With the effects of the economic downturn in the country biting hard and prices of staple foods at an all-time high, many people are finding alternative means to meeting their daily nutritional needs.
Here in Kaduna, one of those alternatives seem to be the sugarcane. Sugarcane is definitely not new to this clime, it’s been around for a long time. But these days, seeing young men munching sticks of sugarcane in the early hours of the day has become a common feature.
Are they eating sugarcane just for its sweetness so early in the day? Certainly not! It has become a cheap alternative to many of those worst hit by sky-rocketing food prices. With it, they keep the body and soul together till they can find a proper food to eat later in the day.
Fortunate enough for this set of people, they don’t have to look hard to get sugarcane. There are numerous vendors who wheel it about every street in their barrows. The prices are pocket-friendly too – the sugarcane sticks are sold at prices of 10, 20, 30 and 50 naira, depending on the size of the stick. If you are good at bargaining and the barrow boy is nice too, you can get a deal for as low as 10 naira.
Thankfully, sugarcane does a lot of good to the body. Apart from providing a boost of energy to the body, it’s good for diabetic patients because of its natural sugar which prevents steep rise in blood glucose level; helps in maintaining the health of the kidney and liver; boosts body’s immune system; acts as good digestive aid because of the presence of potassium; protects against tooth decay and bad breath; helps reduce skin blemishes and prevents aging. Seems like sugarcane is a good and cheap alternative after all!
Though not suitable enough to replace staple food altogether, sugarcane is helping a lot of people in the fight against hunger in these difficult times. Even if you’re economically viable to meet your daily dietary needs, a stick of sugarcane once in a while doesn’t sound like a bad idea!