When one says ‘Nigeria is a blessed land’, it is not just a ‘positive confession’. It is a statement of truth; a statement that can be taken literally. Take for example, the Nigerian soil is so blessed that one could eat up a mango fruit, carelessly throw the seed on the ground and return some months later to find that it has germinated. This is just one out of numerous examples.
Every part of Nigeria has some crop or produce being cultivated; from Cocoa plantations in the West to Palm Plantations in the East, from the Root crops in the South, down to the large hectares of grains and legumes in the North. (Not to talk about the Middle belt where we have the ‘Food Basket of the Nation’). Nigeria is blessed with a huge variety of crops, vegetables and fruits. In the midst of all this abundance however, do you know that certain vegetables and fruits are only produced in commercial quantities in Jos Plateau and no-where else in Nigeria?
Why are certain Vegetables and Fruits Only Commercially Produced in Jos?
The response to this is quite simple; ‘temperate climate’. The temperatures in Jos usually ranges between a minimum of 11-15.5℃ and a maximum of 27.5-30℃. Let us paint a picture of this; almost all air conditioners have their coolest temperature at 16℃-18℃. So Jos actually goes cooler than the coolest the air conditioner can go. The human body has its normal or average temperature at about 37℃. It means that Jos is also average cooler than the average human body temperature. Therefore, Jos Plateau’s temperate climate provides the optimal climatic condition for certain vegetables to thrive that otherwise, cannot thrive extensively in any other part of Nigeria.
Take for example, vegetables and fruits like broccoli and strawberry cannot thrive in a tropical climate. Because of this, you will rarely find broccoli and strawberry produced in any other part of Nigeria except Jos (especially in commercial quantity).The temperate climatic condition enables Jos Plateau to cultivate and produce vegetables and fruits that CANNOT thrive or be produced in commercial quantities in other parts of Nigeria. Some examples of these fruits and vegetables that are Jos Plateau exclusive in commercial production include; broccoli, strawberry, cabbage, grapes, cauliflower, asparagus, cucumber, sour-sop (sometimes called ‘Mama Fruit’).
In addition to the above, do you know that, about ninety-five (95%) of the Irish potatoes consumed in Nigeria is produced in Jos Plateau. This is also enabled by the climatic condition.
One might ask, what makes Jos Plateau’s climate different? It is simply the fact that its topography is different. The cool temperature in Jos is as a result of its altitude above sea level; over 1200-over 1800 metres above Sea level in the Shere Hills range.
Other interesting Facts to Know about Jos
- Jos Plateau is the only part of Nigeria that has a temperate climate. A temperate climate (as applicable in geography) refers to a weather or climatic condition that is not extreme; in other words, mild or moderate. It means that the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold; it is in between scorching heat and freezing cold.
- Jos Plateau is geographically unique in Nigeria; having a huge presence of hills, rocks and mountains.
- Jos Plateau is also referred to as ‘the Home of Peace and Tourism’, ‘J-Town’ or ‘Tin-City’
- Jos has a ‘wild life’park which houses various species such as Baboons, Lions, Storks, Honey Badgers etc.
- Jos Plateau is also home to natural resources such as tin and columbite. This made Jos an important city for mining during the British Colonial era. The discovery of Tin by the colonialist was what led to the influx of other ethnic groups into Jos, thus making it a serious trading hub.
- Till date, Jos Plateau is considered a great holiday location for tourists, missionaries and expatriates in Nigeria. The Jos Plateau weather is regarded as the best weather in Nigeria because of the mildness of the climate when compared to any other city in Nigeria.
- Jos Plateau is the largest landmass above 1,000metres in Nigeria which is approximately 250km by 150km in size. (1000 meters is like going round a football field two and a half times). The high altitude contributes significantly to the climatic condition.
- Because of the average lower temperatures of Plateau state, tropical diseases like malaria have reduced incidence. (Even mosquitos don’t like the cold)
 Central Hills and Plateau, in ‘Nigeria at 50 Compendium, (np:1st October Publishing, 2011),468.
Central Hills and Plateau, 468.