NATURAL RESOURCE AND POTENTIALS FOR DEVELOPMENTPost Comment NATURAL RESOURCE AND POTENTIALS FOR DEVELOPMENT Nigeria
Agriculture,Forestry and Other Basic Activities : Over 85 per cent of the state's population is engaged in agriculture. The main crops are millet, guinea corn, sugar cane, beans and cereals. sustaining revenue generating capacity of over The state is second only to Borno in livestock production N400,000 per month, Although available data on cattle population are dated, nevertheless, the National Livestock Survey showed that Sokoto State has a livestock population of nearly 1.18 million cattle, nearly 2.90 million goats, 1.98 million sheep, 2.0 million chickens, 45,000 camels, 34,532 horses and 51,388 donkeys.
The large livestock population of the State, along with the equally high densities of the farming population, has led not only to overgrazing and soil degradation but also to conflicts over land use between the pastoralists and farmers. This situation has been further worsened by desertification and the occurrence of occasional drought. Artificial insemination facilities are available at Sokoto. Sokoto has a poultry production capacity of over 5,000 dayold chicks per week. Pilot fish farms have been established at Wamakko, Lugu and Takware.
There is also a large private fish farm in the state capital. The state is also at the forefront in Fadama agricultural development. About 6,280 tubewells have been sunk, making about 4,500 hectares cul tivable. Favourable irrigation sites have been developed by the construction of dams at Wurno, Goronyo, Kalmalo and Wamakko. Most of these irrigation schemes are, however, underutilised. In order to halt the spread of arid conditions and sandstorms, a major afforestation programme has been embarked upon in the state.
The Sokoto Environmental Protection Agency and the state Agricultural Development Authority have erected about 9,159km. of shelterbelts spread over all local government areas. In addition, more shelter belts have been planned for such desertification prone areas as Isa, Silame and Gwadabawa. About 40,000 improved seedlings have also been raised for public utilisation. Farmers Agricultural Supply Company (FASCO), a subsidiary of the State Agriculture and Rural Development Authority, has established ninetyfive farm service centres and seventy stores, sunk 3,566 boreholes and constructed 2,339km of rural feeder roads as well as thirtytwo dams.
Similarly, 1,967 soil samples have been tested for soil fertility and farmers are advised about the distribution pat tern of the soil. This is in addition to the procurement and sale of farm implements and inputs to farmers. Numerous training programmes have been mounted by the authority while a Women in Agriculture Unit has been recently set up in the agency.
Industrial Development: Industries available in the state at the moment include the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria at Sokoto, Inco Beverages Factory, Ceramic Industry at Sokoto and several others. Other industries at var ious stages of completion include the Sokoto Synthetic Marblewares Ltd, Sokoto, Farriacco Alluminium Roofing sheets, Best Bag Co. Ltd. and Silcola Dairy Company as well as the Flour Mills. In addition, there are numerous financial houses rang ing from banks to insurance houses .
Cottage industries like dyeing, leather tanning, black smithing, weaving and carving are found in the state. Also, local and smallscale industries like clothing design, woven goods like hats and mats and many leather goods are available. Remarkably, a joint domestic trade fair between Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger and Kwara States was staged in Kebbi in October 1997. And since then, the state has been participating in such domestic fairs and in several national and international trade fairs.
Local Sourcing of Raw Materials: Sokoto State is popular for its Gudale cattle and acknowledged clay and limestone formations all over the state. By this virtue, industries like the Sokoto leather and tanning industry, the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, Sokoto, and a host of others are located in the state with over 75 per cent locally sourced raw materials.
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