The economic potentials of Bakori grains market
The vast farm lands and agrarian nature of Bakori Local Government Area of Katsina State could not be unconnected with its famous grains market known as Kasuwar Sama. The name derived from the distance between the market and Bakori town.
The market started as a unit of Bakori main market before it was relocated to its present location at Yashe road, opposite Bakori local government secretariat in 1992. The decision to relocate the market was taken to allow for its rapid development.
Major commodities traded in the market include maize, guinea corn, millet, beans, rice, groundnut, soya beans, pepper as well as cocoyam and sweet potatoes. The commodities are mainly supplied by the peasant and large scale farmers from the nooks and crannies of the local government area such as Tsiga, Barde, Kwantakwaram, Dawan Muasa, Kakumi, Guga, Yan’Kwani and Kurami.
Farmers from other local governments of the state such as Faskari, Sabuwa, Funtua, Malumfashi, Danja, Kafur also find the market as an avenue to sell their farm produce.
According to the chairman of the market (Sarkin Kasuwa) Alhaji Abdullahi Bakori, businessmen are going as far as Soba, Giwa, Saminaka in Kaduna State and Bida, Kontagora in Niger State, Dawanau market in Kano, Illela in Sokoto, Mani, Mashi and Mai’adua in Katsina State as well as Keffi in Nasarawa State to supply the market with adequate commodities.
He added that businessmen from Anambra, Imo, Delta and Abia states of the eastern part of Nigeria also patronise the market just as people from Lagos, Oyo, Osun, and Kwara states are not left out.
He said buyers come from abroad to patronise the market on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Abdullahi said traders come from Ghana, Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic to buy grains and other commodities from the market.
Investigations show that during harvesting period over one hundred trucks of different sizes are daily loaded with grains to different parts of the country and abroad.
Similarly, on Fridays 72 trucks or there about are dispatched to various markets mainly within the country, this is as a result of low turnout of the foreign businessmen in the market on Fridays. Between the two market days, however, about 25 trucks are loaded with grains to different parts of the country.
The economic impact of Bakori grains market cannot be overemphasised as youths in the local government area and beyond engage themselves with one business or the other to sustain their lives.
In addition, the market serves as a means of generating internal revenue for Bakori Local Government Council and Katsina State Government.
Usman Musa, a youth from Bakori town who is into local rice processing and selling said: “I have finished my NCE programme since 2007 but I could not secure a white collar job. So, I ventured into this rice business and I now built my own house and I am married with a child.”
Usman said many youths in the area take advantage of the famous market where they go as far as Soba, Saminaka, Giwa in Kaduna State and Bida, Kontagora in Niger State to buy rice which they locally process at home and provide and take to the grains market.
Companies that are into edible oil, biscuit, milk yoghurt, animal feeds as well as cotton ginnery and breweries form the bulk of customers in the market; they send their agents every week to purchase tonnes of soya beans, sorghum and maize.
Some of the companies include: Flour Mills Kaduna, West African Cotton Company (WACOT), Nigerian Breweries, Greasely Nigeria Ltd, SONA industries Lagos and Owomama Industries Ijebu Ode. Others are Tafawa Baleawa Company Kano and ABJ Nigeria Ltd Funtua.
Investigations revealed that though the market has a good location and relative security as it is situated behind Bakori Divisional Police headquarters, there is an urgent need of a commercial bank in the market or the town to ease the monetary transactions in the market.
Besides the chunk of civil servants in the local government area, large sums of money change hands twice in a week but Bakori town has no commercial bank.
John Unoaha, a businessman from Delta State, lamented the lack of bank in the town, saying they have to rely on banks in the neighbouring Funtua town.
Similarly, Alhaji Attahiru Maishinkafa, a rice merchant from Sokoto State said: “Many of our businessmen from Sokoto axis are no longer patronising Bakori market for the lack of bank and lodging facilities, we have to rely on Funtua.”
He called on the local government authorities and wealthy individuals to take the advantage of establishing a lodging facility in Bakori to maximize their revenue generation and create jobs.
Bakori grains market is one of the many big markets in Katsina State that attract merchants from different places and sustain the economy of the state through revenue generation and provision of jobs and food items.
Among the popular markets in the state are Dandume grains market, Sheme cattle market, Kafur market, Mani, Mashi, Mai’adua, Charanchi, Zango and Daura markets.
Trucks loading grains from Bakori market to other parts of the country