The food crisis in Africa and Nigeria in particular is not unconnected with our inability to tap into the abundantly available resources at our disposal to solve our food problems.
Plantain and banana are another set of food crops that can be grown profitably in Nigeria. These crops have been abandoned for ages, but are now very precious in the market.
The botany of plantain and banana does not differ except that storage of carbohydrate in the fruit of plantain is in form of starch while it is sugar in banana fruit.
It has been identified that exploring opportunities in plantain and banana crops will boost the Nigerian economy, hence the need for this write up.
Justification of the project/marketing potential
Establishment of plantain and banana plantation can be justified as follows:
Establishment of such project will increase food production in the country. This will help in combating hunger, underfeeding and malnutrition.
It will help in rural development by providing job opportunities for rural dwellers, because plantain can readily be sold to factories. It will also encourage farmers to establish more plantations.
The market is no doubt guaranteed as Nigerians consume plantain. Plantain flour is also medicinal as it contains less of carbohydrate. It is particularly recommended for diabetic patients.
The project will increase the number of staple foods available for Nigerians.
Establishment of the project will have the multiplier effect on the economy by providing job opportunities for labourers, the market women, the industrial users and help in improving the economic well being of the promoters.
To embark on this project, there is the need for a suitable land where a medium sized factory can be established.
Plantain flour production involves procurement of matured plantain, peeling, chipping, drying, milling and packaging. Implementation procedure includes pre-investment activities, sourcing of appropriate accommodation, procurement of machines and their installation, recruitment and commercial take-off. Investors can be assisted in the establishment of this project.