Planting Guidelines for Native Yam In Nigeria

Seasonal Planting Guidelines for Native Yam In Nigeria [Farmers Guide]

Native yam, also known as cocoyam or taro, is one of the most important crops in Nigeria. is an important staple food crop in Nigeria and is a major source of income for many subsistence farmers. It is an important source of nutrition and an important source of income for many rural households.

Native yam is a perennial, tuberous root crop that is grown in the tropics, subtropics, and warm temperate regions. It is a very versatile crop and can be grown in a variety of soil and climatic conditions. However, it is best suited to the warm and humid areas of Nigeria.

These guidelines will help you maximize your yields while minimizing the risk of crop failure due to varying environmental conditions. In this article, we will discuss the seasonal planting guidelines for native yams in Nigeria and how they can help farmers achieve a successful harvest.

Seasonal Planting Guidelines for Native Yam In Nigeria [Farmers Guide]

Native yam is a popular staple food in Nigeria and is an important source of nutrition for many families. It is also a major source of income for farmers. To ensure a successful harvest, farmers must follow seasonal planting guidelines for native yam.

Step 1. Select A Suitable Site For Planting Native Yam

Choose a site that has well-drained soil and receives plenty of sunlight. When selecting a suitable site for planting native yam in Nigeria, it is important to consider the following factors:


Native yam requires temperatures between 20-30 degrees Celsius for optimum growth. The temperature should be monitored carefully during the growing season to ensure that it does not drop too low or become too hot.

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Native yam prefers well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter and have a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. The soil should also be free of weeds, pests, and diseases.


Native yam requires full sunlight for optimal growth and development. The soil should be shaded from direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day.


Native yam requires adequate water for proper growth and development.

Step 2. Prepare The Soil For Planting

Remove rocks and debris as well as unwanted plants on the land. Clear all dirt from the field. Add organic matter. Incorporate 2-3 inches of compost, aged manure, or peat moss into the soil.

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Till the soil using simple farm tools such as a hoe or spade. You can also use mechanical equipment to till the land such as a rototiller to dig holes for planting that are 12 inches deep and 6-8 inches apart.

As soon as you are done with the hole, add fertilizer by mixing a balanced fertilizer with the soil at the bottom of each hole.

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Step 3. Acquire And Prepare Your Native Yam Seedlings

The first step to preparing native yam seedlings for planting is to acquire seed yams. Native yams are available from local farmers or from agricultural stores. It is important to select the best seed yams for planting. Choose yams that are firm and free from blemishes. Also, ensure you soak the seedlings in water for a few hours before planting.

Step 4: Pre-Sprouting of Native Yam Seedling

Pre-sprouting of native yam seedlings is the process of germinating the native yam seedlings in a controlled environment such as a shallow hole dug under trees, or beneath a shed built before planting them in the field. This process helps to ensure a higher survival rate for the seedlings and increases the yield of the crop.

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Pre-sprouting of native yam seedlings should be done in a warm, humid, and well-ventilated environment. The soil should be moist and well-drained, and the seedlings should be placed under fluorescent light to provide them with the necessary light for germination. The temperature should be between 70-85°F (21-29°C).

Once the seedlings have germinated, they should be transferred to containers and watered regularly. The seedlings should be kept in a greenhouse or other protected area to minimize the risk of frost damage.

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Step 5. Plant The Native Yam Tubers

The best time to plant yam is during the rainy season, which usually lasts from May to September.

Once the seedlings reach a height of about 8 inches, they can be transplanted into the field. It is important to ensure that the soil is well-drained and the seedlings are not overcrowded. The soil should also be fertilized with a balanced fertilizer before transplanting.

It is important to avoid planting during the dry season, as this can cause the yams to dry out and not produce a good yield. Plant the sprouted seed yams in the prepared soil at a depth of 6–8 inches (15–20 cm) in rows that are spaced 12 inches (30 cm) apart.

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Step 6. Water The Planted Tubers

Water the planted tubers thoroughly and consistently to keep them moist. However, avoid overflooding the farmland to avoid the yam seedling getting rot. Water the seedlings twice a day for the first few weeks, allowing the soil to dry slightly between watering.

Step 7. Mulch The Planting Area

Spread a two to four-inch layer of mulch over the planting area. This will help retain moisture, prevent weeds, and provide nutrients for the plants.

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Step 8. Weed Control

Weeds can compete with the yam plants for light, water, and nutrients, resulting in reduced yields. In order to reduce weed pressure and optimize yields, it is important to implement effective weed control measures.

