Who Knew You Could Make So Much From Potato Production?
The world is divided into two blocs – the developed and underdeveloped nations. The developed nations, because they are self-reliant. The underdeveloped nations, because they are not self-reliant. You have hunger, malnourishment, unemployment, diseases and poverty prevalent in the underdeveloped nations.
In order to eliminate these undesirable traits in us, we must fight hunger, poverty and diseases. One of the ways of fighting these is by developing our agricultural base. We must as a matter of policy produce enough food to feed ourselves, we must be able to export to earn enough foreign exchange and do a lot of other things. This is the essence of this article.
Potato ranks fourth as one of the important crops in the world, yielding over N80 billion for the world annually. Potato is very rich in essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements. It has high quality protein equivalent to that of yam. The average amount of potato protein required for maintenance of nitrogen balance in adults is similar to the amount in an egg. In this regard, production of potato will contribute immensely to our healthcare delivery system. This project will definitely increase the number of menus available in various homes. It has been known that varieties of food available to us in this part of the world are very limited. Thus, this is one of the steps to reverse the trend.
The price of food items will definitely go down, because potato is a substitute to yam. Production of more potato will reduce demand for yam. This will eventually lead to fall in the price of yam. The land requirement for potato is very small. The problem of land procurement is therefore minimal. Export market for potato is also abundant.
It has been discovered that 80 percent of nitrogen requirement for baby can be obtained from potato. 100 grams of potato can supply 13 percent of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended daily allowance of protein for children and up to 7 percent for adult.
Potato has a well-balanced protein-to-calorie ratio. If you eat enough to supply a significant amount of energy, a significant quantity of protein will also be provided. It can be processed into chips, flakes, starch and other forms.
Potato can grow well in Nigeria. The seeds are also available on request. In this vein, the project is technically feasible. In view of the socio-economic benefits stated above, this project is recommended for the consideration of Nigerians.
To establish a potato farm, we need a well-drained land. Cultivation process includes land clearing and preparation, procurement of seeds, planting, herbicide application, weeding, cultural practices and harvesting. Maturity is within six months.
A well-maintained potato farm would yield 10 tons per hectare. We therefore envisage 50 tons from 5 hectares. A ton of potato sells for a minimum of N150,000.
A total revenue of about N7.5 million is expected from this small venture. Investors can be assisted in terms of preparation of feasibility report, procurement of planting materials and other management services.