The Economic Importance Of Ugu (pumpkin Leaves) To The Rural Communities In Mbanabo Clan (a Case Of Selected Communities)

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In this research work titled “The economic importance of Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) to the rural communities in Mbanabo clan” with a particular reference to Selected Communities. The researcher evaluated the impact of Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) cultivation and production in the growth and development of Enugu state. Ascertained the extent at which Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) is been produced in Mbanabo community. Identified the challenges faced by the farmers in the rural communities in Mbanabo clan. And also proffer possible solutions to the problems identified. Data for the study was sourced from two main sources Primary and Secondary. Primary data were sourced from the use of questionnaires and oral interviews. Secondary data were sourced from journals, and other relevant materials. Extensive literature review was carried out on the direct literature and indirect literature on books, journals and past works. The research instrument used in this study includes oral interview and questionnaire. The questionnaire is structural as to contain both close and open ended question. Simple tables and percentages were used in treatment of data. At the end the researcher found out that Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) is very important in the development of Enugu state and Mbanabo in particular. It was also discovered Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) cultivation has significant impact on job creation in Mbanabo community and Enugu state in general. This study equally shows that the people of Mbanabo cultivates Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) in the recent time to a large extent. It was equally observed that there are so many problems associated with Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) cultivation in Mbanabo and proffer possible solutions to the problems identified. Based on the finding the researcher recommends that Agricultural mechanization should be encouraged as it would reduce labor cost. This can be achieved through the provision of tractors to farmers groups at subsidized prices and establishment of tractor hiring centre’s at affordable prices.  Agro-chemicals especially fertilizers should also be provided by government to farmers at subsidized rate. This will also help to reduce the cost of farm inputs and increase productivity. The cost of planting materials Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) constitutes major part of variable costs of Ugu production. Government should therefore commercialize Ugu mini sett technique and make it available and affordable for rural farmers in the state.





Title page        .       .       .       .       .       .       .       .       .         ii

Approval page.        .       .       .       .       .       .       .         iii

Dedication.      .       .       .       .       .       .       .       .         iv

Acknowledgement..       .       .       .       .       .       .         v

Abstract..       .       .       .       .       .       .       .       .         vi

Table of contents    .       .       .       .       .       .       .         vii


1.0   Introduction    .       .       .       .       .       .       .          1

1.1      Background of the study        .       .       .       .          1

1.2      Statement of problems   .       .       .       .       .          4

1.3      Objective of the study.    .       .       .       .       .          6

1.4      Research Question.        .       .       .       .       .       .          7

1.5      Significance of the study.       .       .       .       .          8

1.6      Scope and limitation of the study..       .       .          9

1.7      Definition of Terms.       .       .       .       .       .          9



2.1 Ecology, Growth And Development  .       .       .          12

2.2 Production And Management   .       .       .       .          12

2.3 Harvesting.       .       .       .       .       .       .       .          14

2.4   Processing and Preservation  .       .       .       .          15

2.5 Marketing.       .       .       .       .       .       .       .          17

2.6 Nutritional Value      .       .       .       .       .       .          18

2.7 Uses  .       .       .       .       .       .       .       .       .          20

2.8 Health Benefits Of Fluted Pumpkin.       .       .          22

        Reference        .       .       .       .       .       .       .       .          25


3.0   Research Design and Methodology

3.1   Research Method    .       .       .       .       .       .          30

3.2   Research design.     .       .       .       .       .       .          31

3.3   Population of the study  .       .       .       .       .          32

3.4   Determination sample size.   .       .       .       .          33

3.5   Sampling Technique       .       .       .       .       .          35

3.6   Measurement Instrument      .       .       .       .          35

3.7   Reliability  and Validity of Instrument   .       .          36

3.8   Method of Data Collection      .       .       .       .          38


4.0 Data Presentation, Analysis and Result

4.1   Data Presentation..       .       .       .       .       .          40


5.0   Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1   Summary of Findings.    .       .       .       .       .          50

5.2   Conclusions.   .       .       .       .       .       .       .          51

5.3   Recommendations..       .       .       .       .       .          53

Bibliography   .       .       .       .       .       .       .          55

Appendix I.      .       .       .       .       .       .       .          60

Appendix II      .       .       .       .       .       .       .          61



1.1 Background Of The Study

Fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis HOOK. F., Family: Curcubitaceae) probably originated from the south eastern Nigeria, and is widely distributed among the Igbo speaking people, particularly around Imo state, Nigeria Esiaba, (2002), where it has the widest diversity (variation in pod and seed colour, seed and plant vigour, anthocyanin content of leaves and petioles or shoots, leaf size and their succulence, dioecious or monoecious plants) (Chewya 2009).

