Yam, the staple crop in the South Eastern part of Nigeria has been celebrated, a good harvest of this crop earns one respect in the community. Igbos are known to be more of technocrats and businessmen but they still have their farming skills still intact. Great Igbo farmers are known by titles such as Ezeji ( king of yams) Ogbuji ( Killer of Yams) and many more, these are few of the names that demonstrate the sagacity of the Igbo group and their farming prowess.
With modern living and rural-urban migrations, this has seen many farmlands in Igbo land been used for developmental projects such as schools and hospitals , but land for farming is always there. The traditions Igbo farmer loves his food crops organic and he grows them organically with little fertilizers.
In his chat with us, Robert Nwokoro said that “Perhaps you ‘ve been looking for a perfect depiction of Achebe’s Okonkwo, I present to you my own Okonkwo: Chief Andrew Okoro Aja, the Patriarch of Aja family. He is my father, very industrious and conservative. This year’s harvest is surplus! The man is just extraordinary! ”
This method of storage has depicted efficiency and value chain. The storage levees little to be wasted and inexpensive. The food crops are stored outside and it doesn’t take billions to construct. The yams are sorted and graded, then stored. The Igbo prefer growing their food organically with little need for fertilizers. It has been noted that yams grown with fertilizers don’t last long and this barn lasts as long as two years! The Igbo farmer can achieve this by playing the right species and growing them organically.
Another thing that is of important note here is harvest, the farmer could harvest this because the herdsmen are not there and they don’t want the herdsmen to be there. The nightmarish experiences the farmers across the country are witnessing in the country especially within the food belt areas of North Central has affected agro revolutions and food production leaving the citizens for the option of political revolution. With the insecurity around, farmers from these regions can’t achieve these feats, not that they are lazy, far from it but because the environment isn’t enabling.
Anthony Emeka Nwosu