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Published On: Mon, Sep 1st, 2014

Wheat production: FG to expand farmland in Bakolori

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From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau

In a bid to boost wheat farming in the country, the Federal Government has concluded arrangement to expand the cultivated farmland allocated to wheat production in Bakalori in Zamfara state.

The intervention is part of the on-going Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) introduced by President Goodluck Jonathan’s led administration to secure wheat production in Nigeria, the facilitator for wheat production in the state, Alhaji Yusha’u Shi’itu Mafara, said.

Mafara, who noted that, the federal government had completed plans for the expansion of the hectares of the cultivated lands designed for wheat production at the Bakalori project site to 1, 200, added that, adequate provision of farm inputs through the Growth Enhancement Scheme at 50% subsidised rate was also in place.

He also said that for the 2011/2012 farming season, 100 hectares have been cultivated to utilise viable seeds for the subsequent years after which the hectares were significantly increased to 250 upon which over 600 metric tons were realised.

“The federal government through ministry of Agriculture has to purchase a total of 487 bags of 100kg (48.7mts) at an impressive price,” he stated.

The facilitator further explained that, in order to sustain wheat production, the federal ministry of agriculture provided 900 bags of improved wheat seeds of 50 kg to the selected 900 farmers in the state with the support of additional 2 bags of fertiliser to each of them.

Mafara, however, asserted that the state government would provide farmers the remaining percentage of the required tones of fertiliser to compliment the effort of the federal government.

He said: “The transformation of Bakalori project site is not limited to the production of wheat alone as similar intervention has been committed to encourage rice farming through the setting up of cluster farmers group.”

“That will serve to clear ways for farmers direct exchange with the Agro-dealers, Processors and marketers which involved Lake Chad research institute that would purchase in large quantity, all the wheat been produced by the Bakalori farmers,” he said.

He assured that the wheat being produced in Zamfara state will be ready for the harvest in the next two weeks and the wheat value chain team of the federal government has been mandated to come to the state for the purchase of the products.

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