Understanding plantain farming in Badagry [A Reporter’s Diary] #SmallBusinessSeries

Follow up from the previous post on our expedition in Badagry

Aside from cassava, plantain is another popular farming because of its versatile uses such as;

  • Plantain chips,
  • Plantain and coconut pancakes,
  • Plantain porridge
  • Plantain flour (popularly called Amala by the Yoruba)

The interesting part about plantain is that it doesn’t have a growing season and is, therefore, available 365 days of the year. Hence it is a very valuable and reliable food source and good source of income. Plantain grows best in moisture-rich tropical climates. And as the tree grows, the flower develops into a bunch of about ten to fifteen fruits.

After the process of planting and nurturing, plantain is harvested after 8-11 months. It is best when unripe but well matured and ready for harvest.

When harvested, it is either consumed unripe by making plantain porridge, chips or dried and processed into plantain flour. But when allowed to ripe, can be boiled, fried, or eaten with other meals like beans, rice or pap, as a side dish.

“When harvested sometimes I sell it for two thousand or two thousand five hundred, either at Agbara market located at Badagry expressway or anybody around the vicinity. while sometimes I enjoy it with my family” Mercy who also owns a plantain farm explains enthusiastically. 

“Nothing about plantain is a waste, plantain also serves as feed for animals like pigs. The plantain peel serves as one of the key ingredient used in making African black soap.” I was surprised to discover one usage of plantain which led me into more discovery of plantain benefit for developing healthy living.

A plantain tree on the process of growth

BENEFITS OF PLANTAIN:

Plantain contains a lot of nutritional value which helps in the development of a healthy body system.

  • Boost Immune System: Apart from vitamin A which is generally known for its improvement in eye health and vision,  Vitamin A plays a big role in skin health and cell growth too. It’s a good effective element for wound healing and prevents inflammation caused by overreacting cells. Vitamin C, though one of the most important vitamins to boost the immune system, is not the only vitamin that boosts the immune system. A serving of plantain offers you about 40% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin A.
  • High Potassium Benefit: Study shows that consuming high potassium levels, lowers the risk of renal disease, stroke and osteoporosis.  Plantain is a very good source of potassium which is good for your heart and other organs. Potassium combats the effects of sodium, which plays a major role in regulating blood pressure. When the plantain is processed as chips, it’s very good to snack on it sometimes. Adding them to your rice, beans or pap as a side dish are great ways to keep up with your daily essential potassium goals. A single serving of plantain offers you about 20% of daily recommended potassium.
  • Prevention of type 2 diabetes: With the high risk of diabetes, consumption of plantain is essential because of the magnesium present which helps in lowering the risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes by controlling blood glucose level via carbohydrate metabolism, most especially for insulin regulation. Consumption of plantain is necessary because of the essential benefit of magnesium needed in having a good health development. A single serving of plantain offers you 16% of the needed magnesium.
  • Improvement Of Gastric Ulcers: Another interesting part of consuming plantain is when processed into powder (Drying and blending of unripe plantain) becomes a great healing effect on gastric ulcer caused by aspirin.

DISCLAIMER: This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not in any way be used as a replacement for professional diagnostics and treatment. Always consult your doctor or health care provider before any health-related decisions or for guidance, counselling and treatment about a specific medical condition.

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