Nigeria is the largest producer of plantain in West Africa, having an annual production of about 2.4 million metric tons, with about 49% of farming households producing plantain as their main crop. Presently in Nigeria, plantain production is becoming a significant economic activity for income for both large scale and small-holder farmers, and it is one of the primary commodities for investment across the south zone in Nigeria, occupying a strategic position for rapid food production.
With the potential for industrial processing of plantain, which has recently been adopted, and the increased interest in production by small and large-scale farms in the country, it is believed that Nigeria will continue to be one of the world’s largest producers of plantain. In view of the significant contributions of plantain to the economic development and food security of both rural and urban households in Nigeria, it is imperative to understand the network, linkages, flow, volume and value added among actors in the Plantain Value Chain.
Village consumers get their raw plantain directly from the farmers followed closely by local market while city consumers get raw plantain mostly from the markets in their neighborhood and others purchase directly from plantain retailers.
The marketing of plantain is dominated by females who are financially constrained and depend on their meager personal funds, especially for fresh plantain marketers.
There is a need for a concerted effort to provide these processors with modern processing equipment. This will encourage further production and ensure employment as well as improved income for the various actors in the plantain value chain.
Plantain consumption cuts across various status and age grade and this makes plantain an important food security crop in the study area. It is mostly consumed at home as fried ripe plantain (dodo) and in the cooked form. Plantain flour consumption is more common in the cities across the region due to its perceived health benefits while unripe fried plantain chips serves as snacks easily consumed by city dwellers as well as travellers across the study area. The perceived nutritious values, as well as taste of the various forms of plantain product, are the main drivers of plantain consumption.
Article written by:
Adeolu Babatunde Ayanwale, Fatunbi Oluwole Abiodun and Ojo Mathew Paul