The food crisis in Africa and Nigeria, in particular, is not unconnected with our inability to tap the abundantly available resources at our disposal to solve our food problems.
Plantain and bananas are another set of food crops, which can be easily grown profitably in the country. The botany of plantains and Bananas do not differ except that the storage of carbohydrates in the fruit of plantains is in the form of starch while it is sugar in bananas.
It has been identified that the establishment of plantain and banana plantation is another means of livelihood for Nigerians, hence the need for this write-up.
Project justification and marketing potential
The establishment of such a project will increase food production in the country. This will help in combating hunger and malnutrition in the country. It will also help in improving the livelihoods of rural dwellers through the creation of job opportunities.
The crops have huge consumption rates and also serve as raw materials to the food and beverage industry and the poultry industry. This shows that the market is very large both locally and internationally for the crops.
Establishment of the project will on the aggregate improve Nigeria’s economy. It will have a multiplier effect on the economy by providing job opportunities for labourers, the market women, the industrial users and help in improving the economic wellbeing of the promoters.
To embark on this project, there is the need for a suitable land that has the following characteristics: humid low land, deep and well-drained fertile soils, optimum temperature of 27oc and well-distributed rainfall of about 2,000mm per annum.
It must be noted that the site for the project should be visited by experts to ascertain their suitability or otherwise.
After land procurement, we do the land preparation either mechanically or by slashing. This is followed by the purchase of suckers (the planting materials).
Planting is done by digging holes of about 45cm wide and deep after which the suckers are placed in the holes. The spacing between crops should be about 3m.
After planting, herbicide can be applied to control weed growth. Cultural practices involve fertilizer application at six months interval, pruning, and regular weeding. Pruning involves the removal of unwanted suckers to allow the selected ones to develop well and produce desirable bunches. It takes about 18 months for the crops to mature.
To establish the plantation 10 Acre land can be used for a start. All projections therefore are based on 10 Acres.
Land Acquisition and preparation
Suckers (10,000) at N200 each
Herbicides and other inputs 250,000
Employment of farm-hands
Miscellaneous Expenses and other
Under good management, one sucker planted initially will produce one bunch of plantain and banana per annum. This gives a total of 10,000 bunches per annum. A bunch of plantain will sell for a minimum of N1, 000.
This gives us total revenue of N10 million per annum starting from the 18th month after planting. The cost of maintenance per annum is estimated at N1,000,000.
Promoters will no doubt have over N8 million as profit every year. Plantain plantations can last for a very long time if it is well maintained.
This is surely a good means of livelihood for Nigerians. The project is recommended without any reservation.
Serious-minded investors can be guided to successfully establish the project. The author can be contacted through e-mail: email@example.com.