NATURAL RESOURCES AND POTENTIAL FOR DEVELOPMENT

Posted by on 1/30/2003 1:31:12 PM
Post Comment NATURAL RESOURCES AND POTENTIAL FOR DEVELOPMENT Nigeria

Agriculture: Kano was once a renowned groundnuts producer with pyramids of harvested crop of it dotting the railway lines. Other crops, such as millet, sorghum and cowpeas are grown on fields which have been intensively cultivated annu ally for over a century on lands maintained by labour intensive management involving integration of livestock and crops, a practice evolved indige nously by the farmers.

Kano has a tradition of irrigated agriculture and is reckoned as the leading hydroagricultural state in Nigeria. Smallscale irrigation on fadamas has supported crops that require allyearround water,.Gardening crops for centuries.

This has been achieved under residual moisture and shadoof using open wells (rigia) and motorised pumps since the early 1980s. The latter technology has saved drudgery and, coupled with improved seeds and use of fer tiliser, occasioned remarkable increase in output in the order of five to ten times compared to the shadow proof era.

The major problem of the sector is that of sustainability as there appears to be little in , form of forward planning for spares and mainte i nance. Farmers cannot throw away ageing pumps and they lack funds for their replacements. The medium sector controlled by the state is fed via prefabricated canals supported by re enforced concrete pillars.

The schemes ranging in size from 600 to 2,300ha are Gari, Tomas, Watari, Kafin Chiri, Jakara, Gwazo Road dams, and 4,000 i ha fadama development schemes. The large sector, notably the Kano River Project (KRP) Phase 1, about 15,000 out of 20,000 hectares have been developed.

The distribution network operates under gravity receiving water from the Tiga Dam through a 15 km long main canal split into east and ') west branches. Major irrigated crops in the KRP . Phase 1 are wheat, maize, tomatoes and rice. With , the development of about 1,140,000ha of irrigable 1 land on the KRP Phase 11 to be fed by the . Challawa gorge dam, the future is very bright.

In the largescale schemes, the farmers that J could not cope with the capital demand either rent out their plots or sell the plots outright to rich absentee land owners who then employ the same farmers labourers to work the land, thus aggravating land . accumulation in few hands. Also, the grazing sector of the largescale irrigation projects like the KRP has not been developed.

Thus, while the Fulani cattle herds have plenty of water to drink, there is not enough grazing for the cattle. Hence, the regu lar incidence of cattle breaking into farm lands to graze on field crops. The challenge of the large scale irrigation sector is how to achieve a balance between social and economic objectives of agricul tural development in Nigeria. However, "in some respects both Man and the environment have ben efited from the activities connected with hydroagri culture. What must be done is to consolidate (the) gains and .... minimise the pains (Olofin 1991).

Forestry: Kano State is among nine Afforestration Programme states, funded by the World Bank. The aim is to control desertification and land degradation. Kano Afforestration Programme (KNAP) works in collaboration with the Afforestration Planning and Coordinating Unit (APCU) by direct involvement or to mobilise communities, groups, institutions and individuals in afforestration.

To date, 406km. covering 426.3 ha shelterbelt and 669 km roadside planting of exotics and indigenous species have been achieved. There are 2,693 nurseries divided between central (9), community (533), institution (433) and private (1,718). From 1988 to 1996, 8,700,000 seedlings were provided while 7,674,896 seedlings were dis tributed. There are 984 woodlots either tree species or in mixture with institutional plants for fire wood, poles and other tree products. Farm forestry practices aim at involving individuals, communities and group in planting, protecting, nurturing and maintaining trees on farmland alongside their regu lar crops.

With 1335 schools participating in Young Foresters Clubs where pupils are trained to raise, learn about trees and thus extend knowledge to their parents, Kano State ranks first in the pro gramme (APCU, 1998). An evaluation report has proved the programme to be beneficial in soil con servation, improved (soil) fertility, increased crop yields, increased supply of firewood, fodder and poles, generation of employment and income, increased awareness of the benefits of afforestra tion and improved nutrition through fruit production.

Livestock: Kano State has a dense livestock population with over a million cattle, 5 million sheep and 6 million goats. It is also a receiving region from within Nigeria and neighbouring Niger Republic. Livestock development is supported by five Livestock Investigation and Breeding Centres, two cattle ranches, and an artificial insemination programme.

The public and private sectors are involved in disease control, eradication and curative service while government controls movement of livestock into and out of the state. Grazing reserves created by government are served with earth dams, open wells and boreholes to facilitate access of ani mals to water. Development in the fishery sector is enhanced by the large and small manmade lakes.

Mineral Resources: Minerals include tin in Ririwai hills with an estimated daily yield of 900 tonnes: niobium/columbite, tantalum and wofram/tungsten; silica; stones and sand; kaoline and clay; lead and granites. Soda ash is also found but the extent of available resources is yet unknown as no systematic studies have been car ried out (RMRDC, 1990).

Industrial Development: Kano has a long his tory of crafts and cottage industry in leather works, calabash design, textiles, weaving and dyeing. In the modern manufacturing sector, it is second only to Lagos. Largescale manufacturing began with food processing e.g. oil mills and confectioneries, tanneries, textiles and garments. Most of these are located in Bompai industrial estate. The old indus tries have increased in number and new ones have been added (Table 19.6).

Local Sourcing of Raw Materials: Kano has the greatest potential for groundnut and wheat pro duction of all states in the country. Sun flower, soya beans, guinea corn, and millet are also produced. Wheat production has been supported on the many large, medium and small irrigation schemes.

However, dependence on manual harvesting has led to much wastage and continued profitable pro duction has to explore avenues for machine har vesting. Already, largescale production of tomato has induced the initiative to set up a 250tons plant capacity per day tomato processing factory at Kadawa (KANFRU).

A major service on quality improvement of hides and skins is provided by gov ernment and all hides and skin purchased in other states and from neighbouring countries by individu als and companies are brought to Kano for tanning, selection and bailing for export.




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