COTTON PRODUCTION; KANAM LGA ON THE RISE AGAIN
Kanam LGA on the Plateau is popularly referred to as home of carton, cattle and Groundnut since the colonial days.
The LGA has more than seventeen cotton markets making it one of the most bubbling LGAs in term of economic prosperity. This is so because the colonial economy was purely agrarian and solid mineral dependent. Cotton was one of the major cash crops through which colonialism prospers in Nigeria and the Northern.
The production of cotton in large commercial quantities gave rise to the establishment of many cotton processing industries in Zaria, Funtua and Kano respectively. Textile industries sprung up in the North making it one of the economically viable entities in the subsaharan Africa.
No wonder Henry Berth during his expedition referred to Kano City as the Manchester of Africa because of the production of clothes the area was known before the colonial era.
As enterprising as Kanam was in cotton production during and post colonial periods, there has never been any attempt of locating a cottage industry for the processing of the cotton in the area. The produce had to be transported far away to Zaria or Funtua in present day Katsina State for processing and distribution to the textile industries in Kaduna or Kano.
When the President Muhammadu Buhari administration came on board in the 2015, he made it abundantly clear to Nigerians that agriculture would be given the best of priority it deserved. There is no doubt to the fact that priority was truly given to the agricultural sector of our economy. Today we produce what we eat in Nigeria. Thank God, we would have been in a sorry situation as the global economy continue to face serious challenge because of the Corona Virus pandemic. The price of crude oil continue to dwindled on daily basis in the international market.
The Production of cotton was given a special intervention from the Central Bank of Nigeria like the production of rice and other strategic crops in the country.
Today, Dengi the headquarters of Kanam LGA is one of the bubbling market for cotton. More than six trailer load of cotton are being transported to Funtua on weekly basis since January 2020.
Kanam LGA has truly risen to its old glory of home of cotton production on the Plateau and indeed Nigeria at large. The economic earning of cotton farmers is on the rise as a person can sell cotton to about five to ten million naira.
As bubbling as the production and marketing of the product is in Kanam, the need for cottage industry for the processing of the product is still very imperative. We wish to appeal to Plateau State government under the able leadership of Barr. Simon Lalong to provide enabling environment for the establishment of such industry in Kanam. This will truly help dramatically in taking our able bodied youth off the street.
Our sincere appreciation to Alh. Muhammad Garga (Shandam) for driving the rebirth of the old glory of Kanam as the home of cotton production.
ND Shehu Kanam
Student of Political Economy and Rural Development,
Nasarawa State University, Keffi.