farmers want national policy on wheat production
Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to put in place a national policy on wheat to encourage wheat farmers and boost production.
The National President of the association, Alhaji Salim Muhammad, made the call in Kano on Tuesday, while speaking to newsmen on the current developments in wheat production in the country.
He said that the policy would guide decision makers in establishing conscious plans and actions that would guarantee improved wheat production in the country.
Muhammad, who is also a member of the Presidential Task Force on Wheat, nonetheless, expressed regret over the continuous neglect of wheat farming by various governments.
He said that wheat farmers across the country had not enjoyed government support since the 2017 farming season, adding that the development had forced many wheat farmers out of business.
He said that the proposed policy should encompass wheat processing, packaging and marketing.
Also speaking, Alhaji Farouk Rabiu, the Chairman of Kano State chapter of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), said that wheat farmers in the state were facing the challenge of inadequate improved seeds.
He said that hitch-free supplies of improved varieties of wheat seeds would boost wheat production in the country.
Rabiu said that wheat farmers in Kano State were currently producing between two and three tonnes of wheat per hectare.
He said that the production would increase if improved seeds were provided for the farmers.
Reacting, Dr Nasiru Gawuna, the Kano State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, conceded that the lack of high-quality seeds was a major challenge facing wheat cultivation in the state.
Gawuna said that the state government had spent N50 million on the procurement of improved wheat seeds, adding that it had made the seeds available to wheat farmers in the state.
Besides, the commissioner said that the state government had revived its fertiliser blending plant so as to make fertiliser available and affordable to farmers in the state.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Government is currently working towards the achievement of self-sufficiency in wheat production in the country via the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).