PLANTAIN FARMING:............Step by Step to Establishing a Farm with Pictures


Plantain Farming

Plantain farming is one of the recent Agro farming businesses actively practiced by the farmers in Edo and Delta states.  These are states in Nigeria that have a good soil for plantain production in commercial quantities.

The South East has similar soil conditions, but the farmers there are yet to come to terms with the profitability of Plantain farming.  The farmers in the East grow plantain on personal basis, using only their courtyard for that purpose as against cultivating a Plantain farm.

Plantains are a member of the banana family. They are a starchy, low in sugar variety that is cooked before serving as it is unsuitable raw.

Unlike starting other tree farms, starting a plantain farm and growing plantain are easier and less complicated. Although growing plantain still requires ones attention, the level of skill required is not as intensive as other trees.

Here are a few guidelines in growing plantain and starting a plantain farm.


The first thing to consider in starting a plantain farm is looking for the right climate. Plantain cannot thrive in an environment that is too hot or too cold. The proposed land/soil for your plantain farm must be a well drain land that is rich and naturally fertilized but If such is not available, you can create compost and add chicken manure to your existing land.

Step 2. LAND CLEARING - The next thing after land procurement is land clearing: 

Land clearing is the process of removing trees, stumps, brush, stones and other obstacles from an area as required to increase the size of the crop producing land base of an existing farm or to provide land for a new farm operation.
You can do manual or mechanized land clearing depending on the size of the proposed plantain farm

When establishing a new plantain farm, certain actions need to be implemented to ensure the long term success of the plantation. One of these actions involve the initial land preparation which should be done prior to transplanting of the plant material suckers.

The purpose of land preparation is to provide the necessary soil conditions which will enhance the successful establishment of the young suckers.
Considering the nature of plantain one can not "save" on this operation and hope for long term of the plantation.

The aim is to enable the planter to plan and structure the implementation process in advance, ensuring the successful establishment of the plantain farm. Planning forms part of the initial preparation and will help to limiting unnecessary stoppages during the implementation phase.

Critical factors to consider during this planning exercise are summarised as follows:

- Availability and quality of irrigation water;
- Field selection;
- Mechanical actions to be implemented;
- Chemical needs for pre-plant soil improvement;
- Tools and equipment needed for plantain cultivation;
- Labour needs;
- Irrigation design and installation;
- Leaching schedule;
- Hole preparation;
- Financial requirements and
- Time schedule.


Plantains are vegetatively propagated, most often from suckers (shoots that grow from a bud at the base of the plant) or from corms (underground bulbs known as rhizomes). The use of whole corms is very laborious so it is more common to grow from small pieces of corm.
Please note: There are three different types of plantain suckers which are produced by the mother plant namely; maidenheads, sword suckers and water suckers. Maidenheads have a large pseudostem which does not produce fruit.

Sword suckers have a narrow base, short pseudostem and narrow, blade-like leaves. They produce healthy, fruitful pseudostems when they mature Water suckers have short pseudostems and broad leaves.

Water suckers are not strongly attached to the rhizome and generally produce weaker plants and less fruit. Maidenheads and large sword suckers are preferred over water suckers.

You need to buy your suckers from reputable farm. There is no stable price for suckers, you can get conventional sucker between N50-N100 and hybrid between N120-N200 depending on your source.

Step 5  -  PLANTING
If you are planting for fruit production it should be spaced about 8 to 10 feet.

Please note weed and grass competition should be eliminated prior to planting.

Mulching is useful to prevent weed regrowth, but turf grass may need to be controlled by hoeing or with herbicides.

Irrigation should be applied periodically to thoroughly wet the soil. Avoid standing water, as plantains do not tolerate overly wet conditions

This is the next step after planting.

Manuring plantains with a combination of poultry manure, household waste and woodash improved plantain growth, yield and establishment and greatly reduced infestation by borer weevils and nematodes.


Experts advise intending plantain farmers to consider irrigation before planting, saying the reason Nigeria usually has temporary plantain glut in the market in on-season and scarcity in off-season is because majority of existing and intending plantain farmers are rain dependent.
Said he: “At the onset of rain, they all start planting, which makes the produce to be out at once resulting to glut. If an intending farmer cannot afford to irrigate his/her plantain farm alone, he can do it in partnership or join crowd-funded plantain village project. Intending farmers should also equip themselves with adequate knowledge of plantain cultivation.”

One of the best things about plantain farming is that if the farm is well managed, and soil well nourished, plantain reproduce itself with time.  While you are harvesting the matured plantain, you will see young plantain herb/tree springing up on itself.  This process will continue over the years and the plantain plants will produce and reproduce itself without additional sucker planting.  

The only expenses being to give the soil natural organic feeds from ashes and other household rubbish.


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