COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION OF DISEASE FREE PLANTAIN SUCKERS
Disease-free and improved planting materials are proportionally related to yields of agricultural products per hectare, profitability of a farm business and its sustainability. However, quality inputs such as improved seeds, seedlings and other planting materials that could help the country to achieve food sufficiency are scarce on accounts of poor investments, lack of technical know-how and little attention to seedling and seed production commercialization.
Quality planting materials mean a serious business. To the nursery seedling producers or seed breeders and dealers, it means earning substantial income and to the farmers, they imply bumper harvests and greater returns on investments. Producing plantain planting materials, experts have said, could help to create jobs for thousands, if not millions of youths in the country.
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in its reference manual on plantain economies, said, “Plantains are starchy bananas which make up one-quarter of the total world production of bananas (Musa spp.). Unlike the sweet dessert bananas, plantains are a staple food which is fried, baked, boiled (and sometimes pounded) or roasted, and consumed alone or together with other food.”
At Forever Gardens Limited, we offer quality training on macro-propagation using the Plantain from fragments (PIF) technique. Our professionals with rich practical experience are on ground to guide you in learning and acquiring end-to-end technical know-how about generating quality and healthy suckers that guarantees optimum production.
ECONOMICS OF AND REQUIREMENTS FOR PLANTAIN SUCKER PRODUCTION
Rapid production techniques have made production of clean and ready-to-plant plantain suckers easier and cheaper, and production in nurseries ensures steady incomes to farmers who dare to invest in such a production. At the outset of rainfalls, farmers in the forest ecology of the southwest, southeast and south-south Nigeria, as well as parts of the north central do prepare land and plant plantain suckers, thus making demand to soar.
A sucker is sold at the unit price of ₦100 and half a plot of land can be used to produce about 2000 suckers if managed effectively. This will fetch a nursery operator about ₦200,000 in four months. It takes about three to four months to produce disease-free suckers and therefore it is advisable to start around January/February to ensure they are ready at the time of demand.
Essential requirements of production include a fertile plot of land, a reliable source of water, wetting cans, land preparation equipment such as small-scale automated cultivator or hoes, gloves and a shed nursery where the seedlings are raised.