Make Fantastic Money Farming And Exporting Scent Leaf | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Make Fantastic Money Farming And Exporting Scent Leaf

Scent Leaf
Posted: Nov 9, 2016 at 4:04 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Celestine Amoke

Lagos – Recently, there was the cheering news that Anambra State got an order from the United Kingdom to supply scent leaf. It was gathered that the state had to empower 40 cooperative societies from its three senatorial zones to grow the vegetable immediately to be able to meet the order in the next two months. This invariably explains the importance of the vegetable to the international community. It is, however, no less important to local markets as it is always in great demand.

This is an opportunity for any enterprising farmer in and outside Anambra State to cue into the business of farming scent leaf not only to meet the local demand but for export to earn dollars. Why scent leaf, you may ask?

Scent leaf is variously called Pepper Soup Plant, Nchanwu in Igbo, Efinrin in Yoruba or Nton in Efik or Ibibio. The scent leaf is a culinary aromatic vegetable used in preparing pepper soup of all kinds – goat, chicken or even dog pepper soup, Isiewu (goat head pepper soup). It is also used in dried or fresh fish pepper soup.  It can also be used in cow tail or cow leg preparations. It can be grown in all parts of Nigeria but greatly treasured in the southern and Middle Belts of Nigeria.

Medicinal Values

The leaf is in great demand all over the country and even abroad because of its money-making potentials as a spice and medicinal properties.  Experts claim that scent leaf can be used to treat diarrhoea, as a strong antiseptic to treat fresh wound, diabetes and asthma.  It can also be used to relax body tension, lessen stress and treat menstrual pains.  It can also be used as a sedative and anticonvulsant, among others. Scent leaf can be used in form of tea fresh extract or boiled, as dry powder and as pepper soup.

Money potentials

A large farm of this vegetable can earn lots of money.  Cottage industries can exploit it to extract essential oils; dried packaged leaves as spices alone or combined with other local spices; fresh extract of leaves sold on daily basis to herbal hospitals for use of patients. It can be incorporated into mosquito coils or incense to drive away insects and reptiles.  The fresh vegetable can be sold in open markets or delivered directly to hotels, restaurants or prepared for exports.

 Market Research

Before embarking on production of scent leaf, one needs to conduct market research be certain of where to sell before embarking on production.  The size of the market will certainly determine the size of production for it is uneconomic to produce what one cannot sell.


The advantage of scent leaf farming is that it is a business you can start with little capital.  For one starting on a small scale, all that is needed is a piece of land. It could be at your backyard or any open land that is fertile.  You also need some cash to buy seeds or seedlings.


Some implements such as irrigation equipment for dry season farming and other basic tools such as hoes, cutlass and other machinery for clearing and cultivation are needed.


A little skill in gardening is required but where one does not have, one can go for training.  For dry season farming, one must ensure adequate source of water supply through irrigation or one makes use of waterlogged areas.

Producing for Export Market

There are immense opportunities for export of scent leaf and other vegetables to European countries. This is because there is market in Europe for vegetables and spices that often get spoilt here. However, there is a great difference between producing for local markets and for exports.  For years, producing for exports remained unorganised and unharmonised.  Those who dared to break into the EU market were frustrated as there produce were often rejected for lack of proofs that they were free from pests and diseases, and safe for human consumption.

The result was that the vegetables would have earned for the country hard foreign currencies were left to rot and waste.

However, all that has changed as the Federal Government now has an agency, the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), with the mandate to ensure that all plants, animals and aquatic produce and products leaving the shores of this country meet international standard.

The main objective of NAQS is to prevent the introduction, establishment and spread of exotic pests and diseases of agricultural products in the international trade.  It provides an effective science-based regulatory service for quality assurances of agricultural produce through consistent enforcement of sanitary and phytosanitary measures for promoting secured and sustainable agricultural and economic development.

Since NAQS’ creation, the export of Nigeria’ horticultural products has increased with the result that in 2012 $1.6 billion worth of vegetables was exported and between January and July 2013, 1.86 metric tons of vegetables were exported.


To participate in vegetable export trade, the farmer needs to undergo training organised by NAQS to acquire the skills needed.  This is because, as earlier alluded to, production of vegetables for domestic consumption is quite distinct from production for export.

The farmer has to register his farm with NAQS. Thereafter, the quarantine officers would work with the farmer right from seed sourcing, soil preparation, planting, spraying of pesticides to harvesting, just to ensure they are of quality at every stage and all international rules are observed.

The quarantine officers go further to monitor the packaging of the products and screen them to ensure that they are of quality for export.  When the products are certified as having met international standard, a phytosanitary certificate is issued to the farmer. A phytosanitary certificate is an internationally recognised certificate issued by contracting partners (countries that subscribed to International Plant Protection Convention) showing that the products meet international standard.  Without it, the products would be rejected by the importing countries and destroyed.

Those who play in this market make up to $200,000 monthly.  You can seek help on how to export vegetable and fruits from experts. Go ahead you will succeed! 08131595055