The vegetable market business thrives in almost every corner of Nigeria, both in rural and urban settings, providing a balanced diet for sustainable nutrition for all age groups. From onions, and garlic to ginger – usually grown in the northern part of the country - to leafy vegetables in the south, there are practically vegetable sellers of different categories in every street of the country, ranging from tray hawkers, wheelbarrow pushers, small street stalls, shop owners, to several shelves in big supermarkets.
An initial attempt to support traders and sellers in the vicinity of the FAYODE office received little cooperation from the local market community association whose leaders turned out to be “local political henchmen” with a bias for their own people. Risking the danger of breaking out of an established system, the Facility circumvented the market association by using an independent process to identify potential grantees among women traders and sellers.
The vegetable market business, as important as it is in the nutrition of all and garnishes traditional sauces and foods as well as the menus of high-end restaurants often times passes through many hands before landing on the consumers’ table. One of such hands are those of Mrs. Arafat Adewale, a popular vegetable trader at Ajuwon market, in the Ifo local government area of Ogun State. Ajuwon is one of FAYODE’s current areas of project implementation.
Mrs. Arafat started her business by hawking leafy vegetables in the Ajuwon area for a period of time before securing an open space in the marketplace where she could display her vegetables to customers. Eventually, she was able to erect a suspended canvas roof supported by two wooden poles which did very little to protect her and her wares from the scorching sun or heavy rains. The shelf-life and quality of her products often suffered resulting in the loss of profit and income.
As mentioned above, FAYODE bypassed the market association and was able to identify Adewale’s fresh vegetable business for support after the standard procedure of identification, assessment, and proposal evaluation. Her major challenge was the absence of a durable covered shed to protect her and her wares from the inevitable forces of nature.
This was duly provided by FAYODE, and now, she can proudly say “Come rain, come sunshine”, she’s in business.