Leaves are spirally arranged, with 3-5.5 cm long while female flowers are solitary in leaf axils; they are 5- merous and cream coloured; fruit is drooping, ellipsoid berry 40- 95 cm by 20-50 and weighs about 10 kg; seedS are compressed ovoid about 4.5 cm long, black or brown – red Grubben (2004). It is a herb climbing by coiled, often branched tendrils to a height of over 20 M. The root system rantify the top surface of the soil, stem is angular glabious and fibous when old. There are two main varieties in Nigeria: Ugu-ala (succulent, broad leaves, mall black seeds about 12 g, a thick vine and slow growth); Ugu-elu (high growth rate, large brown coloured seeds of 20 g or more, fast emergence, thin stems and small leaves) (Omidiji, 2007; Chweya and Eyzaguirre, 2009; Odiaka, 2001). A third cultivar, Nsukka local was selected from local land races and is tolerant to root knot nematodes. It is widely cultivated in the West and Central Africa (Benin Republic, Cameroon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone to Angola, and up to Uganda in east Africa). It is called ‘ugu’ by the Igbos, ‘ugwu’ by the Yorubas and ‘ekobon’ by the Cameroonians (FAO, 2008; Schippers, 2002; Grubben and Denton, 2004). It has a close relative, Telfairia pedata (Sims) Hook which used to be cultivated in Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi Mozambigue, Rwanda. Tanzania, Uganda, and Zanzibar (Chihande, et al., 2007; Schippers,


Apart from cooking, pumpkin vegetable has been known to increase the volume of the red blood cell when consumed fresh, without being cooked. It’s blood enhancing nutrients gives it the ability to expand the volume of your blood at a very short time after consumption, It is of course natural for a vegetable of these benefits and usage to be in high demand, anyone
who can cultivate Ugu, is absolutely going to make good money selling it and can be cultivated in every part of Nigeria due to the plant’s tolerant of drought and poor soil.


1.2 Statement Of Problem

Vegetable farming is one aspect of farming in Nigeria that is capable of bringing quick cash to the would be farmer this season. There are so many people in the streets of Lagos who have no business being in Lagos. While they waste away in poverty, hoping for a better tomorrow; opportunity to make good money through farming is actually passing them by on daily basis.

In Nigeria, of those days, the term ‘Farmer’ is heavily associated with poverty and illiteracy. But that was then, not now anymore, when farmers are becoming the richest people (I heard that one of the richest men in China is a farmer) and leaving the best of life possible.

Vegetable farming happens to be one of the easiest agricultural engagements, and any kind of edible vegetable is always in hot demand all year round. One good example is Fluted Pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis) popularly known as Ugu (It’s Igbo name) across Nigeria.  Ugu vegetable is by far, the most consumed vegetable of any kind in Nigeria. An acre size Ugu farm is capable of turning in above N500,000 and it will take you less than N60,000 to cultivate one acre farm of fluted pumpkin. If you are in Lagos, the entire Power Line of hundreds of Acres, that stretched from Egbin power station in Ijede, Ikorodu, down to almost Ikorodu garage are extremely good for Ugu farming and you can get them almost free to cultivate your pumpkin and other

Some popular Vegetables in Nigeria that you can Cultivate Fluted Pumpkin – Like I’ve said before, Pumpkin vegetable is the most consumed vegetable by Nigerians of all class. It is used to prepare varieties of dishes and it’s very nutritious too. When you talk about soup in Nigeria, you are directly talking about ugu because, almost all Nigerian soups are cooked with this vegetable.

1.3 Objectives of the study

The aim of this research work is to examine the economic importance of Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) to the rural communities in Mbanabo clan.

The specific objectives of this research work includes the following;

1.  To examine the contributions of Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) production in the economic growth of Mbanabo communities.

2.  To evaluate the impact of Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) cultivation and production in the growth and development of Enugu state.

3.  To ascertain the extent at which Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) is been produced in Mbanabo communities.

4.  To identify the challenges faced by the farmers in the rural communities in Mbanabo clan. And also proffer solutions to the problems identified.

1.4 Research Questions

For the researcher to carry out extensive study on the subject matter she formulated the following research questions;

1.  Does of Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) production contribute to the economic growth of Mbanabo communities?

2.  Does Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) cultivation and production have any impact in the growth and development of Enugu state?

3.  To what extent are Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) been produced in Mbanabo communities?

4.  What are the challenges faced by the farmers in the rural communities in Mbanabo clan?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

Since the purpose this study is “examine the economic importance of Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) to the rural communities in Mbanabo clan.” this write up will be of immense value to:

i) To students: to widen their knowledge in the discipline, research skills and resources materials.

ii) The society: This is drawn from rural setting and developing rural setting implies the development of the society is standard of living will improve, employment generated and investment created.

iii)  Policy makers: Encouraging the policy makers to create and understand the necessity to promote agricultural production for the development of the country Nigeria.

1.6 Scope And Limitation Of The Study

        The scope covers examine the economic importance of Ugu (Pumpkin leaves) to the rural communities of Mbanabo clan. This study was not without limitations.

 Apathy on the part of some respond dents, poor record keeping, and difficulty encountered in finding related materials for literature review.

     The limitations notwithstanding, the findings of this study are satisfactory efforts made to ensure that the research was carried out under conditions that ensured reliable and valid conclusions.

1.7 Definition Of Terms


The entails transformation, advancement to better and desired state.



Rural area:

    This connotes the interior or remote parts of the local government which the central government wants to develop by creating local government.

Rural development:

     Deriving from our understanding of what development is then, that part of development that seeks to enhance the quality of life in the rural areas by providing basic infrastructural facilities.

Local government:

   The third tier of government within the state charged with the responsibility of development and administration of the people at the grass root level.


  This is the agency of the railing class which is charged with the responsibility of exercising the state powers on behalf of the people.


   It refers to increasing the economic political social, educational, gender or spiritual strength of individuals and communities.

Economic Empowerment:

   These implies the act of in situating environmental structures to facilitate individuals in bringing change in their socio economic status.



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