Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Jul 5, 2021 12:55:58 GMT 1
How To Start Lucrative Tiger Nut Farming Business In Nigeria – Part 1
Tiger nut is a crop of the Sedge family found in almost all parts of the world. Its botanical name is Cyperus esculentus; known in Yoruba as Ofio, in Hausa as Aya, and Aki Hausa or Imumu in Igbo language.
Other names that the plant bears are: earth almond, yellow nut, Chufa, and nut grass.
Tiger nut plant can grow up to 3ft (90cm) in height from tuber. The plant can grow annually, while some can repeat growth every season.
The crop became popular when it was discovered by researchers to contain high nutritional values for human beings’ health.
It is mostly cultivated in Northern Nigeria. However, you can cultivate tiger nut in the Southern part of the country successfully too.
Tiger nuts can be found in many other parts of the world too, such as India, Spain, Egypt, and many other African countries.
The largest exporter of tiger nut in the world is the United States of America controlling about 35% of the total global export market of the commodity. This is followed by China controlling 17% of the market according to statistics as at year 2020 by Tridge.
Tiger nut drink is becoming very popular these days in Nigeria as many people prefer tiger nut drink to most other food drinks. This drink is almost becoming the drink of the rich of recent in Nigeria.
As a farmer the competition is still very low, therefore you are not going to face a lot of competition in the business. With this you should decide to go into the business because your probability of success is very high.
The potential of giving the youth of the country employment opportunities is very high in the tiger nut farming value chain.
Nutritional Contents of Tiger Nuts
Tiger nuts are a source of fatty acids, fibre, and some other vitamins and minerals.
Nutrients per serving:
One ounce or 28.3 grams of raw tiger nuts contains the following:
Tiger nuts contain vitamin C and B6, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and calcium in both raw and ground forms.
As a farmer or business person interested in Tiger nut business, you should know that the nut is demanded highly in the international market. The product is in hot demand. Give it your best and you will not regret it.
Let us now go into the farming segment of the business of tiger nut.
If you are going into large scale tiger nut farming, you probably be thinking of using about an hectare of arable land; you have to use tractor as we always advise our members to till the ground.
The plant can grow up to 3ft, and the roots can penetrate into the soil to 30-60 cm deep. You have to then till the ground well so that the roots will find it easy to penetrate into the soil.
Though the plant grows well in any type of soil, you will get the best results when you plant it in sandy soil rich in organic matter.
Tiger nut plants can resist harsh weather conditions like, drought, flooding and heat. They however require a PH level of 5.0-7.0.
Never plant your tiger nuts in a waterlogged area or use salt water for irrigation. These are not required as they can easily destroy the plants.
The plant requires mild temperature in order to grow well, but you must avoid severe cold or high-level heat. These extreme weather conditions can adversely affect the growth of the plant.
They should be planted manually into the soil: 6-8cm deep; with a spacing of 15-29 cm between the seeds. The planting season in Nigeria is during the rainy season between the months of April and May annually.
You can plant using the seeds or through rhizomes, which are the creeping parts of the plant just by the root. They have slender roots and triangular leaves, 3-10 mm and appear in two colors: green and golden brown.
The tiger nut tubers start developing after about 6-8 weeks; after the seedlings must have sprouted. They grow very vigorously; and the nuts mature between 3-4 months.
Tiger nut farming can be done in containers too; you need to mix an equal amount of soil and manure, use it and fill the container. You should plant only one seed per container, and store in a warm environment.
Irrigation in Tiger Nut farming:
One of the major problems of farming in Nigeria is irrigation, so that your tiger nut farm can do well, you must irrigate or water your farm at least weekly until the crops are harvested; especially when there is drought or intense heat.
Weeding the farm:
Weeds should never be allowed in the tiger nut farm. You must identify the weeds and remove them early; otherwise they will destroy your tiger nut farm.
We will continue with the article in part 2, as there still many things we need to understand in the business side of tiger nuts.
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