How To Plant Plantain In Swampy Land In Nigeria For Off-season Optimal Yield: An Alternative To Irrigation

alt = "plantain photo"
In 2017, I developed interest to invest in farming. What I had in mind to invest in were cassava and maize farming but I had farmland constraint. There are no much farmlands in Lagos, so access to farmland is difficult and costly in Lagos. A friend of mine suggested plantain farming in swampy land. He told me he has access to such land and would assist me in getting land, if I’m interested. I bought into the idea. Since then I have been making money from it. The  beauty of it all is that it doesn’t take much of my time. I’m going to tell you how you can tap from this profitable business.

Why You Should Invest In Plantain Farming Especially In Swampy Land 

The market is large, expanding and sustainable because it is a basic food item,  its demand increases with scarcity especially during rainy season,  hence there is need to grow plantain in a swampy land or in an upland with irrigation system. The price goes as high as N40,000 per dozen during the rainy season. Plantain is a staple food and very rich in iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamins, calcium, carbohydrates etc. It's a recommended food for diabetic patients. It's a good foreign earner. If you prefer to plant plantain on the upland ecology, then read How to Start Plantain Farming Business in Nigeria and Maximize Profits

Planting Plantain In Swampy Land in Nigeria 

This method of plantain farming is only suitable in the states with swampy land within the rain forest (Southern)  area of Nigeria. It’s important to carry out research and feasibility study before choosing a location for your plantain farm. But I can tell you for free that Lagos and its neighbouring states, and Rivers State are most suitable. Lagos being the largest market for plantain in Nigeria and as cosmopolitan state with little to no farmland, it’s advisable to adopt this method in Lagos and other states close to it. Lagos is estimated to have population of over 22 million people. Most of these people are high income earners who can afford to buy plantain regularly. Lagos State consumes about 50% of national production but contributes only about 5%. Also, if you’re considering to export your produce, Lagos is the gateway in and out of Nigeria. 

alt: = "picture of plantain plantation in a swampy land "

Planting Season 

Planting in swampy land takes place between November to June. For water not to disturb you, plant November to February. During this period, you can intercrop the plantain with maize and vegetables. The money you will make from those crops can foot the running cost of the farm. The intercrops also help to control weeds in the plantation. The only demerit of planting within these months is that expected date of  first harvest of plantain will be November – February of the following year, at these periods the plantain price is at its lowest. Don’t worry, you have many more years harvest in larger quantities. Plantain multiplies geometrically. But if you provide adequate drainage system, it’s better to plant between March to June for you to have your first harvest during off season when the plantain is costly. Plantain stays for about 1 year before you can have the first harvest. So if you plant by March to June, you would expect to harvest by March, June the following year. 

Prices of plantain in Nigeria range from N8000 – N40,000 (wholesale prices)  depending on sizes, seasons and locations. During the rainy season (May – July ) the prices go up between N15,000 – N40,000 depending on sizes, locations. In a place like Lagos plantain sells for N20,000 – N40,000 during the off-season (May - July).

alt: = "picture showing maize in a plantain plantation"


Land Preparation and Planting Distance 

  • Clear  bush and fell all trees
  • Dig cutters and or ditches for drainage
  • Burn the bush. You can burn the push before digging cutters, if there no     much water on the land
  • Plant your plantain. Planting distance 3 X 3m 
Plant any other seasonal crops (cereal or vegetable) like maize, okra, shoko, ugu etc. 

Weed Management 

  • Weed the plantation by hoeing or slashing, or by applying herbicides. Herbicide is more economical. I recommend hoeing only when other crops (maize and vegetables) are planted in the plantation. 
  • Plant other crops in the plantation, it helps to control the weed, and brings residual income.
  • Weed the plantain plantation in 2 months interval in the first year when the plantains are still small, weed in 4 months interval in the subsequent years when the plantain shrubs and leaves won’t allow for much weed to grow in the plantation. 

Integrated Soil Fertilizer Application and Management

  • Application of inorganic fertilizer is optional 
  • You can provide organic manure to the plantains by heaping the weed hay or animal dungs on the plantain
  • If you decide to use inorganic fertilizer,  apply NPK 15:15:15 or FOS:OS:OS twice a year. Use of inorganic fertilizer makes for optimal yield but it affects the shelf life of the pulps. 

