Irish potato is a mild crop that matures well on Low temperature of 15-20C, it requires high altitude that’s why South Africa grow them on large commercial basis. In Nigeria Plateau State are the major producers of Irish potato. Other places with high altitudes are: Mambilla Plateau, Taraba State, Obudu, Cross River State. Irish potato farming can breed well during harmattan when the North is generating cold. Places like: Zaria, Kaduna State, Borno and some part of Nsukka in Enugu State. Irish is a staple food classified under vegetable. And it is highly demanded all over the globe, Nigeria not exceptional.
Nigeria is the 8th producers of Irish potato in Africa producing about 843,000 tons yet consumes more than 1 million tonnes yearly. Most Irish potato used in fast food joints are imported in frozen form. It is peeled, sliced and frozen. That is why we are boosting more tycoons to invest in large-scale profitable Irish potato farming. To meet up with local demand and for export. It is a concealed stem identified as root crop and not a root. Irish potato contains 2% protein and 18% starch. Grows well when the days are warm and the night cold. Irish potato can be planted in bags and basins particularly for those who are in the cities because they can make the most of little space for great results. To start Irish potato farming you have to buy quality seed from a known seed company.
Read Also: ways help my unbelief is a powerful prayer
For Irish potato farm, cultivate the land very well to get them loose, weighty soil will make the roots hard, small and it can grow in a wide variety of soil. But a well-drained sandy loam rich in organic matter is idea it requires partially acidic PH of 5.5-6.5. Use a fallow land that has not be used for less than 2 years in order to prevent the activities of pest and diseases. Prepare furrow of 15cm, 75cm apart. It helps in drainage and will give the plant sufficient space to establish. At the same time minimizing competition for nutrients.
Cultivation should be done during the early rains: from March-April. Potato is nurtured from the parent tuber that has developed flower on it. Arrange the potato seed by cutting into tiny sizes about 30-35cm or 35-40cm in size. If the seed is very tiny, it will yield frail plant use developed potato about 1 and ½ inches in diameter Place the seed potato in a warm place between 60-70 F a week to planting. They are ready for planting when the sprout is about’ – long. Cut the potato into 2 with each having 2 flowers. Put the cut potato in a place that has room temperature for 2-3days. Before planting dust them in agricultural sulphur this will safeguard the bare surface from fungi disease. Bury the seed potato in the furrow about 40cm deep. place the potato seed in the hole with the eyes pointing up. Cover it with sand, make it flat and water. The potato will germinate in 2 weeks 5 weeks after planting pile sand round the potato stalks. It will help the new potatoes develop out from the planted tubers. Often hill the plant so that the new tubers are not visible to direct sunlight that can turn them green. There are many types with diverse skin colors, we have: red flesh, white flesh and yellow flesh. The commonest ones are: the red and the white skin but the red variety stay longer than the white. That is why you should start Irish potato farming with the ones that appeals market the most.
Apply manure 2 weeks after germination for Irish potato needs nutrient to produce good tubers. You can use NPK of 8:11:18
Weeding should be manual except you can sensibly use herbicides to attack them. Too much water increases the holes on the tuber and makes them rot quickly. Water when essential.
Pest/Diseases In Irish Potato Farming
Pest and diseases starts their activities instantly after germination. Sucking pests such as white flies and aphids affects Irish potato extremely. Others are caterpillar, tuber moth and leaf miner. Potato blight is a fungus disease called Phytophthora infection that affects leaves and stem. Attack it the moment you notice their existence as any delay will result in 100% destruction within 5 days.
The affected part normally display soaked dark water injury then after few days the potato plant will seem burnt as if fire was set on it. Always spray fungicide every week. Also apply preventive fungicide when there is high humidity or fluctuating temperature sers in.
Bacteria wilt causes extensive losses. Use herbicide such as touch down, Sevin an insecticide and neem oil Eelworm can live about 20-30 years. Plant disease and pest resistant variety. Practice rotational farming. Avoid planting okra, pepper, garden eggs and tomatoes in potato farm.
