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Taken from the wiki

For a package to be considered a catkin package it must meet a few requirements:

The package must contain a catkin compliant package.xml file
That package.xml file provides meta information about the package
The package must contain a CMakeLists.txt which uses catkin
The exception to this rule is that catkin metapackages do not have a CMakeLists.txt file
There can be no more than one package in each folder
This means no nested packages nor multiple packages sharing the same directory

I think you might be missing some files. I had a similar problem once and it was solved through this. Check if you have all these files and follow the following tutorial correctly

If it still does not work, you might have to change the ROS_PACKAGE_PATH