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Cultivating Yams in Sacks, The Real Deal – Agric extension worker



An agricultural extension worker in Adani-UzoUwani local government area of Enugu state, Hyacinth Onun, has urged Nigerian youths to embrace the new smart farming technique of cultivating yams in bags.

He advocated this innovation in farming describing it as a more beneficial engagement than the interminable wait for non-existent white-collar jobs and more dignifying than the criminal act of internet fraud.
One disclosed that he had found yam farming in sacks as the real deal that could, not only change the lives of many individuals for the better but also, add to the nation’s food security.

He told AnambraDaily, in an exclusive interview in Enugu, that since he began cultivating yams in sacks, his life and fortune had changed dramatically and that he had decided to extend the knowledge to other youths, including students of tertiary institutions. He said the students could become self-reliant, even while in school by growing thousands of tubers of yam.
According to On, “I was initially sceptical about this new method but have since discovered that it would help increase yam production and guarantee food sufficiency in our society if more people can go into it. That is why I am enthusiastic and telling people to try it out.”

He added that the new technique was that yam could be grown in any place, especially inside people’s compounds. “I planted the latest set of new yams inside sacks in my compound. I have also made arrangements with some of my friends to secure a few fenced plots of land where we can plant over 2,000 yam seeds in sacks and nurture them. Our target is a minimum of 5000 yam tubers this year,” he explained.

The further revealed that, with the technique, he and his partners could even produce over 10,000 tubers of yam from a small land space annually since they can grow and harvest twice a year.

Said he, “The advantage is that it doesn’t require a large expanse of land and you are guaranteed abundant and quality tubers of yam.”
On the practical steps in the technique, Onun said since it does not require land preparation and weeding, the most important element for successful yam cultivation in sack or bag is fertiliser. He stressed getting the right fertiliser as a crucial step in the entire process. In his words, “the farmer must ensure that the soil put into the sack is rich with natural, organic compound or chemical fertiliser because that is what the yams need for fruiting, unlike the conventional way of planting where you introduce fertiliser and risk it being washed away by rain.

“The soil should be moist before it is parked into the sacks or bags. The farmer, then selects his yam seeds from a reliable source, bearing in mind that the better the seeds, the higher the chances of higher yields. More so, the seed yam size will depend on the size of bag used for the production,” he explained.
For cultivation, he said, “Place the bags one meter by one meter apart, making sure to have your stakes available for use as soon as the yam starts sprouting and ready to cling on anything standing. The size of stakes used should equally be proportional to the size of the yam seed planted. Direct the tendrils towards the stakes as early as possible, remembering that the tendrils should be placed in a clockwise direction. And keep the bags free of weeds.”

According to him, the yams should be harvested as soon as the leaves turn yellow and start to drop off the tendrils.

“That will be after seven to eight months of planting the yam seeds,” he concluded.

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