An Overview of Nigeria's Agricultural Products 1

Nigeria is often regarded as a place of agricultural potential and this is due to her size and diversity in climate and culture. But everything in Nigeria does not grow every where in Nigeria, and this fact is easily overlooked by both foreign and indigenous investors and entrepreneurs.

Nigerian is split along geographic and political lines, hence the 6 geo-political zones: North West, North East, North Central, South West, South East, and South-South. This makes it easy to identify what grows and where it grows, because the dominant goods of the North may be scarce in the South and vice-versa. eFarmers Nigeria appreciate the need to recognize the unique goods of each zone for they converge to paint the picture of our country as a rich and fertile place and we present this series in recognition of the specific agricultural contributions of each geo-political zone.

 

The North West

States: Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara

Last year, the African Development Bank classified Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, and Sokoto states as Staple Crops Processing Zones. This is an affirmation of the potential of these Sudan savannah states as primary targets for agro-investments, because their vast grassy landscapes are ideal for rearing ruminant livestock and yet potent enough to produce commercial quantities of Millets, Maize and several grains, Onions, Fruits, and Sugar canes. Groundnuts too. remember the pyramids?

This zone is not all about production but also distribution. Nigeria’s Centre of Commerce, Kano State, is the second largest industrial hub after Lagos and it towers above its peers with its powerful pull for regional and international trade.  Kano’s historical prestige envelopes a unique mix of the extractive and processing industries, supported by sturdy infrastructure which guarantees that entrepreneurs will not lack opportunities for new ventures and they have for inspiration none other than Africa’s foremost entrepreneur, Aliko Dangote, who began his career in Kano. 

As we settle into the year, the local market will be thankful to these staple crop zones for their delivery of truckloads of tomatoes, cattle, sheep and goats.

 

The Spotlight: Argungu and the Fishing Festival

Dead jobs, ceased investments and foreign exchange represent a part of the colossal losses which Kebbi State and Nigeria have suffered due to the 7-year absence of the Argungu Fishing Festival. It appears that the festival is due for a comeback in 2018 and with it a revival of many sectors of the economy. The puzzle now involves the development of a sustainable festival so that it does not lapse into another realm of unproductiveness

 

The North East

States: Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe.

Although 80% of  raw sugar in Nigeria is imported, the Sugarcane plantations in Numan, Adamawa State under the right conditions can fill the local demand for sugar. Taraba State named after the Taraba river styles itself as “Nature’s gift to the Nation” and the river gifts irrigation opportunities to the state allowing them to grow Tea and Coffee, Grains and Tubers in the dry season and providing a small fishing industry for the local communities.

These demonstrate that that the unrests in the zone do not erase the value that these Sahel Savannah States bring to the national economy. On the contrary, the unrests emphasize the need for the government to stabilize this region or risk a complete loss of economic sanity for Africa’s largest population.

Ruminant livestock, wheat, tomatoes, spices and cotton are part of the portfolio of this region and while many Nigerians have expressed outrage at the apparent preferential treatment of this zone by the Federal Government, this impressive portfolio justifies the efforts of the World Bank and the FAO to stimulate stability in this region and unearth food security.

 

Spotlight: Sugar Self-Sufficiency

The demand for Sugar is projected to grow

To be Continued

 

By Pius Abeshi

Piusabeshi@efarmers.ng

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