Institute of Semi-Arid Zone Studies (ISAZS) is the first of its kind research institute established in Al-Qalam University Katsina in the year 2020. The Vice-Chancellor appointed Dr. Mansir Abubakar as pioneer Director of the Institute. Its primary mandates include basic and applied science research on sustainable farming systems, developing livestock-based farming system and range management. Its activities iclude conducting research in all aspects of livelihood in the Semi-Arid regions of Dryland areas as well as culture, socio-economics, politics, religion, etc. of the inhabitants. It is of interest to the Institute to serve as repository for innovation on the state of natural resources and desertification process in semi – arid zone of Nigeria and become a reference point to interested parties within and ourside the country. The Institute is responsible to the Vice-Chancellor for its day to day running.

Institute’s Activities

The activities being carried out in the Institute include but not limited to the following:

  1. Research
  2. Research on any problems affecting the development, wellbeing and peace in the Semi-Arid Region.
  3. Research on any problems associated with Islamic culture, Islamic healthcare system and integration of Islamic culture into politics for the benefit of people living in Semi-Arid Zones of Nigeria.
  4. Collaborative Research
  5. Knowledge Transfer
  6. Scouting for Research Funding (Domestic and International)
  7. In-House Training on Emerging Research areas
  8. Organising Conferences and Workshops
  9. Certificate Awarding Programmes

These activities stand as key responsibilities of the Institute with research as top priority.


In our effort to execute the above activities, the Institute has engaged in the following from June, 2020 to date:

Collaborative Research

As a primary component of any research Institute, ISAZS in collaboration with International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has successfully conducted a Pearl millet trial in 2020 production season where the trial became one of the best five in the country.The second phase of the trial is ongoing in the 2021 production season.

In this aspect, ISAZS hasbeen in collaboration with the following bodies:

  1. Islamic Health  Foundation
  2. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).
  3. Others are also identified and the process of collaborations are ongoing. Some of these are: Institutte for Agriculturalm Research (IAR) Samaru, National Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (NIPCR) Abuja, CBN Center for Entrepreneurship Studies, Kano, among others.

We also  submitted a research proposal to Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) titled Preparation Of Islamic Herbal Remedy For Treatment Of Covid-19 Pleurisy and Other Respiratory Infections Using Costus afer (Spiral Ginger)”.

Conferences and Workshops

The Institute succeeded in organising a two day workshop on the art of writing research grant proposal in its efforts to prepare Al-Qalam University academic staff and those drawn from sister tertiary institutions (FUDMA, UMYUK,  FCE-Katsina, HUKPOLY, CLGS-Daura etc.) within Katsina State on how to write research proposal to secure research funding. More trainings, workshops, seminars and conferences are in the pipeline of our activities.

Programmes for Certificate Award

In this regard, preparations are on to establish Diploma programmes under the Institute. These Diplomas will serve as admission pool to some of the undergraduate programmes being run in the University.

Stakeholder’s Expectations

The roles presented below are the expectations of ISAZS from both its Internal and External Stakeholders.

  1. Identification and documentation of the role of governance, institutions and policies in enabling the ground adaptations to the resources available in Semi-Arid Zones.
  2. Identification of the different types of challenges that these regions are facing and promoting knowledge exchange and learning.
  3. Pay attention to key challenges of poverty reduction, peaceful coexistence and needs of the vulnerable people (both locally and regionally).
  4. Shared focus on capacity-building, awareness raising, data collection, monitoring and modelling.


The major challenge is the issue of research funding. Considering the financial situation of the University, especially due to economic instability caused by COVID-19 pandemic, the University found it difficult to sponsor research, but give all necessary support for the smooth take-off of the Institute, as well as in organising workshops and seminars. The management of the Institute is making effort to scout for funding from both Domestic and International organizations to sponsor researches.Aresearch proposal was submitted to CBN, Nigeria and many online applications made to International development agencies.


Upon establishment of the Institute, four staff were posted to manage its affairs shown in Table 6:

Table 6: Staff List

1Dr. Mansir AbubakarPh.D.Ag. Director
2Nura Hussaini KaitaM.A.Admin. Secretary
3Ibrahim BelloB.Sc.Confidential Secretary
4Abdulkadir KassimSSSE CertificateOffice Assistant

Contact Information

Office Location: Muhammad Lawal Kaita Auditorium, AUK


Phone: +2348066213778, +2348037755908, +2348066351430