NATURAL RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENTPost Comment NATURAL RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT Nigeria
Agricultural Resources and Development: Kebbi State has a total land area of approximately ' 36,229 sq. km. Out of this, only an estimated 13, 209 sq. km is currently being used for cultivation, while 293 sq. km is the built up area thus far, leaving a large proportion of land still underutilised.
About 200,000 ha of fertile land is fadama land, mainly situated along the flood plains of the Rima and Niger valleys. The rest is upland, where season cultivation by mainly small holders dominate. These farmlands are capable of supporting "' largescale production of crops like millet, guinea corn, rice, wheat, beans, groundnut, cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, sweet potatoes, and vegetables like onion, pepper and tomatoes.
Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy Kebbi State, with more than eighty percent of the people engaged in it. Rainfall is seasonal, as such most farming is carried out during the wet season on the upland during which food and cash crops such as millet, sorghum, maize, rice, beans, cassava, cotton, and tobacco are cultivated.
During the dry season, farming is carried out in the vast fadama lands where crops such as tomatoes, onions, pepper, sugar cane, vegetable and sweet potatoes and wheat are cultivated. Farming is most ly based on indigenous techniques, using local inputs of seeds, family and animal labour and informal credits.
Animal traction is used among the Kambari, Dukawa and Dakarkaris. Indigenous forms of cultivation are however gradually giving way, as more farmers now use improved seed varieties, chemical fertilizers, formal credit facilities, and ploughs and tractors. Due to migration of family members, indigenous forms of farm labour also are gradually being replaced by hired labour.
Incidentally to hire labour, a crucial factor in determining the scale of farming as well as its success or failure, is expensive thereby affecting production and productivity. Some farmers rear cattle, sheep and goats to augment their income. These animals are fed with the stalk of grains, and leaves of legumes.
For the most part, animals are grazed in the open field around the village and in the fadamas. Animal wastes are in turn used to manure the field. In essence, therefore, some form of mixed farming is practiced. Most animal rearing is done by the Fulani who oscilate from north to south.
They migrate out of the area further south to the middle belt during the wet season and return to the area during the dry season. These animals are the main sources of meat, milk, butter and manure. In search of water and pasture for their animals, the herdsmen have often run into conflict with sedentary farming communities. To reduce such conflicts, the state government has set up struc tures and facilities in strategic locations.
It has carved out animal routes and set up conflictresolu tion committees between farmers and herders. The people also engage in other related activi ties such as collection of forestry products like fruits, wood, and ropes which are sold or used in making materials of arts and craft such as baskets, caps, mats and domestic appliances like mortar and pestles.Other activities are fishing, poultry keeping, blacksmithing, weaving and knitting. The people also engage in petty trading like hawking of kolanuts, water, cigarettes and meat (suya).
Forest Resources: There are nine existing for est reserves in Kebbi State, and there are pockets of 'natural' forests in the south and southeast which yield forest resources like wood, thatches, fruits as well as being sanctuaries for wildlife.
Already, the forests in the riverine areas of the state are exploit ed for wood, used in boat building at Yauri, while in the other parts of the state (around Zuru), the local populace utilize the wood in carving mortars, pes tles and handles of various implements like hoes and knives.
Existing forest resources are, however, undersevere threat by animal grazing, bush burning and sourcing for fuelwood. These have caught the t attention of the Kebbi State Ministry of Agriculture , and Natural Resources, the Kebbi State Afforestation Programme (KSAP) and the Kebbi State Environmental Protection Agency (KSEPA). These agencies have pushed through various edicts to curtail the wanton destruction of forest resources. Furthermore, they have undertaken campaigns to improve the quality and number of forest reserves in the state.
Animal Resources: Kebbi State has abundant livestock which include cattle, sheep, goats, if camels, horses, donkeys, pigs and poultry. A survey of livestock potentials in the state . Kebbi State ranks among the five states with the highest number of livestock. The state exports quite a substantial number to other states of Nigeria.
Animal sale at some selected markets in the state are shown in Table 21.6. The importance of livestock in the economy of i the young State can be deduced from the number slaughtered every year. It is estimated that some i 110,000, 152,000 and 211,000 cattle, sheep and goats respectively are slaughtered annually in Kebbi State.
Thus hides and skins is an important livestock subsector. Table 21.9 further shows that Bagudo Local Government has the highest concentration of livestock followed by Bunza and Yauri.. The bulk of this cattle population is found in the area south of the 12° parallel.
Water Resources: Kebbi State has relatively abundant surface water resources in the form of s rivers, such as the Niger, Rima and Ka. These rivers are sources of water for irrigation, domestic use, fishing and transportation. It is estimated that about 60 to seventy percent of the arable land in the state is irrigable.
This explains why a number of irrigation projects have been proposed by the, SokotoRima Basin Development Authority on some of these rivers. These include Zauro Polder y Project at Zauro (10,672 ), Niger Valley Project at a Yelwa (4,023 ) and Middle Rima project at Argungu (6,405 ha). The Zauro Polder Project was primarily intended to harness the potentials of the fadama land located between Argungu and Birnin Kebbi by the construction of dykes to protect the land from flooding and utilise it all year. The Yelwa project, centred around Yelwa town in Yauri Local Government, is intended to develop the Niger valley flood plains and the adjoining terraces. It also t involves the construction of dykes, irrigation channels and associated infrastructure.
Mineral Resources: Existing mineral resources in g the state include quartz found in the Zuru area, kaolin in the sedimentary areas of Kaoje in Bagudo , local government, pisolitic bauxite and clay in Dakingari, clay with alumina content in Giro area, potassium in Bunza and Suru areas and silica sand in Bagudo, Yauri, Zuru and Ngaski and salt deposit in Bunza, Arewa and Dandi LGAs (Gamji, 1991). Inspite of the existence of these mineral resources in various parts of the state, no serious exploitation for commercial and industrial purposes has commenced. Thus the mineral resources of the state remain untapped.
Local Sourcing of Raw Materials: The raw material resources of Kebbi State can be divided into agro and mineralbased . The agrobased include agricultural products like millet, sorghum, rice, tobacco and vegetable, while the mineralbased include quartz, kaolin, clay and potassium.
Manufacturing industries: In spite of its vast potentials for industrial development, there are no existing manufacturing industries in Kebbi State. However, the Kebbi Investment Company Ltd. has concluded arrangements to establish six industries in the state. These are tomato processing industries at Warra, onion dehydration plant at Aleiro, cotton ginnery at Bagudo, fish processing industry at Yauri and dairy, printing and publishing industries at Birnin Kebbi.
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