Agritourism Allows Farmers To Diversify and Has Potential Benefits for Rural Communities

Lagos is considered to have the largest economic activity; Benin city is known for its culture that is a solemn reverence for the past while Plateau State is described as “The Home of Peace and Tourism”. With natural formations of rocks, hills and waterfalls, it derives its name from the Jos Plateau. There is an abundance of things that makes Jos a dream destination, and one of these is the exotic fruits and vegetables that grow there due to the city’s climate. Strawberry is one of the exotic fruits grown in Jos, it’s now the most important produce that shapes the economic power of the people of Chaha community. Chaha is located at the outskirts of Vom in Jos South LGA of Plateau State. Nigerian Strawberry Farmer

Strawberries do not like heat

Higher altitude gives Jos a near-temperate climate and influences growth and productivity of fruit trees much more than any other factor which affects the fruit plants. Strawberry production runs from January through March, and with oversupply at the peak of production comes glut. This raises concern for the farmers because whatever happens, whether there are good buyers or not, harvest of the fruit cannot be delayed. Harvest is usually done in the early hours of the morning and by 8:00 AM, you are sure to find them along the highways hawked by women hoping to make as much as what the farmer gets per kilogram at the farm gate. These women are sometimes the only hope of farmers who do not have access to market for their produce or facilities to store them for even a few days. Strawberries are highly perishable, with no cold storage facilities, the value of post-harvest loss is unquantifiable.  As the internet becomes more accessible, producers are able to connect with consumers from around the country, and some are able to offer same day delivery to major Nigerian cities. However, with limited flights out of Jos, many suppliers are unable to meet the very growing demand.

Resilience and passion are driving change.

The demand for exotic fruits has increased globally, especially since the pandemic started, and consumers are on the lookout for fruits and vegetables that will provide them with beneficial nutrients.

The city of Jos has the potential to drive opportunities within the agricultural sector and young people are leading this change. HRH Farms acquired a previously abandoned fifty-year-old orchard in Plateau State and has been bringing it back to life with the cultivation of exotic fruits like grape, strawberry, Passion fruit, Jackfruit, Soursop & oil Palm. Aminu Bappa an indigene of Plateau State and founder of HRH farms has spent so many resources to harness the untapped opportunities of agriculture and agritourism. With natural formations of rocks, hills and waterfalls, including an abundance of unexploited mineral reserves, wildlife and arable land, many young farmers like Aminu, are working to enhance linkages between tourism and sustainable farming. Agritourism comes with economic benefits for travelers and farmers.

In fact, it is necessary for the survival of some small farms as it diversifies their income streams, allowing them to earn money outside of their regular production season. Tourism and agriculture are important contributors to the development of local economies. Though insecurity has hindered farming activities and food production, there is a great necessity to bring out a new concept that can both promote the tourism, horticulture sectors and ultimately improve the economic condition of farmers in plateau state.

We specialize in the trade, marketing, acquisition, and sale of agricultural-related assets including grains, nuts, and spices.

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Global Flavors: Chili Pepper is the Center of the Spice Food Trends

The spicy food trend is about more than appealing to personal taste; it’s about offering a bold option for your most fearless consumers. It is being driven by consumers’ growing interest in international flavors, which some experts attribute to a collective desire for new experiences in the wake of COVID lockdowns. Spicy foods are becoming progressively more popular, those who can ‘handle the heat’ wear their tolerance like a badge of honor.

African Bird Eye chili
African Birds eye Chili Pepper

Describing the flavor of a chili pepper is challenging because there are over 200 varieties of chili peppers, and each variety has its own unique flavor (ranging from sweet to smokey).

Sweet – Typically the larger chili pepper varieties. These tend to be the mildest.

Hotness – Typically the smaller chili pepper varieties. These tend to be the hottest.

Why Do People Like Heat?

Chili peppers contain a compound called capsaicin and this compound is what causes your mouth to burn when you eat one. When you ingest capsaicin, the pain receptors in your brain are triggered to signal danger and endorphins are released (these are your ‘happy hormones’). Some theorize that people who like spicy food become ‘hooked’ on it because of this hormonal rush. Evidence also suggests that people may like spicy food because they’re attracted to the thrill that comes from feeling like they’re in danger when they know that they’re not actually in any danger at all (like the feeling you get when you ride a roller coaster or watch a scary movie).

How is Heat Measured?

The most common unit of measurement for heat in chilis and peppers is Scoville Heat Units (SHU). With peppers ranging from 0 to 2,000,000 SHUs, this scale is exact and great for food production and testing, albeit a bit complicated. As spicy foods increase in popularity, so do specific flavors. Consumers are not just selecting products based on heat level; now, they prefer specific flavors such as Cayenne, jalapeno, and habanero. Industry trends suggest that heat will become less of a focus for brands; meanwhile, products with complex chili pepper flavors will take center stage to appeal to a larger demographic.

Quality, Sourcing & Safety

For food manufacturers, the biggest challenge that arises when handling chili peppers is consistency.  It is imperative to have a reliable supplier for chili peppers to ensure product consistency in heat and flavor. Sourcing from different suppliers may result in the product being unpredictable. Weather variables, sourcing, processing techniques, and storage conditions all affect the heat and flavor of chili peppers, so do your research before choosing a supplier.

The Velvette Company is dedicated to sourcing locally from farmers. We verify that our suppliers follow strict production, quality assurance and food safety processes that ensure pure products free of contaminants, adulterants, and a flavorful addition to your favorite dishes. Due to the complexity of the spice supply chain, it is very important that we have a formal vetting process for all our suppliers.

When it comes to African chilies there’s always one burning question on everyone’s minds: “How hot is ‘hot’?

We specialize in the trade, marketing, acquisition, and sale of agricultural-related assets including grains, nuts, and spices.

Email: or send us a WhatsApp message.