As the country’s population increases by the day with many unemployed youths roaming the streets, banana farming creates jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurs who have the passion to go into farming business.
With over 100 billion bananas consumed annually in the world, it is evident that banana farming is highly profitable.
One interesting thing about this venture is that you only need to plant once after which you will keep harvesting for a period of 10 – 15 years. It does not require constant weeding.
How much does it cost to start a banana farm?
You can start a large-scale banana farm with less than #300, 000 depending on the size of the farm.
However, you stand the chance of non-stop harvesting for close to 20 years. Not just that, the profits in subsequent harvest will be higher than the first.
Here’s the breakdown by a banana farmer;
- Cost of buying 1 acre of land – about N50, 000
- Cost of using manual labor for land preparation – N15, 000/acre.
- Cost of buying 1,000 double bunch Plantain suckers – N150 each is N150, 000.
- Transportation of suckers to farm, depending on the distance – N5000 – 10,000 (or more)
- Cost of Planting 1,000 suckers at N15 per stand – N15, 000
- 1st -5th Weeding – N30, 000.
- Purchase of Manure/Fertilizer, Transportation & Fertilizer Application – N25, 000
- Security – N50, 000/year.
- Management fee – N50, 000/year
TOTAL= N350, 000 + Miscellaneous 30, 000 = N380, 000
“At harvest you will get 2,000 bunches, if you sell at give away price of N800 each, you will have N1.6Million and 3,000 New Suckers. By 2nd – 3rd year this Plantain Farm may expand to 2 or 3 Acres if seed suckers and proceeds are reinvested. With a Projected Return On Investment ranging between N1Million and N4Million by 3rd year if expanded”, he says.
Within 13-15 months, your banana plantation is ready for harvest. After harvesting the first set, there is no need planting another as the suckers will shot out themselves and the process continues for about 20 years.
Banana is a very perishable fruit and hence its marketing faces many problems such as chain of middlemen, transport, storage, etc.
In local or short distance marketing, the number of intermediaries is small (one or two) but in long distance marketing, commission agents and wholesalers are involved as well as co-operative society (India Agro net.com, 2016).
One of the lucrative farming segments in Nigeria today is plantain farming, from which it has been estimated that farmers could earn N2.5 billion annually.
However, millions of naira is being generated through plantain farming as individual farmers, both young and old, are making nothing less than N2 million to N3 million and above annually depending on the plantain suckers planted, hectares of land and how the farm is being managed (The Sun, 2018).
Marketing is one of the important things to consider when venturing into agribusiness. This is very important in any agribusiness venture. Different crops have different market chain and you should be well versed in it.
The way you will sell plantain is different from cassava or watermelon. Plantain is highly lucrative if you are able to get your sales right.
There are 2 ways you can sell plantain in Nigeria.
- Through the local markets.
- Selling to companies processing flour and chips
The first way is not only unreliable; it’s not at all profitable.
Farmers are taken advantage of in local markets, where 95% of farmers sell their plantain.
This market is subjected to supply and demand; if lots of farmers bring plantain to the market, price falls rapidly and vice versa.
The only time the market price is high and not subjected to the law of demand and supply is August. But the question is, should farmers wait till August to have their products sold?
Processing companies have the capacity to process but the quantities required are not produced by farmers. Therefore, farmers are forced to sell in the local market where they are taken advantage of (Nairaland, 2018).
There is a need for farmers to go into large scale production of plantain for huge profit and to meet the demand by companies.
Despite Nigeria being regarded as one of the largest plantain producing countries in the world, it has not been featuring among plantain exporting countries because it produces more for local consumption than for export.
National per capita consumption figures show its importance relative to other starch staples. On the other hand, these figures do not show regional reliance, which is often very important for highly perishable crops that are usually consumed in or near areas of production.
However, the consumption and exportation of plantain has risen tremendously in Nigeria in recent years because of rapidly increasing urbanisation and increased demand for easy and convenient foods by the non- farming urban populations.
A growing industry, mainly plantain chips, is believed to be responsible for the high demand being experienced now in Nigeria.
Apart from that, the Southwest also converts it to plantain flour, which the people of the region call ‘Amala dudu’. It is more nutritious and expensive than yam and cassava flour.
Today, the number of farms producing plantain in Nigeria is very few and this makes the demand for it high and profitable. Plantain market is young and not choked (The Sun, 2018).
Although, the production of banana in Nigeria outruns its demand, but being a highly perishable crop, it soon becomes scarce after harvest as it rots away. This is as a result of lack of good processing and storage technologies which can convert it to products with higher shelf life.
If you really want to make great profits, as an intelligent farmer, you should leverage on new technologies in order to keep supplying during the period of scarcity.
In addition, we have enough bananas in the country already, what we need is processing technologies to preserve bananas by converting them into a powdered form which can stay for a longer period without undergoing spoilage.
It is quite easy to practice as it does not consume so much time and energy. Banana farming is one agribusiness that contributes to the food and economic value of the country, if practiced intelligently.
Compiled by Damilola Omotoyinbo and Iyanuoluwa Aliu
The Goldmine In Plantain Farming – Regular Sources Of Income. https://www.nairaland.com/1813825/goldmine-plantain-farming-regular-sources
India Agro net.com (2016). Marketing of Banana. Retrieved from https://www.indiaagronet.com/indiaagronet/Agri_marketing/contents/marketing_banana.html. Last updated 2016.
Naira land (2018). How To Sell Plantain In Profitable Markets In Nigeria – Agriculture – Nairaland Retrived from http://www.nairaland.com/2821669/how-sell-plantain-profitable-markets. Last updated July 2018.
The Sun (2018). Farmers can reap N2.5bn from plantain farming’ Retrieved from http://sunnewsonline.com/farmers-can-reap-n2-5bn-from-plantain-farming/. Last updated 2018