Emekutu is a village located in Ankpa L.G.A of kogi state. It is a community blessed with a fertile soil that support the cultivation of numerous crops. I would be discussion the Top 10 cultivated crops in no particular order.
In Emekutu, cassava is known as abasha, cassava is the most important staple food crop. It is used in the preparation of their famous oje abasha which is a cassava flour dish eaten with soup. Since it is their most used staple crop, almost all the villagers grow this crop. Some of it values are listed below.
• it is use in the production of the famous starchy food known as garri.
• it serve as a raw material for the preparation of oje abasha.
• the tubers are been sold for money.
• cassava peels serves as food for. domestic animals like goats.
• it provide seasonal employment for young villagers.
In igala language, oil palm is known as ekpe. It is a very important cash crop in igala land. It is normally grown in plantations. The fruit of this oil palm is known as palm fruit, it is the sole source of palm oil.
Unlike the cultivation of cassava, not everybody has the opportunity of having palm trees and this had been a major reason of conflict in emekutu as several persons lay claim to the ownership of a plantation. Some of the economic values includes.
• It is a source of palm oil.
• The ripened fibrous outer layer could be eaten raw, boiled or roasted.
• The kernels serves as raw materials for industries. This industries are not in the village so they sell them off in south eastern states like Enugu.
• The fruits could be sold for money.
• It serves as a source of employment for it tappers, women that produce the palm oil and others.
• It is also the source of palm kernel oil.
• It is important to note that it serves as a source of employment for people outside the villages who trade in palm oil.
• It is used for making s special kind of oil known as ete which is used for eating yam.
• The waste remnant is use for making fire.
Owners of palm trees remits palm oil to the district head of emekutu depending on the size of their plantation.
The popularity of maize in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasize. Akpa as it is called in igala is a cereal grain that originate from mexico and had longed been introduced into Nigeria. The people of emekutu cultivate this for a number of reasons.
• Some of the villagers cultivate it for sale in it fresh form on the farm while some sun dry it and separate it from the corn cob before selling.
• Maize flour is used for preparing oje Akpa.
• A considerable amount of the villages use corn flour and cassava flour to prepare a dish known as oje akpa pai abasha.
• It is used in preparing a maize meal known as asha in igala and also another meal called igbala akpa.
They don’t really sell this out in large quantity because they grow it in a subsistence quantity.
Egwa as it is called in igala language is an annual leguminous seed enclosed in a pod. It is a very important source of protein and it is popular for it nitrogen fixing nature. It values to the villagers include but not limited to:
• It serve as a source of income.
• It could be eaten when cooked alone or with rice.
• It flour is use for making akara (beans cake).
• Beans is use for making a native beans soup known as obo egwa.
• It is used for making moi-moi and other delicacies.
Conclusively, beans is sometimes used by the villagers for crop rotation in other to help regain the lost fertility of the soil.
The igala people of kogi state call it Oro kboloko. The okro plant is a perennial plant grown for it green seed pods. It is normally grown along side other crops on a piece of land because they believe it requirement is low. Onces matured, it starts to produce fruits which are harvested in a week or so before it become dry. This harvesting is continual since the main plant is still alive and as such, the owners make a lot of money from it. It importances include:
• It fresh pod is use for cooking okro soup known as oro kboloko.
• It could be cut into round shapes and sun dried into oro jagada which could also be used for making soup.
Ushu as it is called is a monocot plant grown for it tubers. It is a very important source of carbohydrate. Some of it uses to the villagers include but not limited to:
• It could be cooked, fried or roasted for food.
• It serve as the sole source of pounded yam.
• It could be use to prepare delicacies like yam porridge (obo ekpetoh) and other delicacies.
• It serves as a source of income.
It is called Oka, it is a cereal plant that is grown because of it grains. The people of emekutu use it in numerous ways:
• Some use it for making pap (ekamu).
• Others use it for making a drink known as obiolo.
• Some use it for making a dish (oje oka) which is eaten with a soup.
• It is also sold for money.
In igala, this cash crop is called opigolo. The plant is an evergreen plant that produces the cashew apple and nut. It has variety of use worldwide but in this village, below are some of it use.
• The apple serves as food.
• The nuts could be roasted for food.
• The nuts are sold out for use in industries.
COCOYAM AND SWEET POPATO
These two are starchy tuberous root crop. There importances include;
• They are boiled and eaten with tomato or pepper sauce.
• They are use for making porridge and other native delicacies.
It is important to note that a larger percentage of the people of emekutu do not use fertilizers.