NATURAL RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENTPost Comment NATURAL RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT Nigeria
Agriculture and Forestry: One of the most important assets of the state is the abundant arable land suitable for cultivation of a variety of both food and cash crops. In fact, it is estimated that more than forty percent of the total area of the state is arable, yet not more than forty percent of this is presently cultivated. Crops cultivated in the stati include some oil palm, coffee, tea, coconut, citru fruit, cotton, groundnut, beans, rice, maize (corn; Guinea corn, millet, sweet potatoes, yam, bambar. and other forest products.
Agriculture is, so far, the greatest employer labour with over, eight percent of the labour believed to be engaged in farming. This is made possible by the availability of richly fertile farmlands and favourable climatic conditions. The agriculture scale farm holdings. Agricultural activities are coordinated by the Taraba Agricultural Developmer Programme (TADP) which renders extension serv ices to small scale farmers.
Other agencies, liki the Upper Benue River Basin Developmer Authority and the National Agricultural Lam Development Authority (NALDA) are also engage in promoting food production, especially among small scale farmers. There are a few large scale farm projects like Abiola Farms at Dakka, T.Y. Area Takum. and Cattle Ranches on the Mambill.
Plateau et cetera. The southern part of Taraba state is an embod iment of forest resources. Forest reserves have been established in various parts of the state, either for timber development or fuelwood exploitation. These include the forest reserves at Chicory, Gembu, Bissaula, River Amboi, Kamatan, Kurmi, Donkin, and Gongon.
Others are at Jalingo and Bakin Dutse, Gaba Chede, Dakka, River Suntai and Gongola valleys. There are several other smaller forest reserves all over the state. These forest reserves cover an estimated land area of about 1,442 sq km. Sofar.theBaissa Timber Company is the largest timber industry in Taraba State. Fishery and fish smoking activities are the major occupations engaging a substantial number of people especially in Ibi, Karim, Lamido, Lau and Ardo Kola Local Government Areas.
The Rivers Benue, Donga, Taraba and Mayo Ranewo provide sufficient opportunities for fishery activities in the state, other important basic activities in the state include poultry and nomadic cattle rearing. With over one million heads of cattle, Taraba State has sufficient raw materials for the dairy industry.
Mineral Resources: Not much is known yet about the mineral resources of Taraba State. However, the geological structure of the area sug gests great potentialities. Preliminary surveys have shown the existence of large deposits of marble at Lanadu (Zing LGA), graphite at MayoButali (Jalingo LGA), gelano and barytes in Ibi and Lau LGAs, salt deposits at Akwana (Wukari LGA), lead/zinc at Arufu (in Wukari LGA) and iron stone at Jalingo.