Ugu Leaves

 Ugu Leaves

Ugu is scientifically known as Telfairia occidentalis and it is mostly planted in the southern parts of Nigeria. Often times, Ugu is planted because of its edible leaves and sometimes, because of its seeds which produce a special kind of oil used for cooking and soap making.


In Nigeria there are several vegetables such as Tete, Gbure, Waterleaf, Shoko, Ugu, Ewedu, Bitterleaf etc. But of all these vegetables, Ugu is the most expensive and most cross-cultural. This is because it has a high market value. Unlike Ewedu that is common among the Yorubas, Ugu is eaten by almost everybody in Nigeria, including Boko Harams. Are you surprised?
Well that’s the truth, and that’s why you have to exploit the lucrativeness of the Ugu business.

Rural Dwellers

Briefly, a rural area has at least two of the following characteristics.

* Availability of land

* Most of the inhabitants involve in primary production such as farming, fishing, palm wine tapping, etc.

* The population is relatively low.
Now that you have an idea of a rural area, let us continue. Ugu is very cheap in the rural areas because most of the inhabitants have Ugu plantation in their backyard. For instance, Mazi Okonkwo has Ugu in his compound, and Mazi Okafor has Ugu in his backyard and farmland. So you see? Ugu is quite valueless in the rural areas where they are mostly planted. That is why people living in the rural areas either get it free of charge or buy it for as cheap as #20 per one hundred leaves.


As a rural dweller, what then can you do? You can plant Ugu in your backyard or in one of those farms owned by your family or relatives. In less than two months, you may harvest your Ugu and take it to the market in the nearest cities and sell it for a fortune. There are so many market women in the cities who are desperately looking for suppliers, if you are lucky to find them, you could always supply them almost everyday.


Perhaps, you do not want to go through the stress of planting Ugu, you may become a supplier. You may go to Maxi Okonkwo or Maxi Okafor and buy it at a very cheap price. For instance, you could buy a sack of Ugu for as cheap as N1,500 and sell it for N3,000 and above in the nearest city near you. You could buy ten sacks and supply them within two days and make over ten thousand naira. Can you see that I did not lie when I said that Ugu business is an ATM machine in your backyard?

Urban Dwellers

Again, for the sack of clarity, permit me to briefly identify some paramount features of an urban area.

* Agricultural land is scarce.
* Most of the people work in service rendering organizations.
* The population is relatively high.


Urban dwellers as much as their rural counterparts can also exploit the lucrativeness in the Ugu business. Unlike the rural areas, Ugu is very expensive in the urban areas. What the can you do as an urban dweller? You could decide to plant some Ugu seeds in your backyard. I know as much as you do, that land is scarce in the urban areas.


Well, you don’t need a large piece of land to plant Ugu, all you need is a small piece of land. If you are a tenant, don’t worry still. There are so many barren plots of land in the cities looking for people to cultivate them. The owners of those plots of land are tired of paying laborer to weed them, so they will be very happy if you volunteer to farm on those land and save them the cost of paying laborers to weed it.


Sincerely, the owners of the land may be very skeptical at first, but after much thought, and your persuasion, they will give you their say-so. And it is now your duty to turn the piece of land to an ATM machine by planting the golden Ugu on it.


Um, is the process discussed above too rigorous? Okay, there is an alternative. You may decide to travel to the nearest rural area around you and buy the Ugus at a relatively cheap price and sell them to the market women in the cities. But you must be ready for the stress of traveling to the remote villages because that is where you can buy it for a very cheap price and sell it for twice the amount of purchase.

Merit Of The Ugu Business

* Large market– as stated earlier, Ugu is eaten by almost everyone in Nigeria.

* It can be easily transported by road. It is not like electronics or cows that may need licenses.

* As a plant, Ugu can survive droughts.

* Ugu seeds are not expensive and very easy to get.

* You can start the business with a token.

* The business can be done on part-time basis.

* The minimum profit you can make is double of your investment.

Precaution / RISK

* You must protect your Ugu farm from goats and other herbivores. If you are careless, they will reduce your farm to a football field.

* Friends and Family Members– as soon as you start the Ugu business, your friends and family members may expect that you give them free of charge. That is why you need to be very careful, I am not saying you should be stingy, but be smart, otherwise your generosity may ruin your infant business.

* Ensure you get reliable customers before you harvest or buy Ugu from the rural areas. This is because vegetables only command high prices when they are still very fresh.