The Esuk Mba community market in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State still practise trade by Barter, a system of using a food item in exchange for another, PUNCH reports.
The practise of trade by barter, dates as far back as 1956, the market is in a remote village, Esuk Mba in Akpabuyo, which opens at 7a.m and closes noon on Saturdays.
Villagers usually move their consumable items to the market in exchange for the ones they are in need of. This practice, NAN learnt, has been upheld by members of the community and they do it on every market day since 1956.
Esuk Mba community’s Youth Leader, Mr. Asuquo Effiong, who conducted NAN Correspondent round the market, said the market which serves as a tourist site for most visitors, was in dire need of a face lift.
He told NAN that the practice was still in existence because the market was handed over to them by their forefathers. According to him, the market is also significant because it was also a point of activities during the period of the slave trade in Nigeria.
“We grew up to meet this market. We hold it so much in high esteem and we want to sustain it. We use it to remember our forefathers and to sustain our culture.
“As you can see, they are varieties of food items in this section for exchange. In this market, you can bring your palm oil and exchange it for garri, yam, fish or plantain as the case may be.
“The market is close to the river side and our people here are predominantly fishermen. The community is not comfortable with the size of this market; there have been no expansion of the market since inception.
“In addition, we don’t have any good school here, no potable water or health post. We need government intervention in this community,’’ he said.
A market woman, Mrs. Eno Etim, who brought in yam to be exchanged for palm oil, told NAN that the tradition had been with them for ages. According to Etim, she had no palm oil in her house, hence she brought four tubers of yam to exchange for four litres of palm oil.
Also, Mrs. Grace Okon told NAN that she brought periwinkles, popularly called mfi in Calabar language, to be exchange for garri, adding that it had helped them over the years to save cost in view of the scarce financial resources.
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