Katsina State was created in 1987. It is a mono ethnic and monolingual state and the people are generally Hausa/Fulani. The state extends from the tropical grassland known as Sudan Savannah to Arid Zone in the North. It is blessed with fair rainfall. The rainy season is longer in the southern part of the state where it lasts for up to six months, whereas, it usually lasts for five months in the northern part.
Agriculture is the backbone of Katsina State’s economy. It is alleged that seventy five percent of the people are directly or indirectly involved in agriculture. The state is blessed with abundant land for cultivation and animal rearing. It also has ample supply of water, mostly from the surface and underground sources.
Irrigation calendar in Katsina begins where the rainy season ends and continues till another rainy season arrives. The state also boasts of a large livestock population which is made up of cattle, goats and sheep. A wide range of crops are also grown in Katsina. Some of the crops produced in the state are:
This perennial grass is produced in commercial quantity in Katsina State. Sugarcane is traditionally cultivated and processed for sugar. It looks like a bamboo cane and grows well in tropical areas. Sugarcane has very high potential for biomass production. It grows into cane stalk. The stalk is fibrous and is rich in the sugar sucrose. Its fibrous stalk can measure more than 3 meters tall.
The most widely cultivated cereal in the world is said be wheat. In Katsina, the cool dry harmattan weather favours the cultivation of this cereal. It is produced mainly for human consumption due to the fact that it has high nutritive value and outstanding palatability. It is used in making bread, cakes, and biscuits and also used in alcohol and beverage production.
Cowpea is an important staple food crop not only in Nigeria but in sub-Saharan Africa as well. With a protein content of 25%, cowpea remains one of the cheapest sources of protein in the diet of many Nigerians. Cowpea also provides feed, forage, hay and silage for livestock. It acts as a cover crop that helps in maintaining the productivity of the soil. Cowpea is not as susceptible to epidemics of diseases as many other grain legumes. Katsina is one of the northern Nigeran states that are notable for cowpea production.
This edible, berry-like fruit is consumed in different ways. Katsina is one of the states whose efforts keep Nigeria in the club of tomato producing nations. Successful tomato cultivation requires soil that is rich in organic matter and rainfall between 1016mm to 1143mm per annum. A viable irrigation system will suffice in the absence of rainfall. In fact, if water is available, tomatoes can be grown all year round. In Katsina, tomatoes are sometimes interplanted with other crops like beans, okro, and spinach.
This crop is also known as sesame and is a tropical annual plant that is remarkably produced for its seeds and oil. This important agricultural export which is called ridi in Hausa is an important agricultural export commonly grown by smallholder farmers in Katsina State. Benniseed is one of the world’s oldest spice and oil seed crops. It is grown for its seeds that contain approximately 50% oil, 25% protein and antioxidants (Sesamun, Sesamolin and Sesamol); a quality that makes the oil one of the most stable vegetable oils in the world.
This is a grass plant with tiny grains that grows well in warm climates. It is well cultivated in Katsina. Sorghum is one of the staple foods for rural people because of its drought and heat tolerant nature. It is nutritious; it contains such mineral nutrients as iron, magnesium, thiamin, phosphorous, potassium, copper, niacin, riboflavin as well as calcium. Sorghum can be fermented, grinded and processed into the popular drink, kunu.
O.T. Ikwuakam, A. Iyela and N.S. Sangotegbe “Information Needs of Sesame Farming Households in Selected Agricultural Zones of Katsina State, Nigeria,” Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2016.
Garba K. Naisa Adamu, Aliyu Ibrahim Kankara and Rabiu Tukur, “Environmental Problems of Lycopersicon Esculentum Production in Irrigable Areas of Funtua, Katsina State Nigeria,” Natural and Applied Scienes, Vol. 4, No. 4, 2013.
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