Nigeria requires 4.2m tons of wheat grain per year

27.10.2016

He disclosed this Wednesday at the pre-season training workshop on wheat production, processing and utilization organised by Lake Chad Research Institute in collaboration with Kaduna state government.

According to him, record shows that wheat is the most imported, processed and consumed food in Nigeria. "Its consumption is expending remarkably in recent times, due to rise in consumption of pastas. Nigeria presently produces about 600,000 metric tons (12.2% self-sufficient), and thus depends on import to meet the huge deficit wheat importation gulps the country's hard earned foreign exchange to the tune of of US$4.0billion annually,"

"However, import dependency is neither economically and politically tolerable nor sustainable, for such displaces domestic wheat production and promotes foreign exchange drain. The most critical challenge for Nigeria today is the encouragement of domestic production. In this realization, everyone has to contribute in order to fast-track achieving self-sufficiency through domestic production," he said.

The technologies developed by Lake Chad Research Institute and her partners he said have been tested and validated by farmers and flour millers association of Nigeria and have confirmed that the Nigerian grown wheat compares favourably with imported wheat; adding that the present drive for large scale production of wheat in quest of self-sufficiency has reached an irreversible and sophisticated status in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, in his speech disclosed plan by his government to get seeds for 50,000 hectares for wheat farming in 2017 as it plans to start with 5,000 hectares this year.

The Governor, who declared war on high rate of unemployment, said that 6000 youths across the 23 local government areas of the state would be trained on wheat production so as to revamp the agricultural sector. He also called on the youths to embrace agriculture, assuring that his government will provide the trainees land.

“We must go back to agriculture for us to feed ourselves as well as feed the nation. Our youths  must embrace agriculture and we will support them to achieve greatness in agriculture. We have the capacity to feed the nation. We have the land and capacity to excel in agriculture. We also want more women to go into agriculture because they will make better farmers than men," he urged.

Earlier, the state Commissioner for agriculture, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Abdulkadir Kasim said that Flour Mills will be buying from the farmers after harvest, saying this will encourage them to produce more wheats. The essence of the training he said was to encourage youth to embrace farming in the state.

dailytrust

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