Hey you!!! Did you know that agriculture as a whole is a very profitable venture?
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This is because over 60% percent of the world’s population, depends on agriculture for survival. This therefore gives agriculture 60% of the world product market.
All you have to do dear entrepreneur, is to invest.
Like I always do however, I would try giving you a proper drill on what you need to know.
Agriculture as you may have realized is very broad, as there are hundreds and thousands of crops in the world. The question left to answer, is that of which crop you should cultivate. Here’s the answer, plantain!
Plantain farming in Africa is not very much exploited! Many people do not venture into that area of farming because they think it’s not lucrative. It is quite unfortunate because the demand for plantain outweighs its supply.
Also, plantain is more expensive than banana thus, this venture can make you become a millionaire.
The capital involved in starting plantain farming is moderate, and the fact that Africa (especially West and Central Africa) is found in the tropics, gives an added advantage. Giving that, soils in these tropical areas favor the growth of plantain.
If you live in these areas or can run your plantain farm from a distance then what are you waiting for?
Now that we are clear on the advantages, let’s get straight up to the seven steps to plantain farming:
Step 1: Do Some Findings:
Dear entrepreneur, I know you might be very excited at the idea of getting into plantain farming, but you must consider doing some findings on the area in which you want to locate your farm. Just like I wrote in the paragraph above you cannot plant just anywhere.
You have to make sure that the climate of the area you choose for the farm, is one that is conducive for its growth(tropical areas). Plantains don’t grow in all region, for example; they don’t grow in South Africa. Be cautious in your findings so you don’t invest your money in a venture that would proof unfruitful.
Step 2: Write A Business Plan:
As an entrepreneur that you are, you need to bring some clarity to your ideas and the only way to do that is by writing a business plan. Your business plan will contain the strategies to be used to run your plantain farming business, your vision and mission statement, your expansion strategies, expenses and many more. Think this plan through as many times as possible so you don’t forget any important details before your start the business.
Step 3: Acquire Suitable Land and Prepare It:
Again, you know that plantain only grows in regions with tropical climate. With the right climate tackled, you need to get a land with the right soil composition, which should be welcoming to plantain growth. You might need on an average about two hectares of land to be able to take on commercial plantain farming.
Once settled with the right soil, size and climate, you would have to start preparing the land.
That is, adjusting the PH level of the farm land if it is not suitable. You would also need to put in labor force to dig holes on the farm, in which the plantain suckers will be planted
Step 4: Find Plantain Suckers:
A very important aspect of this business is to knows where to get good plantain suckers in great quantities. The advantage to this however is that once you succeed to get them, the farm can be sustained for thirty years without having to get new suckers, if and only if the land is kept in good condition.
Step 5: Labor Force
If you need this business going, you definitely can’t do it alone. You need people to help you out, you need laborers.
You need them to clear the land, prepare it, plant the suckers, water them and carter for the plants. They also need to help you out with the harvest and maintenance of the farm. Hiring laborers has some financial obligations attached to it, consider that in your business plan as well.
You will also have to add the cost of equipment, pesticides and fertilizers.
The advantage with laborers is that their services are cheap, because they are considered unskilled compared to machinery. However you can still opt for the later, if it is within your budge.
Step 6: Plan Your Harvest:
You must make arrangements beforehand, so that your plantains are harvested once they are due. The last thing you want is to have damaged or rotten plantains.
Understand and learn the cycle of plantain farming, so you harvest them right on time and sell them. All this so you just don’t run at a loss.
Step 7: Market Your Plantain:
The market for plantain is very large. You could sell your product to food processing companies or just market it to plantain retailers. Either ways, it is a win win.
The simple fact that plantain can be consumed in multiple and divers forms, gives your business an upper hand. This is to indicate that plantain farming is really, a profitable business to strategically consider as an entrepreneur.
You can also consider setting up a plantain processing factory to transform your farm products in to plantain floor, Plantain chips and much more. Doing this, you will expand your profit margin and gain leverage on the market.