Yam Farming And Its Economic Importance.

Yam famers have over the years contributed to the economic growth of many African countries. In Nigeria, the numbers of metric tonnes of the tuber crop produced in different states of Nigeria runs in millions.

The multi purpose uses of yam can not be quantified. It can be used for making flours. Yam  flour is used for baking and also for making breads and buiscuits. raw yams can be grinded into paste for making cakes. it can be pounded after cooking and be taken with soups, etc. Yam can be consumed by different varieties of animals and it’s uses to human can not be over emphasized.

There are different varieties of yams. They includes:

1.White yam

2. Yeellow yam

3. Tree leave yam

4.Water yam

5.Chinese yam

6.cocoa yam


The popular species of yam in West Africa are the white yam, yellow yam, and the water yam.

Each specie of yam have their peculiar taste and ways of preparing them. What about farming? Farming of yams can be done according to their varieties. The period of yam farming depends on the climate condition of a given area. In northern Nigeria , the climate condition of the region does not favour the farming of yam. Yams are mostly produced in Benue, Nasarawa , Niger, plateau, Kogi and many more states. It is mostly produced in Benue, Nasarawa and Niger.

1. How to farm white yam

White yams are commercialy produced in large quantities. The beginning of cultivating yams depends on the area. In Benue and Nasaraw, the planting of yam could start from December to begining of March while in other parts of Nigeria, the planting depends on the beginning of the raining season.

Loamy soil is the best form of soil for planting yams. To plant white yam, you must start from clearing of the land, tilling of the soil and heaping of the ridges. The seedling depends on the farmer. To farmers in Benue, they get yam seedling from harvesting time. Harvesting of yam in Benue starts from July.

How to plant and maitain yams

1. Clear the site of the farm

2.till the soil if possible

3. Make your ridges

4. Plant your seedling

5. Clear every shades (shadows of tree branches on your yam ridges) to enable the plant access photosynthesis .

6. After germination of the yam, create a tree branches without shadow for the sprouting yam and rope it to the branches. The germinating yam will climb through the rope to the tree.

7. Weed grasses from the farm regularly.

8. Apply NPK fertilizer if your soil is not loamy.

9.wait for harvest time.

-How To Prepare yam Seedling During Harvest.

1. Dig the yam with weeding knife

2. Do not cut any of the roots

3. Cut the head of the yam and leave small part of the head along with the roots

4. Bring out your main yam from the ground

5. Cover the little head you cut along with the root properly

6. After some weeks, the head will re-generate to fresh yam. This is called the yam seedling.

Yam seedling can also be produced from the main yam by cutting the main part of the yam and preserving it in the soil. In some part of the Nigeria, especially in Benue, the head of yams are not cut during harvest to produce the seedling. They strictly depends on cutting part of the harvested yams to make seedling during dry season. To those parts, they destroy the roots while harvesting.

Note: the procedure above is for white yams.

For yellow yam, the procedure for planting and maintaing it is almost the same with white yam but the difference is that yellow yam is adaptive to shadows or tree shades.

For tree leave yam, water yam and the rest, you may not need to rope them to a sub tree. Other than this, the other procedure remain the same.

The bestt region to practice yarn farming is a region that experience at least six to 8 months of raining season. Yam takes about five months to naturally reproduce. Apart from farming with fertilizer, yams can only be planted once a year.

Any question or addition? Please feel free to contact us through your comments.

(Image source: google)

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