How to grow yams

Yams (igname) are the staple food of 60 million Africans living in the tropics. In 2005, 48 million tonnes of yam were cultivated world-wide with Nigeria being the largest producer and exporter. Ninety five percent was consumed in Africa south of the Sahara.

The ideal conditions for growing yams are 70 to 80 degrees F and soil content of pH range from 5.5 to 6.5. Yams are tropical/sub-tropical plants. They love to grow in soft rich soil,  treated with a lot of compost and other rich organic matter. Yams take a year to grow or mature.

1. Prepare your slips or mini-sett during March to July. Get a non-diseased tuber and cut it into sections, and proceed to cut the sections into pieces with each pieces containing a skin surface. Treat exposed fleshy surface with insecticide or anti-fungal or wood-ash.

2. Plant your mini-sett 1 inch deep in soil mounds and  2 to 2.5 ft apart, during April and July. Soil mounds should be 1 feet deep. All weeds should be removed from the soil.

3. Fertilize every two weeks with high phosphorous based fertilizer. Avoid high nitrogen base fertilizers.

tags: igname