By Echi Nwogu
Do you know that yam barns are still there today in 2019? I saw quiet a number half way through on the Umuahia – Bende – Ohafia Road in December 2018. The barns were in the outlying farms, some by the side of the road far from the villages and no fences around them. No one dares steal from the barns like in the old days.
But all around Igboland, the yams are now endangered species especially in the Southern Igboland.
Though the demands are diminishing in central heartland Igboland, we must NEVER give up on yam in Igboland – it is the king of our ceiling and the greatest prize in our farming. Farming yam signifies the presence of Dike na ulo and remains the dignity of the man in the house. In any community that Ezeji has vanished and yams are no longer cropped, it signifies that the men have absconded from the land of the forebears. It is an abomination to buy yams from foreign lands to celebrate Iriji in Igboland. Anyone still parading as an Ezeji without a reasonable yam barn in Igbo heartland is fake and a living apology.
Herdsmen or no herdsmen, RUGA or no RUGA, any LG in Igboland that has lost the art and tactics of yam cropping and yam barns should redeem her Igboness through a yam farming challenge and revival.