Katsina State is an agrarian State and Agriculture, in the form of crop and livestock production is the main employer of Labour. It also provides food and income earning for majority of the people.
There is wide scope of investment in Agricultural crop production in the state; investors may well look into the possibility of establishing large scale commercial production farms or utilization of local farmers as out growers to source for commodities in commercial quantities, development of modern storage facilities and value adding factories, procurement of external markets and transportation of the commodities either fresh or processed.
4.2 Agricultural Productivity
- Production Environment
Katsina State lies entirely within the tropics (latitude 11o00′ to 13o25N Longitude 6o45′ to 9o05E) with distinct rainy season (May to October) and dry season (November to April). Though the weather conditions can be chilly and dusty in December and January, there are no frosts or freezing temperatures to deter plant growth. The soil varies from deep clay loams to sandy loam with gentle topographic features over much of the State.
The critical determinants of plant growth (and hence agricultural production) are the availability of suitable land and adequacy of water supply, thus, with development of its natural water resources and irrigation infrastructures, the State has capacity of cultivating various types of crops and livestock production year-round.
This gives the State the comparative advantage of producing and supplying fresh, organic products on demand in any season of the year by using its rain-fed and irrigation agriculture in complimenting each other.
- Rain-fed Agriculture
The State covers a land area of 24,192 square kilometers of which 67% (about 1.60 million hectares) is devoted to cultivation within the season. The state has been divided into three agro-ecological production zones. This offers advantage of growing a wide range of crops.
- Irrigation Agriculture
The irrigation calendar begins where the rain-fed cropping season terminates with cessation of rains, which is, generally by the end of October. The irrigation season continues till commencement of rains in May of the subsequent year. There are several irrigation sites distributed all over the State and more areas are being developed for dry season farming to compliment rain-fed agriculture.
Since irrigation is a farming system with human controlled moisture environment regimes, almost any type of crop can be grown under irrigation depending on market demand. However, by tradition, farmers in But, by their tradition, farmers in the State concentrate on production of horticultural crops, such as tomatoes, pepper, onion, cabbage, lettuce and various kinds of melons.
The availability of various types of crops cultivated in the State provides an opportunity for setting up of agro-allied industries. As previously stated, Cotton, Beans, Tomato and Pepper, Groundnut, Millet, Maize and Guinea corn are raw materials for various types of industries. Leather and shoe manufacturing industries are feasible because of the availability in commercial quantity of hides and skin in all the nooks and crannies of the State.
Funtua textiles factory which employs over one thousand workers depend heavily on cotton being produced in Funtua, Bakori, Dandume, Sabuwa, Faskari, Danja, Dutsin-Ma, Kurfi, Malumfashi and Kafur local government areas of the State.
The availability of these raw materials offers wide ranging opportunities for setting up more commercial ventures in the State. The two oil mills situated in Katsina and Funtua depend on groundnut and cotton seed for their raw material requirements.
- Fruits Trees/Orchard Development
Because of its favourable tropical climatic conditions which permit plant growth year-round and its abundant water resources; the State is positioned to become a major producer of fruits for home consumption and export.
Wide variety of mangoes, citrus, guava, papaya and date palm are presently grown in small peasant holding for local consumption as fresh fruits.
With the expansion of irrigation farming system, the State Government is seriously looking for investors to partner in the establishment of commercial scale plantation estates for fruits production as well as the allied industries for packaging; value-addition processing and International Airport offer much credence to the proposal.
- Livestock Production
Due to the long history and tradition of rearing livestock dating back to antiquity, Katsina State is one of the leading supplies of live Animals and Animal-related products for the nation.
The State excels in ruminant production with capital asset of one million cattle, three million goats and two million sheep.
Allied to the livestock is production and conservation of fodder crops which constitutes significant component and contributes to the aggregate commodities and agricultural productivity of the State.
Fodder production and conservation is a lucrative income-generating vocation for the farmers under both the rain-fed and irrigation farming system.
- Katsina Songhai Initiative
The State has entered into an agreement with Songhai Farms (Benin Republic) to establish three centres at Zobe dam, Sabke dam and Mairuwa dam. These centres will develop 15,000ha for the production of various crops, food process and animal husbandry. The centres will also serve for training of youth in modern farming techniques. The Zobe Dam Centre has already been established.
Proposed Projects for Investment
The main goal of the Government of Katsina State is to harness the vast agricultural potential residing in the State, ensure food security for the people and lay a solid foundation for rapid industrialization and economic transformation of the State. The Government is therefore pursuing every opportunity to promote and support establishment of Projects that can diversify economic activities and open more avenues for employment in the State for the betterment of its people. The Government has particular interest in agro-allied enterprises with priority focus on Projects such as:
- Commercial Crop Production for Domestic and Export Markets
Establishment of large scale production farms with focus on crops such as Maize, Sorghum, Beans, Soybeans, Potatoes, Sunflower, Sesame, Tomatoes, Pepper, Onion, Garlic, Wheat and Rice, etc.
- Commercial Livestock Production for Domestic and Export Markets
- Sheep breeding and multiplication ranch for production of feeders;
- Goat breeding and multiplication ranch for production of feeders;
- Fodder crop production and conservation farms for commerce;
- Sheep/Goat finishing feed lots for meat processing factories.
- Development of Orchard Plantation Estates
Establishment of large scale fruit production farms involving introduction of improved seeds/varieties of enhanced quality and standard with focus on Citrus, Mango, Guava, Cashew, Papaya (Pawpaw) and Date Palm.
- Value-addition, Processing and Packaging Factories
- Tomato handling factories – cold chain bulk storage and preservation processing/value addition and production of Tomato Puree;
- Oil extraction industries focusing on Sunflower, Sesame and Soy beans;
- Fruit extraction/beverage production and industries;
- Meat processing and packaging industries;
- Hides/Skin tanneries and related technologies.
- Marketing and Provision of Agro-allied Services
- Produce marketing and export services;
- Manufacturing/Procurement of agricultural machinery, equipment, tools and spares;
- Production/Dealership of inputs of production;
- Linkages to technical service providers.
Projects Institutional Arrangement
Katsina State is an ideal place for agro-allied business enterprises with good enabling environment for growth. There are close to 50,000 hectares presently amenable to irrigation with possibility of cultivation of crops year round.
There are also 106,000 hectares of virgin forest areas in the State (See Table 4). The State Government will be prepared to release these areas for agricultural development.
There are three possible institutional arrangements according to which Projects proposed above may be fashioned and managed. The proprietorship of the Projects may take either of the following:
· Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
· Public Private Partnership (PPP)
· Contract/Out-grower Mobilization and Support.
Irrespective of whichever partnership is adopted, the Government will give full support to investors in all aspect of agro-allied businesses in the State. The land policy in the State is liberal and flexible. Government will facilitate acquisition and undertake development of social and public service infrastructures. The latter includes developing access roads, domestic water supply, power supply and general security measures to safeguard the investments.