One of the most gratifying sectors in African agriculture today is Yam cultivation. Yam is a staple food across Africa as it has a lot of derivatives, when consumed and when used for other purposes. It is often prepared in many forms; pounded yam, porridge, friend yam, yam with vegetables mention just a few. Its complex carbohydrates and fiber slows the rate at which sugars are released and absorbed into the bloodstream. In addition, because they’re rich in fiber, yam can fill you up without filling out your hips and waistline.
Yam: Symbol of Wealth?
Yam is in high demand and it will be very difficult for you to saturate the market… I mean, we’ll like to see you try! And even if you do, Yam can be exported to other countries for additional revenue so, this situation is a win-win… I guess. The wealth of a man in Igboland (In ancient time) is measured by the quantity of yam he harvested. Yam is a symbol of wealth in Igboland likewise many other places. Fortunately, this has not changed, rather it is our recent acquired poor orientation concerning farming that is trying to change it.
Ghana is the leading exporter of yam accounting for over 94 percent of total yam exports in West Africa, but it is the third largest yam producer in West Africa after Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire.
The big puzzle is: How can Nigeria be the largest producer of yam whilst Ghana is the largest exporter of yam in the same West Africa? It’s simply because Nigeria and Ivory Coasts eyes are still blind to the opportunities that exist in their hands. About 90 percent of Ghana’s yams are exported to the US, UK and the Netherlands.
Yam Farming: The Economic Remunerations.
Do you know that about 50,000 tubers of yam could make you over N10 million in a year?
All it takes to harvest 50,000 tubers of yam in a year: A hundred meters of yam ridge takes 100 yams if spaced 1 meter apart which is the standard recommended spacing. That means that five hundred by five hundred meters of farm land can comfortably give you 50,000 tubers of yam in a year.
There is a narrative about farming that really needs to change— it is a lucrative business and not just another way to feed immediate family. You can actually make money from it.
To cultivate 500 x 500 meters of farmland for yam, you will need N3-4 million and after harvesting and selling, you might make over N10 million just selling locally. That is a N6 million profit in a year. Pretty interesting.
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