Nigeria is the world's largest producer of cassava. In Nigeria, it is mostly farmed in the southern and western part of Nigeria.
In this article we will consider the cultivation methods practiced by Cassava farmers in Nigeria.
- Clear the field. The first thing to do is clear the land of any bushes. It is best to clear the field by cutting either manually or by using a tractor. Burning reduces the nutrients in the soil which can result in low yield.
- Allow the cut grasses to decay. After clearing the field, do not burn the grasses or pack them. Leave them on the field for eight days. During this time, the grasses decay and form the first manure for the soil.
- Make Ridges. The next step in land Preparation is making ridges. Unlike in yam cultivation where heaps are made, the ridges used in farming cassava are in rows. Make several ridges on the farm, either in long rows or short rows to allow for ease of movement during post-planting care.
Cassava propagation is by stem cuttings. A cassava plant usually has long stems. Before planting, cut the stems into short sizes of 20-25cm length. In Nigeria, poor farmers do not bother with rooting powder so this is not needed at all. Bury the cut stems halfway by both sides of the ridge and not on top. The ridge has to be large for this to work.if the field is small and you have to make small ridges, plant one stem cutting only on top of the ridge.
Spacing. One long ridge can take many stem cuttings, but they need to be spaced properly. Use a space of 35cm between each stem cuttings on each side of the same ridge.
Weeding. Weed after two months of planting and apply fertilizer—ask a specialist for the type of fertilizer suitable for your soil and weather. The next time you weed is in eight months then the week of harvesting, which is two months later, you weed to make for easy harvesting.
Cassava takes a whole year to reach maturity. After one year, harvest by uprooting the Cassava plant.