Last year we had the first ever AFEX harvest party intended to mark AFEX’s 5th year anniversary while emphasizing the amazing contributions of our partner farmers, who have been an integral part of our work since we first began. The harvest party covered three communities, with two of those communities – Pampaida and Saminaka – being in Kaduna State due to the high percentage of the AFEX farmer network present in Kaduna State. AFEX presently operates 12 Accredited Warehouses in Kaduna state, but beyond our operations in Kaduna, it has become increasingly evident that the state has become a vital player in the Nigerian agricultural sector. Our Kaduna state in focus report delves into the state’s agriculture economy looking at some of the factors that are already in place to support agriculture in the state as well as the structures and policies that are still required to further the development of the sector.
Two statistics summarize Nigeria’s agricultural economy in Kaduna. First, Kaduna state’s agricultural sector remains the largest source of revenue as it contributed 38% to the total GDP of the state in 2017. Second, 77.5% of the 9.02 million people living in the state are active farmers, occupying the sixth largest state by landmass in Nigeria at 42, 481 square kilometres. These numbers are essential to highlight along with the fact that crop production in maize, paddy rice, sorghum, soybeans, and beans drive the enormous contribution by the state to the sector.
With hundreds of hectares of agricultural land and a rich agroecological zone coupled with a tropical climate, Kaduna is at a resource advantage. The presence of two agroecological zones: Northern Guniea Savanah and derived savannah influences the cultivation of maize, soybeans, cowpea, and groundnut skewed towards the dry season and cassava, rice, ginger, yam and major crops towards the rainy season.
The Ministry of Agriculture founded in 1980 is saddled with the responsibility of providing policy direction for the State Government on her agricultural sector. It also provides oversight function of its implementing agencies – Kaduna Agricultural Development Agency (KADA) and Kaduna State Livestock Regulatory Authority (KADLRA). Its vision is to make Kaduna State the agricultural hub of the Nation and to achieve this, they have adopted a mission to adequately equip Kaduna state citizens with best in class agricultural knowledge in a bid to empower them to power the economy of the State.
Although agribusiness is rapidly booming in the state, the productivity is lagging. Kaduna would require a purposeful and sustainable investment and focus on instituting and courting public-private partnership to transform the sector. These partners will be required to digitize and employ cutting-edge technologies to boost efficiency in the sector as well as provide the structures for enabling access to finance and markets. Kaduna’s small farm holdings and agribusinesses require the implementation and continuous improvement of the state’s operating environment, which will give room for agriculture stakeholders working within the state to continually strive for sustainable growth.
To read more on the Kaduna state in focus report, click here.