Plantain export business is attractive with huge potentials for wealth creation
Plantain is my choice agricultural food crop today. I remember how my children feel happy whenever “Dodo” is in the menu for lunch or dinner. It is either Rice &dodo or Beans with dodo. In fact, this meal is relished. Different communities in Nigeria prepare plantain differently. Ripe plantain is fried into dodo. Unripe plantain is dried and milled into flour to prepare ‘Amala’ and eaten with vegetable and fish. The unripe plantain is rich in iron, low sugar and is very good for diabetic patients and those recuperating from malarial. It is good as part of the deficiency Anaemia.
When you travel by road from Lagos to Ile-Ife, at a town called Ikire, you see so many young boys and girls selling ‘Dodo Ikire’ by the road side. Some travellers deliberately stop to buy for friends at their destination point. Dodo Ikire. This is a special delicacy made with plantain And fried pepper, onions and locally dried meat or fish. Another delicacy made from plantain is the roasted boil which many people love especially when combine with roasted groundnut. That is the lunch snack of many traders and office workers in the town . Then going abroad, Gizzard-Dodo is a popular delicacy amongst Nigerians in the UK. It is served at parties and social functions. In Jamaica and many Caribbean countries, plantain is a major food crop and export commodity.
Back home, after the harvest, plantain is sold by the road side and transported to major markets in the cities. If we use Lagos as example, Plantain is transported to major markets like Mushin, Mile 12, Jankara and Agege, Just to mention a few. It is from here that retailers go to purchase.
Any food that is popular in Nigeria definitely has huge business potential. Farmers in Nigeria are yet to take advantage of the available opportunities in Plantain Farming to create wealth for themselves. Plantain is expensive in Nigeria and it is in high demand all year round. The mode of preparation for food is wide. You can fry Roast, Dry & Mill, or Roast it. You will just love the meal.
One thing I am very much aware and sure of is that several millions of naira remain untapped in the plantain sub-sector in Nigeria. Most African shops in the UK<USA and other European countries sell Plantain and Banana, but the import is not sourced from Nigeria.
I hope somebody will take up this challenge and invest in plantain plantation establishment with a view to hit the export market