Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Jun 15, 2021 12:14:34 GMT 1
Nigerian farmers and businessmen with sharp antennae that look far into the future have long discovered the fortune to be made in Ugu business. They have dug in before other people started waking up to see the financial goldmine buried in Ugu farming and exportation in Nigeria.
Ugu (pumpkin Leaves) are greenish leafy vegetables grown in Nigeria and other West African countries. It is called Ugu in Igbo language, Kabewa in Hausa, Ikong-Ubong in Efik, and its botanical name is Telfaria occidentalis.
It contains calcium, Iron, Manganese, potassium; and also a source of sizeable amount of vitamins A, C, B2, and E.
Previously people were just planting the vegetable for family consumption, and sometimes sell the excess to local Ugu sellers. They never thought that the vegetable will develop to something the whole people and those abroad will be looking for on this magnitude.
Ugu business is now a big time venture and many millionaires have been made out of it. In the time past it used to the preferred vegetable of the Igbos of the South East of Nigeria. They use it mainly to prepare vegetable soup and pottage on daily basis.
Others extract the liquid to be used for medicinal purposes by adding milk, tomato paste, malt drink, etc. for instant energy according to them.
The profit potential of Ugu business is very high; almost all tribes in Nigeria consume the vegetable these days. The chance of making a loss in this business is almost zero as the demand far outstrips the supply. This is taken as daily food by majority of the inhabitants of the country.
Ugu leaf is the most consumed vegetable in Southern Nigeria and this has greatly increased its rate of demand in the market.
In our last article we talked about waterleaf, both of them go hand in hand in the vegetable consumption index in Nigeria.
Farming for Ugu is no more for subsistence, it has gone to a more corporate level, and people go to as far as neighboring countries to hire labour to come and farm Ugu vegetable in Nigeria for them.
The gestation period is very short, you can plant and have your initial harvest within 40 days; with this you can easily recover your investment within a very short period of time.
You can harvest repeatedly for about 8 months at about 15 days interval.
The planting and consumption of Ugu is no more seasonal, whenever you plant, it will germinate, and there is a hungry market ready for it.
The farming of pumpkin leaves requires no special experience for you to start; there is always someone with the experience that can put you through.
Nutritional benefits of Fluted Pumpkin Leaves (Ugu):
Ugu leaves are a source of dietary fibre that maintains a healthy digestive system. Improving our digestive system helps in preventing constipation and other cases of ulcer and gastroparesis.
This vegetable should form part of our daily food plan so as to gain the full benefit of the fibre.
It is rich in antioxidants: they are rich in alkaloids, hydrocyanic acid, resins, tannins, and flavonoids. These are powerful antioxidants that offer good immune system benefits. Cancer and the like can be effectively prevented by foods that are rich in antioxidants.
They help in maintaining the body tissues; protein in the leaves help in maintaining and improving body tissues; they include connective tissues, muscles and nervous systems. The vitamins contained in them help to maintain healthy tissues, cells and membrane; and as well as treating wounds due to the presence of vitamin C.
Balances the hormones: Fluted pumpkin leaves possess high protein content, Ugu contains the amount of protein needed to balance hormones, tissue repairs; and regulates the acidities of body cells and organs.
Our main focus in this article is to discuss the farming and the profitability of Ugu leaves; we shall dedicate a full article on the benefits in future.
Marketing of your Ugu vegetables:
You must make sure you maintain your vegetable farm well so that the plants will grow well and give you good yield. Customers prefer Ugu leaves that are fresh and dark green with wide or big leaves.
If people know that you always have vegetables in stock, they will continue to knock on your gate because the demand far outstrips the supply.
You may also decide to sell in bulk to owners of restaurants and big hotels.
Stay with us as we continue to bring to money making ventures that are easy and do not require huge capital outlay.
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