We want to encourage farmers in Ogun State to massively produce Pomangranate- Oyebolu, MD Lavenda Micro Fiancne Bank - THE BUSINESS PACKAGE


Tuesday, October 24, 2023

We want to encourage farmers in Ogun State to massively produce Pomangranate- Oyebolu, MD Lavenda Micro Fiancne Bank

Mr Bamidele Oyebolu is the Managing Director of Lavenda Micro Finance  Bank, Lafenwa Abeokuta. He recently organised a  free  seminar to train and sensitise farmers in Ogun State  on the benefits of planting Pomangranate  fruits in commercial quantity. He said his mission is to improve the economic power of the farmers through the planting of this economy tree whose single fruit cost as high as N5,000 naira. The Business  Package met with him in the course of the seminar. Excerpts 

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Q: Pomegranate What is it about and what about it?

A: it is one of the exotic fruits that we have in the world. Talking about Pomangranate , we will also made mention of fruits like Dragon fruits, grapes, apples and the likes and they are very costly. We organise this seminar to ensure that the fruits which has the potential of high and profitable yields gets to out farmers. This is because, these are fruits that  can be grown in Nigeria. They are tropical fruits and Nigeria as it were is a  tropical region. Although, the fruits are very costly, but they can be grown in Nigeria. The cost of importing the fruitd or its seedkings are very high and you know that in Nigeria these days we are short of foreign exchange. Dollars are scarce.That is why we took it upon ourselves to encourage our farmers  to plant and replicate this high yielding fruits.

Q: Since we are in a tropical region, why are these fruits not common in this clime ?

A: We hardly can get these fruits in Nigeria because naturally they are not from our ecosystem. When you talk about Pomangranate  for instance, it is in the middle East. It is common in the desert, but like I said, it can be grown here in Nigeria .

Q: Why have you decided  to give the over 50  participants at this seminar the seedlings for the fruits free of charge despite the high cost ?

A:  Despite the fact that the seedlings are very costly at the rate  of N6,500 per seedlings, we just announced our decision to give every participants at this seminar one seedling each. This is because, we want them to go and replicate it in their communities and localities. We are going  to be training them also on air layering, whereby they can easily multiply the seedlings in order to be able to sell and make huge profits. If they are able to produce up to 100- 200 fruits in a year, it is a lot of money.

Q: Explain the concept of air layering.

A: Air layering is a method of propagating new trees and shrubs from stems still attached to the parent plant. The stem is wrapped with damp moss to encourage roots to form.

This method involves propagating a new plant from a branch still attached to the parent plant, by getting roots to form on the branch. While large number of cuttings can be easily obtained from still green branches or first-year growth, there may be high attrition rate. When you take a plant through that process, it will produce roots which can be used as your own seedings, which means that you can Mass produce from this process . 

The only thing that is certain about this method is that the period of fruiting is shortened. For instance, propagating through the seeds can take up to five to six years , but when yiou use air layering method, you can get the fruits within one to one and a half year. That is the difference and we want our farmers to take advantage of this process in addition to learning about the economy fruits . So, like I said, air layering  deals with the use of the stem to propagate the fruits because seeds take longer time. Air layering is even faster than the process of budding and grafting. 

Q: You said this fruits are very costly, how much does a single fruit goes for ?..

A: About  one kilos of the fruits in this present economy  goes for N10,000 naira which means that a single fruit will cost noting less than N5,000 naira because one  kilos comprises of two fruits.

Q: Is Lavenda Micro fiancne bank going into planting of Pomegranate  in commercial quantity ?

A: We have started already  and we want to encourage  farmers in Ogun State  and in other parts of the county to massively produce Pomangranate because we believe  that in this period of recession, it can help our farmers to grow their finances and they will also pay taxes to the government 

Q: What advice do you have for the government in  terms of the need to propagate this message?.

.A:  Thanks to God that we have a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture  in our midst today.  We are going to work hand in gloves with them to mass produce Pomangranate; to mass produce apples  and grapes around here in Ogun State,  so that Ogun State can be an investors destination of choice. For instance,  our Governor has established a Cargo Airport , so we can airlift from here and it goes straight to other countries of tbe world and we don't need to go to Ikeja to export.  At the long run, it will make our farmers to be  very rich and create economic fortunes for our farmers and even for the state because they will pay taxes 

Q.: What message  do you  have for the farmers and the participants here ?..

A: My advice to them is to put to use all  that they have been taught; they should start planting Pomangranate  and these other exotic fruits  and within a year, there will be good story to tell and they will be the best for it..

Q : What is your name sir ?

A:  My name is Bamidele  Oyebolu , Managing  Director, Lavenda Micro finance Bank, Lafenwa 

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