NATURAL RESOURCES AND POTENTIALS FOR DEVELOPMENT

Posted by on 1/29/2003 1:08:59 PM
Post Comment NATURAL RESOURCES AND POTENTIALS FOR DEVELOPMENT Nigeria

Agriculture, Forestry and Other Basic Activities:

The majority of the people are farmers, herdsmen and fishermen. Agriculture is, therefore, the mainstay of the economy. The crops grown include guinea corn, millet, maize, rice, wheat, groundnut, cassava, beans and cowpeas. Others are vegetables, onions, okra and tomatoes. About 1,794,400 ha. of land is under crop cultivation. The Chad Basin and Rural Development Authority, Lake Chad Research Institute, Borno State Agricultural Development Programme and Borno State

Agricultural Mechanisation Programme are organs responsible for research and development of agriculture in the state. The state is the most important livestock producing area in Nigeria and this is carried out by Fulani and Shuwa tribesmen. Borno State has 1,312,300 ha. of land under grazing and forest reservation (Ministry of Agriculture Borno State, 1995).

There are eightythree consolidated Forest Reserves distributed all over the state making up a total land area of 3,540 sq. km. Food crop production and animal husbandry have been adversely affected by drought, desertification and infestation by insects and birds with alarming regularity.

Mineral Resources:

The Borno State Liaison office of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council has a list of minerals in the area. Clay, salt and potash deposits are found in the Chad plains. Limestone and kaolin deposits abound in the Bima Sandstones. Volcanic and Basement Complex rocks contain iron ore, uranium, quartz, magnesite, mica and granite. Oil prospecting has been undertaken by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the Chad Basin in Borno State; but so far, no discoveries have been made, although in Chad Republic there are commercial oil and gas fields which are about to be developed.

Local Sourcing of Raw Materials:

The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) unit in Borno State displays a wide variety of agricultural and mineral raw materials for the purpose of promoting industrial development and selfsufficiency through the maximum utilisation of these resources as inputs for the industries. Resources from agriculture such as sorghum, millet and maize can be used to produce animal feeds, flour and drinks. Presently, there is no industry to utilise these raw materials.

Cowpeas and groundnut are produced in large quantities in central and northern Borno; water melon and wheat are produced along the shores of Lake Chad and in the Chad Basin and Rural Development operational areas respectively; tomato is grown in both southern and northern Borno, while rice abounds in Shani LGA. The tomato factory at Dadin Kowa is too distant for tomatoes produced in the northern parts of the state. The Maiduguri flour mill is not conditioned to process local wheat. The state is famous for cattle, sheep and goat. A meat canning factory would be very profitable. The above resources provide raw materials for cottage industries that have the potentials of promoting rural development.

Mineral resources abound to provide a solid base for the industrialisation of the state. The fact that many of them are found all over the state is an indication that industries based on them will be viable.




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