If you plant in April harvest will be in August, potato develops in about two days depending on the variety some can be less or more. When matured, the leaves will become yellow while the plants will die-back. Let the potato stay for 2-3 weeks before harvesting so that their covering can become hard and smooth. Use your hand, shovel or hand fork to kick them from the soil. Care must be taken not to create wound on the tubers because they don’t store well Pull the tubers from the vine and shake sand away. Yield is 5o tons per hectare
Don’t wash before storage for it will boost deterioration of excellence in the course of storage. Keep the potatoes in a dry place to heal for 2 weeks, select dried and soft ones out. Store in cold storage facility of 30 t it can stay for about a year in this condition.
Distribute to supermarkets, large malls, market traders, potato chips producers, bakers who mush it for baking etc. You can freeze them and stock to fast food joints.
Reasons You Should Venture Into Irish Potato Farming
- It is very easy and cheap to plant
- Irish potato farming is actually lucrative; it trades greater than sweet potato and yam
- The demand for it is increasing by the day.
- It does not need special requirement, anyone can do it.
Health Benefit Of Irish Potato
- It doesn’t contain cholesterol or fat but contains low calories Rich in Vitamin C, B6, Potassium, iron and fiber.
- The fiber helps blood cholesterol level.
- The potassium content helps in lowering blood pressure.
- Preserves brain and nervous health system because of Vitamin B6.
Irish Potato Sack Farming
Mix sand and farmyard manure in the ratio of 1:1. You have to water it further because the dampness retaining capacity of the natural ground cannot be compared to that of sack. A good manure soil will increase damp holding capacity. A sack is expected to yield 20 kg. 520 sacks if well-managed will yield about 10 times. You can also use bowl but you will have to support the plant
Read Also: How To Start Garden Egg Farming
How To Start Snail Farming Business
Snail farming is actually simple and also a rewarding business to embark on. Snail meat has many nutrients: it is rich in vitamin A, high in protein and low in fat. For health benefit, people now choose snail meat to beef, pork, livestock etc. & this has increased the price rate of snails. in this post, you will discover how to start snail farming business
Snail farming is slow but it’s an absolute means of making money. It will take a year to start making profits. & the major producers of snail globally are France
Snails reproduce very fast in large numbers. They are hermaphrodites in nature that is why the reproduce quickly. One snail can lay between 80 to 100 eggs, 6 times in a year
Things To Consider Before Starting Snail Farming Business
Since they are high in reproduction, their breeding will depend to a Large extent on their housing.
Other things to consider are:
- Health of the shell
- The location
- Species and
- The means of transporting them to the farm from their place of purchase.
- Availability of funds for snail farming
The breeders should be between 12-24 months old and snails from the wild are advisable for a start since they have not undergone stress. They are not in contact with snail trails from other snails in the ‘arm that can reduce their immunity and fertility Also, do not use snails bought from the market because they have undergone so many stress and strain.
Snails are simple to feed. They survive on plant and contaminated food. There are concentrates now to feed snails, but it is inexpensive to feed them with natural food. These includes, fruits especially watermelon, banana, carrot, pawpaw, cucumber and vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, pumpkin leaves etc.
Snails don’t like hairy or waxy food. It is important to feed them with diverse food substrate for their optimum development. It is also important to know how to share their food: the young snails will feed on juicy food while the adults feed on hard food.
Snails survive on plants, vegetables, tubers, domestic/industrial waste etc. These things can be sourced for around us, especially the fruits and leaves can be gotten from fruits and vegetable markets, bushes, houses etc
Read Also: Bleach production Business In Nigeria
How To Start Snail Farming Business
There are very many snail species but the most commercially viable ones are:
Achatina fulica: This giant land snail is Large and of air breathing specie. They are the smallest in size when matched to other type for snail farming in Nigeria. The shell is reddish brown in colour with Light yellowish vertical strips. Their colour varies in regards to their diet and environment. The commonest colour is coffee brown.
