NATURAL RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

Posted by on 1/30/2003 12:10:47 PM
Post Comment NATURAL RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT Nigeria

The natural resources of the state include its vast agricultural lands, its extensive rainfed flood areas and its forest and forest products such as the oil palm and lumber wood.

Agriculture, Forestry and other Basic Activities: Agriculture, predominantly subsistence, ranks first in the people's economic activities. It can be divided into two types: Agriculture on the plateau is based on the extensive cultivation of the conven tional staples of yam, cassava, maize, sweet potato, grain legumes, pawpaw, banana, plantain and vegetables.

Income from the farm is supplemented by earnings from the sale of products from local economic tree crops like oil palm, cashew, kola nut, coconut, mangoes, breadfruit (ukwa), castor beans, oilbeans, et cetera. Most of these tree crops are located on the compound land farm plots.

Terrace farming is important on .the hill slopes of Nsukka, Lejja, Udi and Maku. Livestock keeping is also important. Floodplain agriculture is practised in parts of the NigerAnambra plains especially at Adani and Ornor. It is based on comparatively largescale cul tivation of rice and yam, and also, fish farming.

An increasing number of migrant farmers from the densely settled slowgrowing and landhungry rural areas of Awka, Orlu, Owerri, Okigwe, eastern Onitsha and Udi in Imo, Anambra and Enugu States, and some from Abak, Ikot Ekpene and Uyo areas in Akwalbom State, have moved into the plains to join in exploiting the vast agricultural potentialities of the floodlands which are beyond the capability of the local people.

A number of agricultural enterprises have been established to tap the agricultural potentialities. They include the Adarice Production (Nigeria) Ltd. and the Enugu State River Project which are pub lic production projects located at Adani in Uzo Uwani Local government Area. Others are the United PalmProduce Ltd. at IbiteOlo, Ugwuoba and lnyi, and the Premier Cashew Industry Ltd at Oghe.

There is also a Palm Development Agency for tapping the vast resources of the natural palm and developing the oilpalm sector generally. There are livestock and poultry facilities at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Campus. Private enterprise par ticipation is also important. For example, the EkenediliChukwu, Chidi Ebere and Urneano rice, maize and cassava farms in Adani area are very largescale agricultural enterprises. There are also

large private fish ponds in the area. The state government's agricultural develop ment policy is three pronged: 1. Direct Public Participation through farm settlements, tree crop plantations, irriga tion schemes and agrobased industries. However, the government is at present privatising the public projects and retain ing only minority shares.

Public Participation in commercial Private Agricultural Production, that is, running joint ventures in largescale crop farming, livestock and fish farms and in forest plantations with farmers, private entre preneurs and corporate bodies, local or foreign, if possible by public initial invest ment. Small Holder Agricultural Production, whereby the government seeks to emphasise the role of the smallholder in the private sector.

The projected agricultural development schemes include: a. Irrigation (the OloKalawa and the Agba Umanakalawa Schemes) for maize, rice, tomatoes, onion and pepper.

Oil Palm Development in lnyi, Ugwuoba, IbiteOlo, Umulokpa and UzoUwani for which about 2,800 hectares have been acquired, and 1053 hectares already planted. Livestock and Poultry Production: The government intends to establish four cattle, sheep and goat breeding and fattening centres at Achi, Nachi, UkpabiNimbo and Ogbede. It runs a hatchery and parent stock farm at Oghe.

There are also plans to acquire the Federal Pig Breeding and Progeny Testing Centres at Okpuje, Nsukka LGA. Forest Plantation: Several forest reserves have been planted with economic species such as gruclina. There is also a World Bankassisted pilot project covering 700 hectares of pine in Apakwume Nze.

The government intends to expand the pine plantation to 30,000 hectares. On the whole, the agricultural lands of Enugu State are very much beyond the capability of the present agricultural population, using available technology, to fully exploit.

Here then lies a great potential for profitable investment by local and for eign interests. Mineral Resources: Minerals abound in Enugu State although most of them are not yet exploited. Coal is mined at Enugu. Other known minerals in the state include ironore, silica, clay, kaolin and pyrite (Ministry of Information, 1993

Prospects of the existence of petroleum and natural gas are being vigorously explored. Also the prospects of striking oil in the state cannot be ruled out, apart from coal which is being exploited. Local Sourcing of Raw Materials: The tradi tional industries and crafts in the state are based on the locally sourced materials.

At the state's Community Skills Centres, the crafts include wood work, metal work, pottery, weaving and basketry. The Anambra/Enugu Vegetable Oil Products Limited in Udi Local Government Area utilises the local palmkernel oil to produce margarine and refined vegetable oil, and the cashew nut industry in Ezeagu Local Government Area uses the local cashew products. Industrial Development: Enugu State has a wide industrial base, made up as follows:

AgroBased Industries: Anambra/Enugu Vegetable Oil Products Ltd., located at Nachi in Udi Local Government Area. Premier Cashew Industries Ltd., located at Oghe in Ezeagu Local government Area. Sunrise Flour Mill Ltd., located at Emene Industrial Estate. Volunteer Service Agency (VSA) Livestock Feedmill, located at the Ninth Mile corner, Ngwo, on the outskirts of the OnitshaEnugu Expressway.

Chemicalbased Industries: Ebony Paints Ltd., located atAwkunanaw, Enugu. Niger Gas Company Ltd., located in the Emene Industrial Area. Eastern Plastics Ltd., located at Emene. Continental Medical Complex Ltd., situat ed at OjiRiver. It specialises in the production of toilet papers.

Mechanicalbased industries: Aluminium Products Ltd., located at Ohebedin in lgboEtiti local government Area. Emenite Ltd., located at Emene. It produces pressed pipes and fibrecement building products. Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company (ANAMMCO) Ltd., located at Emene.Niger Steel industries Ltd., located at Emene. Vanguard Industries and the Nigerian Construction and Furniture Company .

They produce furniture. The NCFC is also a construction firm. 3d All the above are government owned industries. However, the new civilian administration (since May 29, 1999) is set to privatise the industries. A lot of private enterprises already supplement the government's industrial development efforts. They engage in metal works, and in the ry. making of bread and confectioneries, soap and :ts detergents, beer and soft drinks, among others. The Rural industrialisation, as a dimension of govern nd ment policy, is also pursued vigorously. in




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