Almost everybody eats plantain. Some people eat it boiled. Some like it roasted. There are others who eat it with palm oil or groundnuts. Whichever way you eat it, it is nutritious. It is medicinal. It can be very profitable.
Experts say its fruits provide one of the major commodities in international trade; but that it is far more important as a starchy staple in local food economies. It contains carbohydrates, phosphorus, calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Over 75 million people in West and Central Africa are estimated to derive more than one –quarter of their food energy requirement from plantain, thus making it one of the most important sources of food energy, third only to cassava and yam. It is a staple diet for diabetic patients.
Plantain does not require much maintenance; also, it requires little investment. Plantain cultivation only requires land, suckers, and a few other things like planting (i.e. labour & clearing). One sucker alone can generate at least eight other suckers. You will need fertilizer at the beginning stage to make the suckers grow.
The market for plantain is stable because demand is high. One hectare of plantain can take up to 2000 suckers, which translates to a minimum of 23 000 bunches. Ample space is needed to yield optimum results. You also need the right species. There are a lot of species. Some species of plantain can grow wild for two years without producing anything. The dwarf variety is ideal. As will be expected, it doesn’t grow too tall, and its canopy is not that wide. Within a season, you can harvest 2-3 times of the dwarf variety.
Though a seasonal plant, plantain are usually available during off seasons.