The challenges of plantain farming include poor quality suckers, poor quality fertilizer, inadequate water supply to the plantain crop and poor soil fertility etc.
To be successful as a plantain farmer, you should implement tactics to mitigate the challenges you can encounter in the growing of plantain.
Poor quality and diseased suckers cannot only reduce your plantain yield; it can also introduce diseases to your farmland.
Challenges of plantain farming in Nigeria
The following are the challenges of plantain farming in Nigeria:
- The use of poor quality suckers
- Low soil fertility
- Poor water management
- Poor quality fertilizers
- Poor pest and disease management
- Over use of fertilizers
- Usage of the wrong type of pesticides
- Government Policies
1) The use of poor quality suckers
The use of poor quality and diseased suckers is one of the challenges of plantain farming in Nigeria. It is common for plantain farmers to use uprooted plantain suckers when engaging in plantain farming, this is not advised.
Uprooted plantain suckers may have diseases that can be introduced to your farmland. This can spread infections on your farmland and significantly reduce your crop yield.
Tissue culture plantain suckers are the best types of suckers to use. If you must use the uprooted suckers, you are advised to treat it with hot water.
2) Low soil fertility
The soil in sub-Sahara Africa including Nigeria is poor. This is one of the challenges plantain farmers face. You should conduct a soil test and get an agronomist to help you to design a fertilization plan to make your soil suitable for the growing of plantain.
3) Poor water management
Plantain contains a significant amount of water. Inadequate supply of water to your plantain crop can lead to a significant loss in yield.
Irrigation facility like drip irrigation should be used to optimize the supply of water to your plantain crop.
4) Poor quality fertilizers
A significant percentage of fertilizers in Nigeria are of low quality. This is one of the problems plantain farmer face.
You should ask for a small sample of fertilizers from the vendor, go to a laboratory and conduct an analysis on the sample before you buy a substantial quantity of the fertilizer.
5) Poor pest and disease management
Poor pest and disease management is one of the challenges of growing plantain in Nigeria. Plantain is affected by a lot of pests and diseases.
The right type of pesticides should be used at the appropriate time to prevent the outbreak of pests and diseases.
Weeds can significantly impact the yield of your plantain crop. Herbicides can be used for weeds management. Tools like hoes and cutlasses can also be used for the removal of weeds. For large plantain farms, mechanized removal of weeds is advised.
Mulches can also be used to prevent the growth of weeds.
7) Over use of fertilizers
It is a misconception that the use of a lot of fertilizers will lead to a better yield in plantain farming. Carless usage of fertilizers can actually pre-dispose the plantain crops to diseases and pests and also reduce the overall yield.
8) Usage of the wrong type of pesticides
The use of the wrong type of pesticides is also one of the pitfalls of plantain growing in Nigeria. You should always use the right type of fertilizers for your plantain crop.
The poor storage facility for plantain in Nigeria is one of the challenges of growing plantain. A large percentage of harvested plantains in Nigeria get bad because of the lack of storage facilities. This leads to huge losses for plantain farmers.
10) Government Policies
Government policy is also one of the challenges faced by plantain farmers in Nigeria. The policy of government as regards exportation of foods items in Nigeria is poor and not well thought out.
This makes plantain farmers in Nigeria to lose out from earning forex from the export of their produce.
Do you experience any challenges on your plantain farm? If yes, why not contact us.