From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
In a bid to encourage the production of wheat in Nigeria, the Federal Government has approved N922 million to mop up 7, 000 metric tonnes of breeders foundation and certified wheat seeds.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, disclosed this during a press conference Kaduna on Monday, said the effort was to expand the wheat value chains.
Represented by the North-West Regional Director in the ministry, Dr. Nyam Y. Leo, Adesina said the Federal Government would also embark on awareness campaigns to encourage wheat production in the country.
According to him, the programme which started in 2012 saw wheat farmers in neither Nigeria planting grains not certified nor hybrid wheat seeds which led to decline in productivity.
“The Minister was in Kebbi and Zamfara states recently and revealed to the whole world potential of Nigeria’s wheat production especially in Bakolori irrigation site.
“In view of this, I have already approved N922m to mop up 7,000 metric tonnes of breeders foundation and certified wheat seeds for the envisaged expansions in the wheat value chain,” he said.
Dr. Adesina who said the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), is a tool by the federal government to improve agricultural production which will lead to continuity, consistency, commitment and value chain.
“We’re repositioning the ministry to reduce dependency on food imports, increase crop yield, enhance incomes for farmers, reduce poverty, increase foreign exchange, enhance food security and ensure national security.
“The approach map out by the ministry to achieve their goals according to Dr. Adesina, include devaluation of power to states and regions, farmers registration and data base, input supply, value added industries, attract foreign and private sector involvement and partition for sustainability,” the Minister added.
Dr. Adesina also expressed delight that all the states in the country except one, have keyed into ATA and this step according to him, will make Nigeria a major exporter of wheat in the near future.