By Bashir Bello – Kano
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono says the country in the last four years has imported wheat worth about N2.2 trillion.
This was as he said the Federal government has put measures in place to change the narrative while calling on farmers to increase their yield to make up for the production deficit.
The Minister stated this during the Kano Wheat Farmers Field Day organised by the Flour Milling Association Of Nigeria held at Dambatta Local Government Area.
According to him, “In the last 4 years, Wheat worth about 2.2 trillion Naira was imported, but we have put in place measures to increase wheat production so as to reduce the import bill”.
“There is need for availability of seeds and creation of small scale industries through massive investment in the wheat value chain in order to reduce the importation of the cereal,” Nanono said.
Similarly, the Kano State Deputy Governor and Commissioner of Agriculture, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna stressed the need for total commitment and collaboration between stakeholders in wheat farming to meet the demand in the country.
This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen by the Deputy Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Hassan Musa Fagge.
Gawuna said the Kano State Government under Governor Ganduje has continued to engage with development partners, community and farmer-based organisations in the provision of enabling environment for supporting local production of wheat through improved production inputs for enhanced productivity, processing, and marketing of the cereal.
“There is a need for the stakeholders to come and connect together to explore ways of boosting the production of wheat like it was done to rice in the country, so as to make the industry grow to greater heights.
“The selection of wheat value chain by Kano State was deliberate, considering the importance of the cereal in contributing directly to the State food security and local production, exports and livelihood production improvement.
“He commended the Federal Government for its laudable support to agriculture and also applauds the Flour Milling Association Of Nigeria for engaging farmers through implementing an intensive out-grower program with input loans in Dambatta, Garun Mallam, Bunkure, Kura and Ajingi local governments areas”.
Earlier, in his remarks, the President Of the Wheat Farmers Association Of Nigeria Alhaji Salim Muhammad explained that the occasion has clearly shown that by applying best agricultural practices wheat can grow effectively in Nigeria.
He, therefore, appealed to the Federal and State Governments to support the wheat farming sector with integrated mechanized equipment.