Fruit and Vegetable Crop Production in Nigeria: The Gains, Challenges and The Way Forward

Ibeawuchi, I.I, Okoli, N.A, Alagba, R.A, Ofor, M.O, Emma-Okafor, L.C, Peter-Onoh, C.A, Obiefuna, J.C


The major fruits produced in Nigeria include mango, pineapple, plantain/banana, citrus, guava, pawpaw, while vegetables include onion, tomato, okra, pepper, amaranthus, carrot, melon, Corchorus olitorus (ewedu), Hibiscus sabdariffa (sobo), Adansonia digtata (baobab leaves) etc. In Nigeria, enormous quantities of fruits and vegetables are produced and staggering figures are sometimes given as estimated annual production .Fruits and vegetables play a very important role in the nutrition and health especially as they contain substances which regulate or stimulate digestion, act as laxatives or diuretics, pectins and phenoic compounds which play a part in regulating the pH of the intestines. Fruits and vegetables also contribute to the income of both the rural and urban dweller. The industrial potential of many fruits and vegetables available in Nigeria is enormous. What Nigerians need to do is embark on massive production of these fruits and vegetables not only for their high nutritive value but for enhancing the establishment of many processing industries. The development of their industrial uses will stimulate large scale production of the crops and enhanced diversification of entrepreneur to site processing plants in the rural areas which will improve the quality of life of the rural population and reduce the rate of rural-urban migration Fruits and vegetable production in Nigeria is a serious business because it provides a means of livelihood for some people and also play an important role in the improvement of the health of Nigerians

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