Nigeria’s wheat production may rise to 450,000MT
Written by MaryGift Sunday on November 18, 2020
Nigeria wheat farmers have increased the forecast for the country’s wheat harvest for 2020/2021 by seven per cent on the back of availability of improved seeds.
Wheat is now projected to yield 450,000 metric tonnes, up from 420,000 metric tonnes produced by farmers in the last season, the President, Wheat Growers Association of Nigeria, Salim Muhammad, confirmed this to newsmen on Tuesday.
Under the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Muhammad said, about 100,000 farmers would be given the necessary incentives to improve wheat production.
After harvesting the wheat, he said the grains would be purchased by flour millers based on a Memorandum of Understanding already signed with them.
He said, “In total, we are thinking of cultivating over 150,000 hectares this season. Our projection for this season based on the test we conducted and available planting materials, we are expecting not less than three tonnes per hectare, meaning we are looking at 450,000 metric tonnes.”
Muhammad said the Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention through the Seed Multiplication Programme planned to support farmers in the cultivation of 80,000 hectares of farmland in order to make seed available for wheat cultivation.
According to him, the apex bank has procured improved wheat seeds from other countries for this purpose.
He said the CBN would act as off-takers of the seeds and make them available to farmers in the next planting season.
“This season, the CBN has two programmes for wheat. The Seed Multiplication programme covers about 80,000 hectares and the programme is going specifically for wheat seed multiplication against next season,” Muhammad said.
“CBN will off-take whatever seeds have been produced and recirculate them in the next season for the farmers to plant.”
Nigeria’s wheat production has been hampered by inadequate seed and lack of technical knowledge transfer on the production of improved seeds.
Every year, Nigeria makes up for the production deficit by importing the product from other countries.
The National Bureau of Statistics data showed that durum wheat valued at N127.85bn was imported from the United States, Latvia, Canada, Argentina, Russia and Lithuania in the first quarter of the year.
Last week, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, while speaking at the National Wheat Stakeholders Workshop in Kano State, stated that through the wheat value chain of the FMARD, it had put in place measures to increase wheat production and reduce its import bill.
Nanono said the ministry had procured 30MT of breeder seeds, which would translate to 1,650MT of foundation seeds; and 50MT of foundation seeds, which would also translate to 2,500MT of certified seeds.