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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ribats and the Development of Plantations in the Sokoto Caliphate: A Case Study of Fanisau
Author:Salau, Mohammed B.
Periodical:African Economic History
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Northern Nigeria
Sokoto polity
History and Exploration
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Military, Defense and Arms
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/25427025
Abstract:'Ribats', in the context of the Sokoto Caliphate of northern Nigeria, were walled military settlements established for defending and protecting the frontiers and settled agricultural hinterland of major population centres. This type of institution was well known in the history of other Islamic societies. This paper draws on the case study of Fanisau, northeast of Kano, to offer corroborative evidence for the argument that the location of 'ribats' was a factor in the development of plantations in Sokoto Caliphate. It examines why the settlement was made a 'ribat' shortly after the successful completion of the jihad in Kano. It demonstrates that pressing demands to feed resident soldiers and to strengthen socioeconomic conditions largely compelled the emir of Fanisau, Ibrahim Dabo, to establish royal estates at Fanisau as soon as it was converted into a 'ribat' in 1819. It argues that for better defence Dabo almost simultaneously promoted development policies which included land grants and tax exemptions, which, in turn, fostered the foundation of numerous private estates mainly by wealthy kola nut merchants, especially the Agalawa and Tokorawa, who equally recognized that establishing plantations would foster their own enterprise. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]