Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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    CBN Moves to Ensure Wheat Self-Sufficiency in Nigeria

    The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed its readiness to boost local production of wheat in a bid to address the rising cost of wheat-based food items, by supporting farmers with inputs, technical know-how and off-taking arrangements with the Flour Millers Association of Nigeria (FMAN).

    The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed its readiness to boost local production of wheat in a bid to address the rising cost of wheat-based food items, by supporting farmers with inputs, technical know-how and off-taking arrangements with the Flour Millers Association of Nigeria (FMAN).

    The Coordinator, Monitoring and Evaluation, CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Program on Wheat Production, Dr Oluwashina Gbenga Olabanji, noted that ABP interventions such as empowerment of wheat farmers with the new heat-tolerant, early-maturing and high-yielding varieties are already yielding results.

    Olabanji, however, made it known that despite significant progress in wheat production, it would take almost 10 years before the country could become fully wheat self-sufficient if efforts are sustained, adding that the CBN imported 13,000 metric tonnes of quality heat-tolerant wheat seeds and 150,000 hectares were cultivated in 16 states of the country between October 2021 and April 2022.

    FMAN Bemoans Its Reliance on Wheat Imports

    He analyzed that out of the 150,000 hectares, about 100,000 were meant for grain production to be off-taken by millers, while 50,000 hectares were meant to produce about 250,000 tonnes of seeds needed for cultivation in the 2022/2023 planting season, starting in October 2022.

    The ABP coordinator also explained that a strategy is being developed to cover about 11 thematic areas spanning from 2022 to 2032 for wheat sufficiency, and that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has been collating wheat production figures, in partnership with millers and farmers, to arrive at production on data in the period under review.

    Olam Collaborates with LCRI to Promote Wheat Production.

    According to him, wheat grains harvest expected by the middle of this year is around 400,000 MT, the largest ever produced in Nigeria, saying NBS would determine the actual production figures. He latter lamented at dubious farmers who refused to pay back ABP loans as debt recovery is currently between 30 and 36 per cent.

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