Starting a Cassava Farming Business

The Cassava plant has a homogeneous flesh and long tapered roots. Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava roots. Other major producers are Democratic republic of Congo, Brazil, Indonesia, China and Thailand.
The rugged plant is drought tolerant and can grow in poor soil composition. The economic importance is found in the edible starchy tuberous roots.
The roots require proper processing before edible and contain lots of carbohydrate. The cassava plant has sweet and sour varieties and contains residual cyanide highly dangerous if poorly processed.
Cassava Products
There are many products derived from cassava. The products have many pharmaceutical and industrial applications.
Cassava is processed into food grains, flour, syrups and adhesives. It also has huge local and international appeal.
Local Nigerian food derivatives include garri (grains), elubo Lafun (cassava flour) and cassava bread. Industrial uses include glues, glucose, and ethanol.
 More uses are to produce alcoholic beverages, cassava based dishes, animal feed and laundry starch.Pig Farming
By CIAT - NP Cassava Processing, CC BY-SA 2.0, commons.wikimedia.org
Uses of Cassava
  • Pharmaceutical
  • food grains
  • flour
  • syrups
  • adhesives
  • glues
  • glucose
  • bio-ethanol
  • alcoholic beverages
  • cassava based dishes
  • animal feed
  • laundry starch
Cassava Farm Funding
Farming is one of the heavily subsidized businesses in most countries. Government provides lots of initiatives to aid farming and cash crop cultivation.
A farmer can approach an agriculture oriented bank or bank of industry for loans. Write a cassava farming business plan and carry out a feasibility study.
You need to have same startup funds, possibly a farmland, collateral and guarantors. You could also source funds from venture capitalists, core investors or form a partnership arrangement.
Funding
  • Personal savings
  • Borrow from friends and family
  • Bank of Agriculture
  • bank of industry
  • venture capitalists
  • core investors
  • partnership arrangement
Processing Cassava for Food
Cassava roots are very toxic because they contain harmful cyanogenic glucosides. The roots require proper processing to remove the harmful agent through soaking, washing, cooking and fermenting.
The cyanide in poorly processed cassava root can cause goiter, vomiting and death. A traditional processing method involves peeling, soaking for 3-4 days and fermenting. The roots are dried, grated or cooked depending on the final product.
Securing Land
The plant is rugged and grows in marginal or organic soil. Purchase huge parcel of land in rural area or your local community.
Make sure you purchase top quality cassava breeds for bountiful harvest. The plant is propagated by cutting the stem into sections of 15cm and planting.
Before planting hire casual laborers to weed the farm and remove shrubs, stones, grass and apply herbicide. Some farmers recommend application of 250kg lime per hectare before introducing the cassava.
Plant the about 62 cassava stems per hectare at spacing of 1 meter by 1 meter. Make sure you apply appropriate fertilizer before planting.
Provide proper drainage system and adequate water source for our plants. You can dig a well or borehole or use a stream to provide water for your farm.
Harvesting
The leaves are plucked before the commencement of harvesting. Cassava is hand harvest by raising the stem and pulling out the roots.
 The tubers are separated from the plant and processed. Post storage involves processing and storage of the product. It is possible to attain 25 tons per hectare of farm land.
Pest Control
The plant is constantly under attack from pests. So make sure you put in place serious pest control measures.
The products are highly sort in the market especially edibles such as cassava flour and garri. The market is huge in Africa and accounts for a 40% of our carbohydrate needs.




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