Some options for weed control include mechanical, cultural, and chemical methods. Mechanical methods include hand pulling, hoeing, and cultivating, which can be effective in areas with low weed populations. Cultivation can help to break up the soil and expose buried weed seeds, which can reduce weed populations over time.

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Chemical weed control is another option for controlling weeds in native yam planting in Nigeria. Herbicides can be used to target specific weeds or broad-spectrum herbicides can be used to control all weeds in the area. However, it is important to use herbicides that are approved for use in Nigeria and to follow all label instructions closely.

Step 9: Fertilize The Soil

Fertilize the soil with a balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season. Fertilizer is an important component of successful planting of native yam in Nigeria. It helps to improve soil fertility and promote healthy growth of the crop.

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When applying fertilizer, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Choose a fertilizer that is specifically formulated for yam production. This type of fertilizer contains nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, which are essential for healthy yam growth.
  2. Apply the fertilizer at the base of the yam plant. This is usually done at the beginning of the planting season, when the plants are still young.
  3. Spread the fertilizer evenly over the soil. Be sure to cover the entire area of the planting site.
  4. Water the soil to ensure the fertilizer is absorbed.
  5. Repeat the application process every two to three months.

Step 10. Monitor The Yam Plants For Pests And Diseases

Check the plants regularly for signs of pests and diseases, such as aphids, whiteflies, and fungal diseases.

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Step 11. Harvest The Yams

Harvest the yams when the tops of the plants begin to die back, usually after 8-10 months. Carefully dig up the yams with a shovel and brush off any excess dirt.

Variety Of Such Yam In Nigeria

The article doesn’t specifically mention any particular variety of yam in Nigeria. However, there are several varieties of yam grown in Nigeria, including white yam (Dioscorea rotundata), yellow yam (Dioscorea cayenensis), and water yam (Dioscorea alata).

How Much Is Yam Sold In Nigeria

The price of yam in Nigeria varies depending on the season and location. In general, the price of yam is highest during the off-season when there is a shortage of supply.

On average, a medium-sized tuber of yam can be sold for around 500-1000 naira (approximately 1-2.5 USD) in local markets.

Best Agronomic Practices To Engage In Seasonal Planting Of Yam In Nigeria

The article provides some guidelines for seasonal planting of yam in Nigeria, including land preparation, selection of healthy seed yams, proper spacing, and weed management.

It is also important to choose the right planting season and to apply appropriate fertilizers based on the soil fertility level.

Projected Profit Of Yam In Nigeria

The projected profit of yam in Nigeria depends on several factors such as the yield per hectare, market price, and cost of production.

According to a report by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the average yield of yam in Nigeria is around 10 tons per hectare.

Assuming a market price of 500 naira per tuber, a farmer can potentially earn up to 5 million naira (approximately 12,500 USD) per hectare of yam production.

Common Diseases And Pests Of Yam

Some common diseases and pests of yam in Nigeria include yam mosaic virus, anthracnose, yam nematodes, and yam beetle.

Yam mosaic virus can be managed by removing and destroying infected plants, while anthracnose can be controlled through the use of fungicides.

Yam nematodes can be managed through crop rotation and the use of resistant varieties, while yam beetle can be controlled by applying insecticides or using traps.

Different Propagation Methods Of Yam

Yam can be propagated through several methods, including seed yam, vine cuttings, and mini-setts.

Seed yam is the traditional method of propagation, where the tubers are cut into smaller pieces and planted.

Vine cuttings involve planting sections of the yam vine, while mini-setts are small tubers that are cut into pieces and planted.

The use of mini-setts is becoming increasingly popular in Nigeria due to their higher multiplication rate and faster growth.

Yam Production PDF

Yam is an important crop in many parts of the world, particularly in West Africa. It is a tuberous root vegetable that is high in vitamins and minerals. Yams can be grown in a variety of climates, but they require a long growing season, ample moisture, and well-drained soil.

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The production of yams involves several steps, including land preparation, planting, weeding, harvesting, curing, and storage. A successful yam crop depends on proper management and care.

How To Plant Yam In Nigeria

Step 1. Obtain high-quality yam tuber from a reputable seed vendor.

Step 2. Select a location with well-drained soil and good sunlight exposure.

Step 3. Till the soil to a depth of 8 inches and mix in organic matter like compost or manure.

Step 4. Plant the yam tuber in furrows spaced 18-24 inches apart.

Step 5. Keep the soil moist but not soggy and provide adequate nutrients by adding a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10.

