Saturday 28 June 2014


Yams have been the foods for both humans and deities from time immemorial and they are either boiled and eaten with palm oil or pounded and eaten with soup. Sometimes yams are roasted and eaten with palm oil or fried stew. According to Mrs Lateefat Akinpelu, a yam seller of note for so many years said that yams have many different species and they are gotten from different parts of the country. The first specie of yam is called 'Paper' by the Hausa people and another one is called the
Benue yam from the Gara people of Nigeria. Another specie of yam is Abuja yam which is also from the Hausa people from the Northern part of the country while another one is called Efuru and it is from the Yoruba people who are from the south west of Nigeria. Mrs Lateefat Akinpelu said that unlike the farmers from south western part of Nigeria whose farming skill is no longer on the high side anymore owing to white collar job, the northern farmers are farming all the time and they are the food basket of the nation. She said that if not for the northern farmers today, yams production would have gone into total extinction because our young farmers down here in the south have left
farming for white collar jobs in the urban areas. Tubers of yams are very expensive depending on the sizes that one’s money can afford. Like i said at the beginning, yam is not only eaten by human beings  because it is also used to appease deity like Ogun (the god of iron) during its festive period. The Ogun devotees do not joke with the importance of yam during their festivity because they can either make it as pounded yam or have it roasted to appease their deity. The Efuru yam belongs to the people in the south west and it is going into the extinction right now as a
result of neglect from our farmers who do not get enough back up (financial assistance) from the government in their chosen profession. This is the reason why all the yams being consumed by the people  in the south west today are brought by the farmers from the northern part of the country, a development that is not very good. Mrs Lateefat Akinpelu urged the government to assist our farmers who are in the yam business to give them incentives for farming so that yam production will not be a thing of the past. She also begged the government to assist the yam sellers association in the market to give them opportunity to receive loans so that they can also
continue to be in their yam business. As one of the sayings of our elders say, if hunger is eliminated from the problems of the poor, the poverty is vanished! Let us encourage our youths who are out schools to go into farming business. And this is only achievable through support in terms of loans from our local, state and federal government by making farming to be an attractive business to all and sundry. After all, we all can not be working in the offices! Thank you!!

Copyrights: © Olalekan Oduntan 2014

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