Wheat farmers urge FG to intervene in price peg by flour millers
Some wheat farmers in Abuja on Wednesday appealed to the Federal Government to intervene in the off-take price peg on wheat by flour millers to encourage production.
They made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
They expressed regret that the agreement between them and flour millers to purchase a 100kg bag of wheat at N14, 000 was not commensurate with the cost of production.
Mr Abdullahi Maigari, a wheat farmer in Jigawa, said that the price was not encouraging.
Maigari explained that a 100kg bag of wheat was sold between N30, 000 and 35, 000 at the open market.
According to him, most farmers prefer to sell their produce at the open markets than to sell directly to flour millers.
The farmer said the upward review of the price, would encourage more entrants into the business, boost production and ensure food security.
He also appealed to the Federal Government to sustain the ban on imported wheat to enable local production flourish.
‘‘I am going to farm 10 hectares of wheat this year but the problem is that the buy-back price agreement we have with flour millers is not encouraging.
‘‘Wheat production generally increased in the country but some of us are backing out because of the low off-take price.
‘‘We want the Federal Government to intervene so that the price can increase and many farmers can come into the production,’’ he said.
Mrs Malama Alhaji, also a farmer in Kano State, said that intervention from the Federal Government will encourage them to produce more wheat.
She called for prompt distribution of farm inputs to boost agricultural production.
‘‘We want timely distribution of seeds and other farm inputs.
‘‘Bank of Agriculture (BOA) does not give loan until the farming season is almost gone.
‘‘We want the government to come and intervene so that we will have a better buy-back price for our produce,’’ Alhaji said.
Hajiya Salamatu Kuka, a wheat farmer in Jigawa, said that wheat farmers in the state were yet to benefit from the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
‘‘If the government can address our challenges, we are ready to grow more wheat even for export,’’ she said.
NAN recalls that wheat farmers association and flour millers association in 2016, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to off-take locally produced wheat across the country at a fixed price of N14, 000 per 100kg bag.