Challenges of Planting Plantain in Swampy Land in Nigeria 

There are few challenges in farming plantain in a swampy land that if they are not well managed, can ruin your investment. Hey, I am not trying to discourage you, rather I’m trying to prepare you ahead of time. 

  1. Soil type: The soil type affects the plantain. Plantain survives more in clay, loamy soil rich in organic matters with 5 – 7.5 pH, therefore a very high alkaline concentrated swampy land will have negative effects on the plantain. 
  2. Flooding: plantain requires enough supply of water ,and it's very sensitive to drought, but when the water becomes excess, it affects the plantain. Plantain requires about 270cm annual rain fall. To mitigate loss as a result of flooding, it is important to provide adequate drainage gutters and ditches in the farm to channel the excess water into the carnal or collect and trap it in  ditches. Provision of drainage is mostly needed during the first year when the plantains are still small. After the first year, the soil becomes harder that it wouldn’t require much drainage system.

Conclusion 

Planting plantain in swampy land is cheaper than irrigation system, and therefore a good alternative to irrigation. It’s also more economical in terms of cost of land. Your plantain will not suffer drought. There will be all year round optimal yield, and it’s more profitable than farming on the upland. The benefit of planting plantain in swampy land can’t be over emphasized. There are other crops good to plant on swampy land. You read to know the crops and how to plant them

If you have questions or need further consultations, contact me using the comments section or contact details on Contact page. 

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11 Comments

  1. Goodmorning Sir, thanks for the tips on planting plantain. I have a huge interest in farming but do not know how to go about it as I don't want to run into loss as I don't really have huge capital to start. Also, I heard about plantain sucker multiplier during my nysc days I don't know if you have an idea about it. I would really need ur professional help and advice on how to go about my farming business.

    Thanks..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading.
      Plantain farming is a profitable business. I will be glad to guide you on how to go about it. Are you planning to plant on upland or on swampy land? What's your location, and do you have access to land already? Write to me on ikechukwuevegbu1@gmail.com. Thereafter we can chat on Whatsapp. Thanks

      Delete
  2. Hello thanks for the information. I will need further consultation as i have a swampy land i will like to use for plantain farming business.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello, thanks for sharing this information, I have a swamp land that I want to use for plantain farm, but I don't know if the water is too much, how much water is adequate or too much and how do I manage such land?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading.
      Plantain needs enough water but does not like water-log. So you need to provide gutters that will carry the excess water into the carnal each time rain fall. Before planting, make sure the water is below soil level in such a way that one can walk on the farm without his feet been trapped or seized by in the soil. As time goes on the soil will become harder than one can walk on it with safety boots. I walk with bathroom slippers my farm when it didn't rain for 2 days.

      Delete
    2. Please I don't mind if I can get a swampy land, anywhere in Southwest, am already in plantain farming

      Delete
  4. Really thankful for advice. I would like to start plantain farm on swampy land and would need guidance from you. I am from the Caribbean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading, and reaching out us.
      If you need more guidance, contact us @ evegbuikechukwu88@gmail.com. We will be glad to walk you through establishing successful plantain farm.
      Expecting to receiving from you soon.

      Delete
  5. Thanks for the tips, but I have a question, how do you manage monkies that hunt for plantain on the farm?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ehraheem, thanks for reading and your question.
      I'm aware that monkeys disturb plantain farm. Fortunately, I have not had bad experience with them. They only disturbed the first maize I planted when I started. They have since moved far away from the farm. The reason being that there is no more uncultivated land around. But then, some people who have had the experience say there are 3 possible ways to drive them away: 1. Use of gunshots. If the monkeys hear gunshots in the farm, they will run away and wouldn't return. 2. Setting traps that can catch some and then scare others. 3. Or drug them by putting slipping tablets or igbo in palm win for them to drink and fall asleep till you come and kill them. I have not tried any, and so don't know their efficacy.

      Delete
  6. Good Day sir,
    Thanks for taking your time to put up a piece on plantain and swamp land,you just gave somebody a big encouragement.
    However,I have sent you a mail to discuss my challenges on an offer to use a swampy land by a family but the challenge is the water level even after 3weeks without rain.
    Pls I awaits your reply and exchange of phone numbers so we can talk more on how to utilize the land sir.
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
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