Achatina achatina: Their common name is giant Ghana snail and are referred to as the land snail. They originate from Nigeria and spread to countries like Ghana and Liberia, their shell length can reach 200mm and l00mm in diameter. The colour of their shell is silver brown and sometimes oval.
Achatina marginata: Their common name is the Giant West African snail, it is also a specie of air breathing tropical land snail. They can grow up to 2ocm in length and may live for more than l0 years.
For commercial purposes, Achatina achatina is the greatest to farm with because they produce very big and are known to be the major snail specie in the world.
How To Identify The Three Species
Achatina achatina are yellow black with a pointed tip. Marginata has both yellow and black bands but are very faint with a roundish and pinkish tip. Most garden snails are fulica.
As already said the success or failure of snail farming business depends to a large extent on the availability of space. The population of snails affects the development and the rearing capacity. Snails that are averagely stocked breeds well because the can easily discover matching mates to choose from.
Snails that are densely populated grows slowly even with abundant food and their mortality rate will be equally high because diseases can easily break out which will be transmitted, and finally mature into reduced adults, laying little clutches of eggs.
Calcium In Snail Farming
It is very vital to feed snails with calcium: the absence of it will slow down their development rate. They will become thinner or smallish in size. Place a vessel of calcium in the pen for the snails to feed on each time they want to.
Cabbage peels is a good source of calcium. It has vital minerals (elements) that build snails up. Another good source of calcium is the broken fragments of limestone, which one can be found in livestock shop.
Once there is deficiency of calcium in snails, their shell will crack and they struggle to force themselves out from the cracked area in the process they hang and die. That is why the importance of calcium cannot be overemphasized
Snails are hermaphrodites in nature but it takes two snails to breed. When two snails mate of different sizes the bigger one will be the one to carry the eggs, once they have already mated, they will keep producing eggs in multiple clutches in sets, A snail can lay eggs in clutches severally months apart thereby giving the young snails greater chance to survive.
Snails bury their eggs in the soil so you have to deep your hands into the soil, search and remove them, then put them in the hatchery within 2-3 weeks they will hatch under good condition (23-25 Celsius and 85% humidity).
Erotic maturity in giant African snails is around 6-16 months depending on these 3 reasons: feeding, calcium intake and their ecological conditions.
Building Of Snail Pens
Build snail pens away from the direction of the wind because wind increases the rate of moisture lost in snails thereby making them dehydrate. To reduce the volume of breeze entering the pens plant trees around example plantain plant, moringa trees etc.
Burn the soil with fire or pour used engine oil on the soil, spread thick cellophane on it before building on top after placing the soil.
Or you do it this way dig into the soil the area you want to use, seal the bottom from pests/ borrowers, and then fill the pit with substrate a little above ground layer. To protect against flying insects use a layer of mosquito or window net with chicken wire to prevent insects from entering the pens.
Construct your pens in view of the segment for adult, where the hatched snails will be put and empty pens for hatching.
The best kind of snail rearing is the open ranch method. However, snails can be teared even in bounded areas.
Snail habitat is the soil as such the best soil for rearing snail is sandy-loam, acidic soil should be avoided because snail eats substrate from the ground, drink water and lay eggs on the ground. Avoid using a waterlog area too as this is not good for the wellbeing of the snail. When you provide adequate treatment, you will have the best kind of snails.
How To Control Pet Mid Diseases In Snail Rearing
The specie that carries pest and diseases most are the Achatina fulica, so you have to prevent rats from entering into the pens. Ants are a major problem in snail farming to prevent them plant trees such as marigold, basil others are coffee grounds, citrus peels etc.
Apply insects’ powder around the outer area of the pens to tackle crawling insect example Rambo powder etc. You can also pour used engine oil too.
Find hotels, fast food joints, road sellers, inns, eateries, personalities, friends, open market and sell your snails. You can even prepare them as frozen snails and sell them just as ice fish is done, high class people in the society will buy from you because you would have saved them the time to prepare them.
In conclusion, you can even roast or fry them to sell by yourself this way you will make more money than selling them in bulk. You can distribute snails as escargot (already prepared snails) and make huge profits.