How To Start Yam Farming Business In Nigeria

Yam farming business is a profitable agribusiness venture which you can start on a medium to large scale as the demand for yam is generally very high in Nigeria. There are a lot of opportunities to be explored to make more money from your yam farming business venture.Follow through this article to know how to start your yam farming business.

Yam Farming Business

Yam is consumed almost everywhere in the world, but this particular food is considered popular in Africa. In Nigeria, yam production was what sustained the economy until oil was discovered. Yam farming is cultivated and popular in almost every state of the country as farmers who engage in this kind of farming either sell their yams for money or use it for feeding. Either ways, Yam farming business is a lucrative one which is sure to yield you profit.

Nigeria who is the major producer of yam in the world as a result of our fertile land don’t export to other countries the way Ghana, a neighboring country does on a yearly basis. Yam farming has a lot of advantages all over the world, among which are:

Source of Food

Most African homes consume yam on daily basis in different forms. It can be boiled, fried or roasted and be eaten with oil.

Yam Flour

This is a processed yam powder that can be used for different things like Amala and pounded yam.

How To Start Yam Farming Business In Nigeria

How To Start Yam Farming Business in Nigeria

1. Locate a Suitable Farmland for Yam Farming

Choose your farmland carefully. It is not all farmland that can yield much yam. When choosing a farmland, go for sandy loam soil and silt loam soil. These types of soil can yield much yam but clay loam soils that contain organic matter can do well too when it comes to yam farming. Also look for an upland that has well-drained field because yams do more on such places.

2. Prepare the Farmland for Planting

Once you get a very good farmland, the next should be to clear the surrounding bushes. The clearing should be done on time before rainy season comes and that is around February and April. After clearing the land, push the bushes to one side and burn them. Then the next should be to loosen the soil and make ridge beds where the yams would be planted. These ridge beds should be spaced with one meter away from each other and the height should be one meter too.

3. Prepare the Setts for Planting

Setts are the tubers of yam to be planted. Ensure that healthy tubers are the ones selected so that healthy yield would be expected. These setts can be prepared by cutting them into pieces. The size should be between 50g to 120g but if you don’t want to cut them, you can plant a whole tuber without cutting it for more result.

The setts are classified into four categories: head setts, middle setts, tail setts and whole setts for the whole tubers. The exposed areas of the sett are to be treated with fungicide before being dried with air. In the absence of fungicide, ash should be used. The reason for this is to prevent pests from feeding on them.

4. Planting & Weed Control

This is the next stage and the planting should start between March and April. It should be done before rainy season starts. Basically, 10,000 setts are to be planted on a half a hectare of land. Secondly, the way you weed your farmland, which involves removal of unwanted plants is determined by the rate at which it grows.

5. Harvesting the Yam Crops

When the foliage of the yam begins to turn yellow or dry up, then it is time to harvest it. This period falls between November and February. As the harvesting is going on, you need to set aside some setts that would be planted in the next planting season, and then others can be consumed or used for commercial purposes.

6. Marketing the Yam Crops

Once the yam crops are harvested, you can then market the product. It can be sold locally or internationally, that is people from outside the country can buy the yam crops from you.

Challenges Of Yam Farming Business

1. Lack of experience

Delving into something you don’t have good knowledge of can be so disastrous. That is why it is necessary to go through this article very well before venturing into yam farming. Some people started it without any experience and ended up saying it does not worth it because they wasted their time without achieving any positive result. But when you have a good experience of yam farming, you will have a good success story to tell in yam farming.

2. Pest and diseases

Pests and diseases can render the whole effort useless, so it is a very big challenge in yam farming. To curtail this, you should use fungicide or ash to take care of that.

3. Low and unstable investment in agricultural research

This is another challenge that faces yam farming. Sometimes, there is serious low and unstable investment in the area of research and it affects yam farming.

4. Financial challenges

This is one of the major challenges in yam farming. If there is no money there is no way the ridge beds could be made because laborers have to be paid. Even the clearing of bushes needs money for it to be done.

5. Marketing challenges:

Marketing the farm product could pose another big challenge because if the products are not sold, making profit would be a hard thing.

6. Weed control

Controlling weed can be so tasking. It involves manpower and sometimes money to buy chemicals that will help to control the weed. And if the weeds are not controlled, it poses nuisance to the yam farming.


There is hardly a person you would find who doesn’t eat yam in Nigeria or even the world. It is one of the best sources of starch. The market will always be there for you to sell these yam tubers and make profit from it.

I hope this article “How to start yam farming business in Nigeria” has been helpful.


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