Etymologically, technology is coiled from the Greek word techne “art, skill, cunning of hand” and logia is the collection of techniques, methods, or processes used in the production of goods and services or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation. Technology can be knowledge of techniques, processes, etc. Technology can be embedded in machines, computers, devices and factories, which can be operated by individuals without detailed knowledge of the working of such things.
The philosophy of technology began when man was in quest for how to improve his environment, how to make life easy, to get shelter for himself, to cure himself of various diseases, and to solve all kind problems facing man and his environment. This brought about the innovations and creativities of man, such like building of thatched and mud house, making of local weapons, building of canoes, using of different plants and herbs to cure diseases, etc. All these inventions started in the antiquity and it enhanced into the development of science and technology of this contemporary period.
Our focus in this paper work is to elaborate on technology that originated from Nigeria
TECHNOLOGIES THAT ORIGINATED FROM NIGERIA
The indigenous technology that started in Nigeria are numerous, few of them are; building of houses with mud and palm fronds, molding of eating and kitchen utensils, making of local weapons, building of canoes for easy transportation, making of farm implements, cultivations of lands.
The agricultural sector is one of the major technology that originated from Nigeria. The common crops that are cultivated by Nigerian farmers are; yam, cocoa, orange, melon, palm tree, cassava, etc.
One of the major technology that originated in Nigeria is the production of palm oil. The trees from which the palm oil is obtained are abundant in the South-East and South-South region. Palm tree occupy a pride of place in the economy life of the people and has been used from the pre-colonial era. The production is largely done by farmers. The oil palm tree which grows naturally in the forest and coastal region of tropical Africa produce 2 types of oil namely the palm oil and the kernel oil.
PALM OIL PROCESSING
The indigenous technology of palm oil processing is associated with cutting of the palm fruit when it has ripen and mature. The harvesting was usually carried out by the men folks as it is forbidden for women to climb palm trees. The processing techniques is was however done by the women. The traditional method of processing involve plucking off the fruit from the palm tree bunches and boiling them in a big pot or drum. After boiling, the fruits were transferred into a big dug out hole, well cemented with stones, were continually stamped with the feet from two to three hours until the nuts are separated from the husks. The nuts, after stamped on were washed and the water constantly stirred to produce oil which usually floats on the surface. The floated oil was gently sieved off and boiled together with palm oil earlier extracted.
THE SIGNIFICANCE AND ECONOMIC VALUE OF PALM OIL IN NIGERIA
The palm fruit from which palm oil is pressed was still and still of immense value to the people of Nigeria. It’s important to know that all part of a palm tree has it values; its fruit, branches, nut, all have their various uses in spite of that it has different species. Aside palm oil which seems to be the main yield of the fruit, there are other parts like the sugary sap which the tree produces when cut. This sap is used to produce a certain kind of palm wine for consumption.
The kernels of the palm fruit are also of immense value to the body as it is used to make a local body cream which prevent convulsion in babies and to ward off evil spirit. Palm oil is also used in making local soaps, and crushed and shaft used as cooking fuel. The fronds of the palm tree are used to fence, and protect the wall of houses. Similarly, the palm tree stems make good timber from where wooden chairs and tables are designed while the midribs are used in making ropes and brooms. Dried palm leaves makes excellent crafts like baskets and mats and the palm fruits are used in making palm oil soup commonly known to the Delta and Edo people of southern Nigeria as “banga soup”. Among some communities, the young palm leaves, are used for religious and ritual purposes. Palm oil neutralizes poison when ingested and nullify the potency of charms.
The importance of palm oil to socio-economic development in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized. It boosted many southern towns in Nigeria. In Ikom, revenue accrued from palm oil was used in developing educational institutions and building town halls. In ohafia, palm oil merchants bettered or improved on their lives by using the proceeds from palm oil to build more houses and marry more wives who could assist them in their farms. The palm oil trade made coastal town wealthy as well as other hinterland groups that participated in the trade. Women are not left out as they benefitted greatly from palm oil production and trade. This was because proceeds accrued from the trade were used for their upkeep and those of their children, a situation which reduced the burden on their husband.
PROBLEMS FACING THE TECHNOLOGY THAT ORIGINATED FROM NIGERIA
The major problems facing Nigeria technology is lack of development. In the agricultural sector, there are no enough modern implements and machine for easy cultivation of land. This sector needs attention because people need food to survive and grow well. The government policies are also affecting the Nigerian technology because there is lack of continuity in government. The technology developed in Nigeria are not well promoted and appreciated. People depend mostly on technology products of the Western states, and this is one of hindrance to technology originated in Nigeria. If Nigerians would believe in themselves and appreciate the knowledge and power endowed in them, then there would be innovations and more development in our society.
In this paper work, we have pointed out the technology that originated from Nigeria. We have discussed the palm oil processing and marketing, how it has enhanced the revenue base of communities which in turn led to the development of infrastructures, provision of scholarships for indigenes, and the empowerment of individual and families.
Owete, I.K (2013): An introductiojn to African culture & technology development
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