Step 6. Hill up the soil around the plants to prevent tuber rotting.

Step 7. Control weeds by hoeing or mulching with straw or grass clippings.

Step 8. Harvest the yams when the leaves turn yellow and the tubers are mature.

Cost Of Yam Farming In Nigeria

The cost of yam farming in Nigeria varies greatly depending on the size of the farm, the type of yam planted and the production methods used. Generally, costs for yam farming typically include land preparation and planting, cultivation, harvesting, storage, and marketing.

The cost of inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, and labor can also vary greatly. On average, the cost of yam farming in Nigeria is estimated to be around N150,000 – N 350,000 per hectare.

How To Cut Yam For Planting

The process of cutting yam for planting is outlined below.

  1. Start by selecting a healthy yam that hasn’t been damaged or moldy.
  2. Cut off the end of the yam where the stem is located. This will provide an easier way to get the yam out of the ground once it is ready to be harvested.
  3. Cut the yam into several pieces, making sure to use a sharp knife in order to keep the pieces uniform.
  4. Cut each piece into sections that are about the size of an egg. Make sure to leave the skin on each piece.
  5. Place the pieces into a bucket of water and leave them to soak overnight. This will help to soften the yam and make it easier to plant.
  6. When ready to plant, take the pieces out of the water and make a hole in the soil that is slightly larger than the piece of yam.
  7. Place the yam pieces into the holes and lightly cover them with soil.
  8. Water the area to ensure that the yam pieces are well-hydrated.
  9. Check the area occasionally for signs of growth and water as needed.

Yam Farming Profit

Yam farming can be a very profitable venture. The profit potential depends on the size of the farm, the variety of yam grown, and the market demand for the produce. Generally, yam farmers can expect to make a profit of about 10-15% on their investment. This figure can go up to 40-50% if the farm is well managed and the yams are sold in larger quantities to buyers.

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Yam Cultivation In Nigeria

Yam is a major staple crop in Nigeria and is important for food security and income generation. Yams are grown in various parts of the country and are an important source of income for many small-scale farmers.

Nigeria produces over 30 million tons of yams per year, making it the world’s largest producer of yams. Yam cultivation in Nigeria is mainly done in the southwestern part of the country, but some production also takes place in the north. The main yam varieties grown in Nigeria are white, yellow, and red yams.

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Yam cultivation in Nigeria is usually done in three stages. The first stage is land preparation, which involves clearing the land and plowing it. The second stage is planting the yams, which is done by either broadcasting the tubers or by planting them in rows. The third stage is harvesting the yams, which is usually done by hand.

The most important factor for successful yam cultivation in Nigeria is soil fertility. Farmers use a variety of organic and inorganic fertilizers to ensure that the soil is rich in nutrients for the yams to grow properly. Other important factors for successful yam cultivation in Nigeria include adequate rainfall, access to irrigation, and proper pest and disease management.

How Much Is A Ton Of Yam In Nigeria

The price of a ton of yam in Nigeria varies depending on the type and quality of the yam, but generally ranges from about ₦40,000 to ₦150,000.

Land Preparation For Yam

The step involved in land preparation is discussed below

Step 1. Clear the land

The first step in preparing the land for yam is to clear the land of any debris, rocks, weeds, and other vegetation. The land should be cleared to a depth of at least 25 cm.

Step 2. Break the soil

The soil should then be broken up using a spade or shovel. This will help to loosen the soil and create an environment that is conducive for yam growth.

Step 3. Fertilize the soil

Once the soil has been broken up, it should be fertilized with a high-phosphorus fertilizer. This will help the yams to grow and develop a strong root system.

Step 4. Test the soil

It is important to test the soil before planting the yams. The soil should have a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5. If the pH level is too high or too low, it can affect the growth of the yams.


Overall, the best way to ensure a successful crop of native yams in Nigeria is to follow the seasonal planting guidelines provided in this guide. Planting at the right time and in the right conditions will ensure that your yams grow to their full potential, resulting in a satisfying harvest. Thus, following the seasonal planting guidelines of native yams in Nigeria will help ensure a successful crop.

Author: David

David is a Kenyan farmer from the rural village of Nairobi. Growing up, he was surrounded by the beauty of the Kenyan countryside, which sparked his passion for farming. After completing his education, he decided to pursue a career in agriculture and has since dedicated his life to providing food for his local community. David is an experienced farmer and is experienced in a range of agricultural practices, including crop rotation, animal husbandry and soil management. He is passionate about promoting sustainable agriculture and is actively working to reduce food insecurity in his community.

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