Cassava does very well in most parts of Nigeria as it holds much potential for successful investment. There are new varieties of Cassava developed in Nigeria through a collaborative effort between International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA)and National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) and these varieties performs well in different cassava production regions of Nigeria with ‘High yield’, ‘High Dry Matter’ and ‘Good Disease Resistance.’
Cassava can be processed into a number of products such as starch, flour, chips, ethanol and glucose syrup, and bread and so forth. These products are all in high demand locally and also have significant export possibilities. These therefore, place a lot of raw cash in the hands of anyone who has the product. For Cassava plantation, it is important to choose an accessible welldrained fertile soil. Most forest lands within the Southern Nigeria and middle belt are known to be very fertile for cassava farming.
Cassava Varieties There are a number of varieties recommended for their high yield and processing quality: TMS 30572, NR 8082, NR8083, TMS 4(2) 1425, TMS 81/00110, TMS 92/0326. An additional 10 varieties are in the process of being released. Land Preparation and Planting A total herbicide – Round up (a glyphosate) should be applied to the land where you want to plant your cassava at the rate of 4–5 l/ha 10 days before land preparation.
For cost effectiveness and optimum plant population of your cassava , mechanization and planting on ridges are recommended. It is recommended that 5 (50 kg) bags of agricultural lime be applied / ha during land preparation. Planting and planting material Planting Cassava Planting starts in April and can be extended to October.
The quantity of cassava recommended for 1 ha is 60 bundles of cassava stem. Cassava Stem cuttings 25 cm long should be planted at a spacing of 1 m x 1 m. Maintain 100 per cent cassava planting rate by replacing dead or nonviable stems. Weed control Where a total herbicide was not used before land preparation for cassava plantation, it is recommended that a selective pre-emergence herbicide be applied within three days after planting. Five liters of Primextra is recommended /ha.
Fertilizer application Fertilizer should be applied at recommended rates.The following fertilizers and their rate/ha are recommended NPK 15:15:15–12 (50 kg) bags • NPK 20:10:10–9 (50 kg) bags • NPK 12:12:17–15 (50 kg) bags Apply fertilizer at 8 weeks after planting your cassava. Apply fertilizer in a ring, 6 cm wide and 10 cm from the plant or broadcast with care around the cassava plant, making sure the fertilizer does not touch the cassava stem or leaves.
Yield Cassava Yield of 25 tons/ha and above can be obtained with good agronomic practices and management. Therefore, every step must be taken seriously in the process of planting your cassava. To reduce cost of production and attain high yields, it is recommended that land preparation be fully mechanized. A power tiller can be used if the total land area under cultivation is not more than 250ha