Ponmo: Health Benefits As Against Calls For Ban
Written by Olarotimi Oshin on November 11, 2022
Animal skin, which is popularly called ponmo, is a must-find delicacy in the pots of an average Nigerian living mostly on this side (south-west Nigeria and some part of the North) of the Niger.
As many find it a worthy complement to peppered stew.
As a trader in ponmo, how can you describe the market and profit margin?
“The patronage is very high as it is more affordable when compared to fish and meat. And with a ponmo of 250 and/ 500 when cut to size is enough to go round for the family” Mrs. Patricia Mohammed a foodstuff seller at tipper garage market area of Ilorin.
Another trader who spoke anonymously added that the government that tried to place a ban on ponmo has also withdrawn the planned ban on the pie of the mercies and hinted that igbos in kwara are in the business which is enough proof that it is market friendly and lucrative.
Another foodstuff trader and CEO of Tony Mega Global who goes by the name Chukwu Anthony says he gains up to 25-50 naira per (piece) quantity sold which to him is quite good for business as the demand is high.
Why do you eat ponmo despite other “better” options like fish, beef, chicken, mutton, pork, cheese (wara) and even Soya bean cake (beske)?
According to a buyer of the animal skin for food who goes by the name Abeke, “ponmon“ is cheap and the hope of an average Nigerian, as it gives a special taste to meals when prepared properly.
Another buyer who goes by the name Tope Alabi (not real name) noted that she opt-in for “ponmo” for the sake of variety. As against the regular taste one get from consumer beef, fish and chicken.
A retired staff of the Kwara state government in his reaction said banning of ponmo is dead on arrival as “it is what we can afford now. Our money cannot buy common shawa fish (sic)”, he stressed.
Meanwhile, some people consume animal hides because of their supposed health benefits which is contrary to popular belief that ponmo have no health benefits, some health experts consider them a healthy alternative to beef. For example, 100g of boiled thick cow skin contains about 224.65kcal of energy, 6.80g of carbohydrate, about 43.9g of water, 46.9g of protein, 1.09g of fat, and 0.02g of fibre. It also contains small amounts of calcium (61mg), iron (4.3mg), magnesium (12mg), phosphorus (36mg), and Zinc (6.79mg).
However, few months ago, the Director-General of Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST), Muhammad Yakubu, argued that banning ponmo consumption in the country would help to revive Nigeria’s comatose leather industry.
According to him, the habit of eating animal skin, which has no nutritional value, should be stopped to save the industry and boost the nation’s economy- a position which many claim to be dead on arrival, as the struggle to live in life is real with the majority living below the poverty line.