Last Updated on
Plantains are the less-sweet, starchier equivalent to the Banana. plantains are an extremely important staple food for people in tropical countries. Plantains are rich in carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, and are easily digestible.
What Is A plantain?.
Plantains are often referred to as Cooking bananas .
They are banana cultivars in the genus Musa whose fruits are generally used in cooking.
They may be eaten ripe or unripe and are generally starchy. Many cooking bananas are referred to as plantains or green bananas, although not all of them are true plantains.
Plantains contain more starch and less sugar than dessert bananas, therefore they are usually cooked or otherwise processed before being eaten.
They are always cooked or fried when eaten green.
At this stage, the pulp is hard and the peel often so stiff that it has to be cut with a knife to be removed.
Health Benefits Of Plantain.
Plantain is one fruit that has so many nutritional benefits some of which are beneficiary to all kinds of persons regardless the age or health status of such individual.
1 . Plantains are rich sources of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, and are easily digestible which makes them a meal for anyone.
2. Plantains contain a good amount of antioxidant in form of Vitamin C which help boost your immune system.
As an antioxidant, it may protect your body against free radical damage that’s associated with aging, heart disease, and even some types of cancer.
plantain vs banana
3. Suffering from High Blood pressure ?, then you should consume more plantain.
The high amount of potassium found in plantains is essential for maintaining the cell and body fluids that control your heart rate and blood pressure.
The fiber in plantains also helps lower your cholesterol, which in turn keeps your heart functioning at its best.
plantain health benefits
4. Health experts have also suggested that unripe plantain (roasted or boiled) with ginger and garlic are wonderful when it comes to matters that concern sexual performance.
So Plantain can boost your sexual performance.
Why You Should Cultivate A Plantain Plantation.
You are possibly seeking a profitable agr-business to venture into and you dont know which crop to cultivate, Maybe you dont have enough cash at hand to cultivate and manage delicate farm products then starting a plantain farm is just right for you.
Here are a few reasons you should cultivate a Plantain plantation .
1 .It is a low capital agric business
Another secret cash machine that people tend to ignore is plantain farming in Nigeria.
Plantain is very easy to cultivate and maintain unlike other cash crops that requires so much time and money to maintain.
All you just need do is to push for the first harvest season then the rest is history.
You dont need extra hand again.
You begin to harvest in due season.
2. Plantain is very popular in the tropical regions.
Plantain is treated in much the same way as potatoes and it comes with similar natural flavor and texture when the unripe fruit is cooked by steaming, boiling or frying.
Plantain fruits all year round, which makes the crop a more reliable all-season staple food, particularly in developing countries like Nigeria with inadequate food storage, preservation technology and transportation.
How To Start A Plantain Farm Business
Are you an entrepreneur seeking to venture into profitable and stress free Agric business, cultivating a Plantain Farm would not be bad idea at all.
In Nigeria, plantain is a special delicacy prepared and consumed by various household in various styles and pattern most of which are Boiling, Roasting and Frying. Recently, plantain has been processed into flour which has been added to other delicacies like Garri and Yam Flour. Plantain flour is also exported from Nigeria to other part of the world.
Here are the few steps required to start your own Plantain Plantation
Get a Fertile Land
One of the most important factors needed in successfully growing a plantain farm is the provision of a very good and fertile soil cited in a very good location preferably a flat land.
According to our basic knowledge in Agriculture plants in general perform better on Loamy soil and the same goes for Plantain the soil should contain enough organic matter with moderate moisture content.
Applying organic manure is not also a bad idea if you intend boosting the fertility of the soil to ensure optimum results
In Nigeria some of the areas with the highest number of plantain plantation include Tropical regions : Edo, Delta, Cross river, Ekiti, Ogun, and other states in the Tropics.
Prepare the Land.
After land acquisition, the next step would be to clear unwanted bushes, Trees, stones and stumps application of fertilizer can also be included alongside this process.
Preparing and Planting Plantain Suckers
Plantain suckers are required to grow new plantains. There are three varieties of plantain suckers and these are.
- Water sucker.
- Maiden Head.
- Sword sucker.
The above mentioned plantain suckers are very good and suitable for plantain farm except that the water sucker plantain sucker is vulnerable to attack from pests and might not produce as expected.
The maidenhead or sword suckers are have the highest level of productivity and produce healthy fruits
Plantain suckers sell for as low as #80 in some places and as high as #150 in others, depending on your location. Most local farmers would give an attractive discount to any buyer buying in bulk.
The next step after selecting your sucker is to plant them, you hire farm laborers to help you with this process.
All these could also be done mechanically if you intend going subscribing to mechanized farming.
keep a distance of about 8-10 feet before planting the next sucker. Ensure that the soil is moderately wet. Plantain plant does not grow well in waterlogged areas.
Weeding and Fertilizer Application
From our previous Knowledge in Agricultural Science, we know that unwanted plants called weed usually compete for nutrients with any crop you intend cultivation. So therefore you should weed every time the land is due.
If appropriate fertilizer is not applied at the start, you can also apply as the plantation grows into maturity. NPK and Plantain leaves can be utilized as fertilizers
Harvesting and Marketing.
The Plantain fruits takes about 8-10 months. After this time out the Plantain continue to produce fruit in due season.
The demand for Plantain is always on the high side, various marketing opportunities for Plantain are
sales in the local market to Market women, An example of good market for Plantain can be found In Mushin area of Lagos, Nigeria.
You could supply to companies that process Plantain into flour
Lastly the demand for Plantain flour in the international market is readily high and profitable, you can source for customers online and get your first supply deal.