Uses of Crops
Crops can be classified based on their products and uses. Crops are divided into the following;
1. Food Crops:
These crops can be eaten raw, cooked, or processed. They include;
a. Cereals:Cereals are commonly used as food in Nigeria, for example, maize, rice, and sorghum.
b. Tubers: These plants contain stored food which is made up of starch, for example, cassava, yam, and sweet potato.
c. Pulses: These are crops whose seeds grow in pods. They include; beans, cowpeas, peas, soya beans, etc. These crops are rich in protein.
2. Fruits & Vegetables:
These are plants whose fruits are eaten by man. They supply us with most of the vitamins and minerals, needed for our proper growth and development.
Fruits can be obtained from trees, while vegetables are usually grown and harvested within one year, as food for man. Vegetables are grown under the gardening system.
Examples of fruits are; mango, guava, orange, pawpaw, banana, and avocado pear.
Examples of vegetables are;
- Fruit vegetables (okra, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc)
- Leafy vegetables (amaranths) root vegetables (carrot and sweet potatoes)
- Leguminous vegetables (cowpea, beans, and soya beans)
3. Oil Crops:
These crops provide oils for cooking and can also be used in industries. for manufacturing soap, margarine, pomade, etc. The most common oil crops found in Nigeria are; groundnut oil, oil palm, coconut oil.
These crops give taste and aroma to other foods. Examples include; tomato, ginger, onion, garlic, and chilies.
These crops provide white sticky liquid, or fluid called latex obtained from their bark. Latex is processed into rubber sheets or crepe, which can be used by manufacturers to produce tyres, shoes, rubber belts, etc.
6. Beverage and Drug Crops:
These crops provide food and drinks, which may be from leaves, streams, or fruits. The beverages are rich in vitamins, while drugs contain some special substances, which can stimulate the kidney and give more energy. Examples of beverage crops are; tea, cocoa, coffee, and cannabis.
7. Fibre Crops:
These crops include the following; cotton, kenaf, and sisal. Fibre and forage crops are mainly used for the production of sacs, ropes, textiles, and jute bags. Forage crop is the crop grown to feed farm animals like cattle, camels, and donkeys. Forage crops may be hay, silage, or pasture.
8. Industrial Crops:
There are crops whose products are used as raw materials to manufacture some products. Examples are sugar crops, spices, beverages, and stimulants.
9. Forage Crops:
These are grasses and legumes used for feeding live stock. Examples include Panicum maximum, Cajanus cajan, Calapagonium, Imperata cylindrical, etc.