NATURAL RESOURCES AND POTENTIALS FOR DEVELOPMENTPost Comment NATURAL RESOURCES AND POTENTIALS FOR DEVELOPMENT Nigeria
As indicated earlier, nature has endowed Ekiti State with a lot of resources. Most of these resources have been profitably tapped, while others are yet to be developed.
Agriculture and Forestry: These are other areas where investment opportunities are pertinent in Ekiti State. Agriculture is the dominant occupa tion of the people providing employment and income for over 80 percent of the population. It is also responsible for over 90 percent of the state's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The main revenue yielding tree crops are cocoa, oil palm and timber, the latter including both the native and exotic species. In order to make cocoa and oil palm con tribute more to the economic viability of Ekiti State, it may be necessary for the government to go into largescale cultivation.
Forestry offers a lot of investment opportunities in the state. Effort should be made to manage the forest reserves well for both the native and the exotic treespecies. The arable crop that has become very impor tant in recent years is rice. It is now cultivated by many farmers especially on hillslopes that hitherto had been abandoned.
Although arable crops are common in all parts of the state, they are mostly found in the northern part. Other important crops include yam, maize, cassava, cowpeas, pepper, tomatoes and a host of other vegetables. The head quarters of the Ekiti State Agricultural Development Project is at Ikole.
This ADP is geared towards mak ing food available internally and for export to other places. Ekiti State is an important timberproducing state in Nigeria. Among the hardwood species commonly found in the state are iroko, mahogany, obeche and sapelewood.
Resulting from this is the establishment of sawmills in several places in the state. Apart from these natural hardwood species, there are the teak and gmelina which are exotic hardwood and softwood species respectively. These are produced in large plantations in the for est reserves.
The forest vegetation has also served as a springboard for the production of various eco nomic tree crops, chief of which is cocoa, which remains the mainstay of the state's economy. In 1988, as a result of the economic policy of the Babangida administration, cocoa farmers and traders had a field day in cocoa business as they became very rich because of the deregulation of cocoa prices.
This boom really raised the standard of living and status of most indigenes. The positive effect of this cocoa boom was the resuscitation of many abandoned old cocoa farms and the cultiva tion of new ones thereby increasing the production level. Other tree crops include kola, coffee, rubber and oilpalm. The two latter crops are cultivated in or with other tree crops or in small monocropping hold i'kiti .
Ekiti State is quite rich in e mineral resources, though most of them are yet to ers be tapped. These mineral resources include cassi terite, columbite and tantalite which are found in lj'ero Local Government Area (LGA).
Ceramic clays her and kaolinitic clays are available at IsanEkiti and ent IreEkiti in Oye LGA. Feldspar, used in the manu pa facture of glass, is found at OkeEwu in ljero LGA ind and at Aramoko in Ekiti West LGA. Bauxite clay is is found at OrinEkiti in Ido/Osi LGA while foundry te's quartzites are found around ljero (ljero LGA) and lue EfonAlaaye (EfonAlaaye LGA).
Dimension stones ier, such as granite and banded gneisses occur exten otic sively in IkereEkiti (Ikere LGA), OyeEkiti (Oye on LGA), OkeEwu (ljero LGA) OtunEkiti (Moba LGA), ate, AdoEkiti (Ado LGA) and EmureEkiti (Emure LGA). nto Muscovite, a micaceous mineral element, is found of in most parts of the state.
Other minerals such as «uld tin and marble, which are at different stages of for prospecting, extracting and development, are found in the state. or The available minerals in the state are yet to be by extracted fully. The mineral that is being tapped and 3110 utilised is the clay kaolin being used by the burnt are bricks industry. The extraction and mining of stiy columbite, iron ore, bauxite and foundry sand needs to be pursued.
Local Sourcing of Raw Materials: The raw ient material resources of Ekiti State are of two types. They are the agrobased and mineralbased raw her materials. The first type includes cocoa, cotton, maize, timber, oilpalms, cassava, rice and sisal ing hemp while the mineralbased are mainly the ceramic and kaolinitic clays and granitic rocks. Most of the small and largescale industrial concerns in the Ekiti State depend largely on locally sourced raw the materials (see Table 13:2). ies,
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