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From time immemorial, man’s discovery and use of natural remedies to cure diseases had fetched him both financial gains and improved health. Most of this discoveries, which received global acceptance were soon processed into orthodox medicines, with far reaching health and economic benefits.
With the recent talks about the Goron tula (Azanza Garkeana) fruit, it looks like more discoveries are underway.

The age long fruit popularly called the Goron Tula has been an everyday delicacy of the high land people of Tula community, south of Gombe state.
Tula, people of Kaltungo local government area of Gombe state, live about 640 meters above sea level, with a rich agricultural land and high tourism potentials.

The Goron Tula tree peculiar to the Tula community in Nigeria, has been believed to only grow and produce fruit in the area. Though the tree has been identified in some few African countries like Botswana, Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. Tula is believed to have a distinct specie of the fruit.

Not until the farce about the fruits high medicinal content that increased the demand and subsequent price of the fruit, the fruit was known to be an everyday snack of the Tula people and often given as souvenir to visitors.

Interacting with Mr. Ayuba Tim Tula an elder in the community, about the acclaimed medicinal value and its impact to the Tula community, he acknowledged that though they were told by their parents that fruit had homeopathic properties, they merely consumed it as food until recent researches proved so.

“this history of Goron Tula is as old as the town itself and the man, because tula man met goron tula here, and he started discovering it since inception of his life here and he started eating it as food from the beginning of his life here”
Mr. Ayuba Tula added that the rush for the commodity did not come to the community as a surprise, because they had long enjoyed the health benefits from eating Goron Tula.

Adding that the leaves, bark and roots of the goron tula tree had healing properties.
Mr Ayuba further said that the recent influx for the fruit has further confirmed these claims to the community.

The affluence occasioned by the Goron Tula fruit has enabled families and individuals in the tula community, better their lives such as provide for the education of their children and enable women start up retail businesses to sustain livelihood.

Speaking with Salisu Malare a Goron Tula dealer in the community, he narrates how the high demand for the goron tula fruit has caused a huge prize gap.
“back then, a bag was not even up to one thousand naira, and a measure was just about twenty naira. But a bag now is three hundred thousand naira and a measure five thousand naira”

Speaking about patronage of the fruit, Mr Malare said that they have buyers from ” Kano and Niger Republic and sometimes people even come from China”.

” the proceeds from selling goron tula” he adds, ” has helped us pay our children’s school fees, and accomplish a lot”.
Salisu while listing some of the challenges they face as dealers of Goron Tula, said that preserving the fruit for supply to potential buyers all year round has been a problem, calling on the government to find better ways of preserving and processing the fruit to maximize its full value chain.

Confirming the medicinal properties contained in Goron Tula, Pharmacist Nuhu Abdullahi Momoh, a clinical pharmacist at the federal teaching hospital Gombe in a telephone interview with progress radio says that alot of research has proven the pharmacological contents in goron tula.

“Lots of medicinal benefits of goron tula ranging from, reduction of high blood presure, solving of liver problems, infertility and are also used as immune boosters. They are used to treat libido, blood sugar chest pain and cough, they also have some extracts like saponin, which decreases reabsorption of cholesterol, so it tends to reduce obesity in patients.

Pharm. Momoh added that “Vitamins have also been isolated from goron tula which include Vitamins A,B1 and B2, C vitamins D.”
According to him, “Bitter Carotine” which is also contained in goron tula ” helps to detoxify the system”.

Pharmacist Nuhu further stated that though there are no known drugs produced mainly from Goron Tula, there are extracts of the fruit in the market in form of dietary supplements.

Despite the economic prosperity that the high demand for Goron Tula has brought to the Tula community, the community decries the absence of social amenities such as water, electricity, and standard health facilities.

Considering the high cost of Goron Tula during its season, and it high source of revenue to the Tula community and invariably the host state, if properly harnessed.

It behooves on the government to calibrate for the improved process.
And ensure the provision of better storage and processing of the fruit, rather than continue to export the fruit as raw material and purchase its finished produce at even higher cost.



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