Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, has said from 2016 to June 2020, Nigeria spent over $6 billion (about N2.283 trillion) to import wheat.
The minister disclosed this at the weekend while delivering the keynote address at the wheat stakeholders’ workshop held in Kano.
Nanono, represented by Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Karima Babangida, said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) data showed that the wheat import bill from 2016 to June 2020 is about $6 billion, which he described as unsustainable.
“The huge bill is unsustainable and underscores the need to develop the value chain in order to reduce its importation, enhance food security, create jobs, reduce poverty and conserve scarce foreign exchange.”
The Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN) said to grow the Nigerian wheat market, the association must increase farmer yields, to make wheat competitive with rice and other dry season crops, adding that the association has developed an agenda for a comprehensive boost in wheat production in the 2020/2021 season.
The FMAN representative and a director at the Northern Nigeria Flour Mill (NNFM), Sani Umar, said to achieve the set agenda to boost wheat production, the association has begun the out-grower programme with input loans to 800 wheat farmers in Kano, Jigawa, and Kebbi states.
He said FMAN also collaborated with Oxfam and Babban Gona to commence input distribution to the out-growers.