How I’m Making Brisk Business From Garlic – 17-Yr-Old Trader
At 9, Sani Suleiman, who lives in Anguwan Rogo community of Jos North Local Government Area, Plateau, would go to Farin Gada market at regular intervals to learn garlic business, believing that joblessness is not always an excuse for one to remain idle. He saw the need to engage in garlic business.
Suleiman, who has now turned 17, said that garlic, which is one of the many vegetables, is profitable.
The production of garlic is concentrated in the northern Guinea and Sudan Savanna ecological zones, where it is mainly grown under irrigation in the dry season.
In Nigeria, this vegetable can be grown mostly in Zamfara, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kaduna and Bauchi states. Stakeholders said although garlic was used across the length and breadth of Nigeria, not many know that they can make fortunes from cultivating it.
Although Suleiman is not a farmer, he has been into garlic business for more than eight years, and everything has been good for him.
Asked how he started, Suleiman said, “Everything started when I was 9 years old when I felt it wasn’t appropriate to just stay at home after school. I decided that I would learn garlic business with someone I knew in the market.”
The 17-year-old boy said he was not brought to the market by anyone to learn the business; he developed the interest on his own and luckily got a boss who began to put him through.
He said, “The crop is not cultivated in Plateau. We often buy it from Sokoto, where it is massively cultivated. Despite the distance, the business is gainful. If you bought a bag at N30,000 you could sell at N50,000 or even more. You can also buy a bag at N40,000 and if you are fortunate you can sell it N80,000. It is a business that many don’t know about. It is really profitable.”
Why garlic is expensive during cold period
Suleiman said although the commodity was used throughout the year by millions of Nigerians, it is more demanded during the cold weather when more people would require them for various purposes.
He said, “Before the cold season, garlic is not expensive. Like now, you can buy it at a cheaper price, but when it is cold period, the price will rise. A bag of 50kg can be bought at N30,000 now, but during the cold weather, it can be sold at N100,000. This is not a small profit.
“It is more demanded during this period because many people use it to prepare some traditional medicines for ailment like rheumatism, arthritis, amongst others. And that is why the demand for it is high during the cold weather.’’
He further said he had achieved a lot through the business. “The business has been helping me, right from my primary school days to this moment. It helps to solve my academic expenses and other personal problems. I urge others to invest in it if they have the opportunity. They can make a good living out of,” he said.
Asked about the challenges in the business, the boy said, “Actually, the risk is huge if one is not careful. The major difficulty is that whenever garlic is brought from Sokoto you will always have to turn it out from the sacks for some moment or it spoils. But once it dries, it can stay for one year.
Another great advantage of the business is that you hardly lose no matter the situation of the market, which is one of the differences between it and other classes of vegetables.”