By S. Olanrewaju Disu
In Lagos area market, there are found some uncommon agricultural products. An example of such is the "sorghum bicolor", which the indigenous residents in Lagos Metropolitan Area call "poroporo". The botanical name is "Sorghum bicolor, Family Gramineae". It is also known as "grain sorghum" or "great millets"
The "sorghum bicolor" alias "poroporo" is an annual or perennial grass with stout culms and grows up to four meters or even more in height. This product is a cereal that grows very well in dry areas, e.g. the Northern parts of Nigeria where there is relatively low rainfall.
Up North, it is cultivated chiefly for its grain. Also, the stems are commonly used to make a sort of mat for covering door ways. Furthermore, the culms are used for fencing and hut building. However, in Lagos area, its stems are of great medicinal value. Boiled stems provide red coloured liquid that is used as tonic for anemic and general lack of vitality. among the Yoruba speaking people of Nigeria, herbalists frquently use the stems to make concoction which enhances the production of blood. Indeed, this particular agricultural product provides diverse needs for diverse cultures!
Stems of the "poroporo" i.e "sorghun bicolor" on sale at Oyingbo Market in Lagos Mainland area of the metropolis