Nigeria is a country that is blessed with a lot of natural resources. The country is also blessed with a lot of land which are very fertile to plant various food crops. Every state, town and village in the country has a particular food crop that is grown in their domain and is contributed to the food basket and economy of the country.
The article takes a look at the town of Okitupupa in Ondo State and the food crops it has produced over the years contributing positively to the economy of the state and the country.
BRIEF HISTORY OF OKITIPUPA TOWN
Okitipupa is a local government area in Ondo state with people from Yoruba land. The name Okitipupa came about due to the elevation of the town and the colour of the soil which is red and in Yoruba language is translated as Okiti (hilly) and Pupa (red). The name was mostly used by people who were travelling from other towns to Okitipupa to come and trade.
The inhabitants of Okitipupa are mainly the people of Ikale from the ethnic group of Yoruba. The language mainly and mostly spoken is Yoruba with English serving as the official language.
The people in Okitupupa are very nice people and are quite accommodating. The people of Okitipupa are highly educated and are also well trained with quality skill set covering all areas of life.
Okitipupa area is mainly an agricultural town with a lot of cash crops and food crops cultivated with the people of Ikale mostly interested in farming.
Okitipupa is located in the rain forest where the humidity is relatively high and with an annual rain fall of about 2000mm. It experiences a mild dry season between the months of November to March and its farm practice of shifting cultivation helps in cultivation of crops.
The town boasts of a major shopping center as well as major markets which has been used for years by traders from Yoruba land and across the county since the days of independence.
FOOD CROPS GROWN IN OKITIPUPA
Agriculture is the main occupation of the people of Okitipupa and they are helped by the good climate and weather conditions as well as the large expanse of fertile land available in their town.
Below are 10 crops that are cultivated and produced in the town of Okitipupa
ECONOMIC VALUE OF THE CROPS TO THE ECONOMY
Having these crops grown in the town by the people has contributed immensely to the growth of the town and the Ondo State Government as well as the Nigeria Government in the following ways:
CREATES EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
With good weather conditions and with a lot of fertile land the town has the ability to plant and produce a lot of crops and this has led to a lot of people especially the youths being employed to work on various farms leading to a reduction of unemployment in the town and state.
Apart from working on the farm there are other employment opportunities which have come up in other areas. For example processing of some of the crops has led to more jobs created. A crop like cocoa or maize can be processed to provide other products like beverages and cereal. The process involves several levels of expertise which has led to a lot of skilled and unskilled workers being employed by various processing industries.
PROVIDES SOURCE OF REVENUE TO THE GOVERNMENT
The cultivation and processing of various crops in Okitipupa affords government a means of revenue both at the state level and international level.
With Investors coming into the town and state to set up industries for processing of the food and cash crops this acts as a source of revenue to the state government through taxation and other levies and duties charged.
On the National level, the country benefits when crops like cocoa are exported and foreign revenue is earned and ploughed back into the country to boost and improve the economy.
HAS LED TO INDUSTRALIZATION OF THE TOWN AND STATE
With more companies coming in the state to set up business and take advantage of the natural resources of the town, the economy has received a major boost.
More companies setting up businesses has seen more infrastructure been done by the government and others being improved upon to make things more easier, better for the local investors and foreign investors.
For example more roads have been done to complement the good ones already available as well as improve on the road and transportation network in the town to make it more easier to move and transport the goods from the farms to the industries for processing as well as transporting them out of the town to other states like Lagos State.
With improvement in the road network other basic amenities and facilities has followed such as improved power supply or electricity which is needed a lot by the companies. This has led to other non agric related industries coming to the town and state like manufacturing companies who have been attracted to the state to set up for production of goods and services as well as financial institutions like commercial banks and micro finance banks who now provide loans and credit facilities to farmers and business men to further boost the economy.
All these innovations has only helped to improve the quality of life of the people of the town and state although it is believed more can be done and things can be much better which it is believed the government is working on and striving to achieve.
HAS HELPED REDUCED AND CURB MIGRATION TO URBAN AREAS
With industrialization setting in the town as well as more job opportunities, people are open to staying back home to build the town and state than rush to the big cities or move to other states in the country in search of better options.
The people now have options of working on the farms or picking up white collar jobs in various companies from manufacturing industries to banks and other institutions.