How farmers can make money from yam cultivation



The lockdown is a period to be creative as it is virtually difficult to go to the market if you are not mobile.

It is also a boring time for most people who spend all the time indoors sleeping, watching television and eating.

However, you can beat this boredom by taking to yam cultivation.

Also, in this article, AgroPunch details how you can make money from this crop in addition to eating it.

Below are some of the tips:

Cultivate yam: Yam is mostly grown between April and May, during the rainy season.

It yields best at places where there is rainfall of about 150cm throughout the farming season. You can start cultivating yam by clearing the bushes or your farmland and tilling it, making mounds or ridges, depending on the size of yam you want to cultivate and the size you are expecting to harvest.

After making your mounds, you can go ahead planting your small whole yams or portions you cut out from the whole.

After planting the yam, you have to weed the farm as soon as the weeds grow to some height. Yam takes about five months to mature (depending on the specie).

The yield of your yam depends on the type of the soil, specie of yam, crops you inter-planted it with and whether condition.

Yam can be kept for months without getting spoilt, thus its storage is not a headache. Once you harvest your yam, its market is there waiting for you in your neighbourhood, your local market, people living in the city, traders and many more.

Trade yam: If you are not in areas suitable for cultivation of yam, don’t panic because this is another way you can make cash with this important farm product. This is a nice part-time or full-time business one can go into and reap bulky benefits.

It requires capital but depends on how you want to start it. The first thing to do is to locate your expected market (populated cities such as Lagos, Onitsha and Port-Harcourt) and where to source from (places that cultivate enough yam, such as Benue and Ondo).

Make contact with the sellers from the source states (you can get their contact from those traders that are into the business before you or travel to the state and ask people around.

Purchase samples and get them to your expected market. Now, you will choose whether to sell to direct consumers or retailers knowing your profit margin after expenses.

Process yam into flour: This is another way you can make money without going to the farm to cultivate or carrying bulky tubers of yam from one state to another.

Here, your market is almost everywhere but you have to source your raw material (yam) from where you have abundant yam if you hope for much profit margin.

You will add the effort of peeling and slicing the tubers, and then dry them in the sun or oven (whichever way suits you). You need grinding machine to grind the slices into fine powder. You can then package it in your labelled bag of 0.5kg, 1kg, etc.

It is advisable to use your labelled bags for more advertising of your product. People that work in places such as banks and other firms that do not have enough time to make their pounded yam automatically become your customers.

You will need to get your business registered by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control as soon as you start growing, to avoid problems.

Roast, cook or pound yam for sale: In this era, fast food business with varieties of dishes is one lucrative business one can do in major cities of Nigeria where there are market places, shopping malls, workshops and many others.

However, to start up such business as Mr Bigg’s requires heavy capital. You can dive into this business from another angle, which is by providing roasted yam/stew, porridge yam or pounded yam.

First, get stationed at a strategic place in a public area. Make the place (whether rented or built by you) comfortable for anyone to enjoy his/her meal.

You can make only yam your special dish which you can prepare in three ways, that is, as porridge, roasted or pounded.

Use the take-away aluminium foil to dish out your pounded yam to your customers.

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