Hope you  know sugar is gotten from sugarcane!

Writing about sugarcane reminds me of my secondary school days when we used to get them [the sugarcanes]  fresh, some times from our school  farms and at other times from the ‘mallams’ or ‘abokis’ who sell these sweet canes and hawk them around in wheel barrows . Special thanks to this dry season which makes sure the sugar cane is produced in abundance.

Relished in Nigeria as a major dessert, the Northern States  like Sokoto, Taraba, Borno, Kaduna  and others are known to be great producers of this sugary delight.

… Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El Rufai munching sugarcane!

Biting into the bamboo – like stalk is the delight especially as the sweetness of the juice fills the mouth and with this, I say welcome to the portals of the sweet delicious long grass, provided by nature to make us happy!

Sugar cane is one of several tall perennial true grasses of the genus saccharam, tribe Andropogoneae. Although  native to tropical south and southeast Asia, Nigeria is also blest with much of this crop as well as different species.

The first question that comes to mind will be is sugarcane a fruit, a vegetable or what?
Well, sugarcane is a grass. It is a type of tall grass whose sugar is embeddded in its stalk, basically as its sap. You easily chew the  sugar cane stalk and as you chew on it,  it’s very fibrous  texture  releases the watery  sugar and its taste  into your mouth.
This grass which can measure from 2-6 metres tall  is the world’s largest crop by production quantity. (FAO estimates  its cultivation at about 26 million hectares in more than 90 countries in 2012.)

Sugarcane as a cash crop  can be a great incomer earner for individuals, families, societies and of nations of the world.

Reports say it  was first domesticated in New Guinea around 6000BC.  It is also known as one of the most efficient photosynthesis of the plant kingdom.

So many products are derived from sugarcane and these  include sugar, rum, ethanol, molasses and  falernum amongst others.

Nutritional Value of sugarcane

Sugarcane which  virtually contains all essential nutrients  is  known to be a remedy for Sore throat, Jaundice, Constipation, Kidney disorders and various diseases including gonorrhea, prostrate as well as  urinary tract infection amongst others.

Eating plenty of sugarcane will help to prevent heart diseases, cancer, anaemia, and DNA damage and twill also  promote bone growth and help to heal your wound much faster. It is equally useful to those who have fever, biting the cane will help  restore the protein lost. It removes weakness by rehydrating the body.

Consuming sugarcane will also help to regulate the digestive system functionality of the body  and as well  increase the muscle power of the body.

It is very important to note that sugarcane strengthens major body organs including the eyes, stomach, heart, kidney, etc if used regularly.

Compiled by Akintoye Okunola,  a 300 level  Business Administration Student and Okere, Chidinma a 400 level Mass Communication Student of University of Lagos, Nigeria.



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