Nothing beats the feeling of eating a well-prepared and delicious and afang soup with any swallow of your choice. Afang leaves scientifically known as Gnetum africanum or okazi in Igbo is highly sought after. You can venture into the production of Afang leaves used in the cooking of the delicacy, Afang soup.
Nnamonso Effiong Ukpong is a 43-year-old indigene of Ikot Uba in Ibiono Ibom Local government area of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria. She is a 2005 graduate of Computer science who decided to venture into the cultivation of Afang to pay her bills and impact positively on society.
Afang leaf is used within and outside of Akwa Ibom State. It is factual that a lot of people love Afang soup and no event is complete without the presence of the soup, so there are huge economic potentials in Afang production. Nnamonso says she is running a new production cycle and she is optimistic of good yields after the expected three years that Afang takes before becoming due for harvesting. Her low point is the small space that is available to her for cultivation and the need for expansion.
Despite the challenges, she says she has never given up. As a starter, she had to learn the special skill of staking and other skills required for the processes involved in the cultivation of Afang. She also brought in people who have the relevant skill to assist.
Nnamonso looks forward to engagements with policymakers in the area of funding to scale her business, in her words, “To get the best out of this business, I need to expand it and also bring in other food crops like tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, turmeric, etc. So I need a bigger land to be able to accomplish this.”
To prospective Afang producers, Nnamonso advises that since Afang takes a minimum of three years before harvesting, you should not look at immediate but long term benefits as you move in to invest.
Entrepreneurship helps boost the economy of the state and country. The demand for Afang leaves never reduces, so you should venture into Afang production like Nnamonso and reap the economic benefits.