooking or preparing potatoes have made it more desired by Nigerian consumers. Some of the methods of preparation include porridge, baked, fried chips, roasted, and mashed Irish potatoes. If you ask me, I will tell you that there is no end to what you will do with Irish potatoes. You are simply limited by your own imagination.

There is currently a very high deficit in the supply of Irish potato in Nigeria. It is for this reason that you are advised to invest in this highly profitable tuber crop in Nigeria. Irish potato production in Nigeria is mainly centered in Plateau state.  Although potato farming is mostly done by manual labor, you should consider mechanized farming for commercial purposes.

  • Health benefits of the Irish potato

In fact, the health benefits that you can enjoy from Irish potato consumption are so numerous that I will not be able to mention all of them. It will surprise to know that the potato has no cholesterol content, no fat, or sodium. It also has low-calorie content. Irish potato contains Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, potassium, iron, and fiber.

The fiber contained in Irish potato helps to reduce the cholesterol level of the blood. It is also found to lower blood pressure due to the presence of potassium. Just by consuming a medium sized Irish potato, you obtain half of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

  • The high-profit potential of the Irish potato

If there is no profit to be made from Irish potato farming business, then you don’t need to venture into such business. Potato farming is highly profitable and you can also enjoy it as well. The high demand for these Irish potatoes has made the prices to shoot up, thereby increasing the profit potential.

Cities like Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Abuja, and Jos form the bulk of potato consumers in Nigeria. Having a transportation system in place to move your farm produce will greatly improve your profit potential in potato farming in Nigeria. It is recommended that you have your own transportation because it allows you to transport your Irish potato to the major markets across Nigeria.

You must see to it that you join an already existing organization of potato farmers in Nigeria. If there is no such organization, then create one with the rest of the farmers in your locality. By so doing, you will be able to have some control over the forces of demand and supply. This also increases your profit potential in Irish potato farming in Nigeria.

Starting your Irish potato farming business in Nigeria

Irish potato

There are certain things you should have in place before starting your potato farming in Nigeria. These things include:

  1. Irish potato farming business plan

You should know that there is no business that succeeds anywhere in the world without a business plan to execute it. Potato farming business is also not an exception to this important rule. Having your potato farming business plan will guide you in making the right decisions regarding your business.

No matter what, you must never neglect the importance of having your Irish potato farming business plan. It will help you in sourcing for funds for your Irish potato farming as well as wooing investors.

Related: How to start cashew nut farming in Nigeria

  1. Farmland selection

When it comes to Irish potato farming in Nigeria, you should select farmlands that are in the open area. This is because potato requires adequate exposure to sunlight. It is recommended that you cut down any tree in the vicinity that may hinder the penetration of sunlight to the farmland you have selected for your Irish potato farming business venture.

Another thing you should consider before selecting a site for your potato farming is the fertility and drainage capacity of the soil. The ideal farmland should be well-drained with a pH that is between 5.5-6.5. Even though potatoes (sweet and Irish) generally grow on a variety of soil types, you have to also improve the fertility of the soil by adding fertilizer.

It is recommended that you allow the farmland to be fallow for at least 2 years before planting your potatoes. The advantage of this farm practice is that it improves soil fertility and also reduces the incidence of disease outbreak when you start your Irish potato farming business venture in Nigeria.

  1. Farmland preparation

Land preparation involves the clearing of bushes and tilling the soil. It is also at this stage that you apply fertilizer to the soil after which you make molds or ridges to plant your Irish potato seeds.

  1. Selecting viable Irish potato seeds

After you have finished the farmland preparation process, the next task is to plant your Irish potato. Before planting, you need to buy viable Irish potato seeds for optimal yield. When selecting the variety of Irish potato to plant, you need to consider some factors. Such factors that you need to consider include; the disease resistant capacity of the variety, the yield, the time required for maturity and other qualities.

It is expected that your selected variety of Irish potato should have the above features.

  1. Planting your Irish Potato

The ideal time of the year to plant potatoes is around the month of March, although you can cultivate it all year round with proper irrigation system in place. At this period, the rainy season is kicking off and it will greatly improve you potato farming in Nigeria. After you have made the molds or ridge for planting your potato, you make a hole that is about 15cm deep and plant your potato. The planted potatoes should be about 20cm apart.

As the potatoes grow, you will need to weed and apply inorganic fertilizer like the NPK for maximum yield and productivity.

  1. Harvesting

Irish potato

The maturity time for potatoes is usually between 3-4 months after the planting date. Immediately the foliage or leaves of the potato turns brown, its harvest time and you need to make the necessary arrangements. You gently dig out the potatoes from the soil and avoid damaging or scratching the skin. You have to remove the dirt from the body of the potatoes before storing them for the market.

Once you have harvested your potatoes, necessary arrangements should be made as soon as possible to get them to the market for sale. This saves the loss of spoilage due to prolonged storage.

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