Tuesday, August 25, 2015


The Federal Ministry of Agriculture And Rural Development has said Nigeria can now produce wheat economically. This was disclosed by the permanent secretary of the ministry, Arc. Sonny Echono at a press briefing during the 1stAnnual General Meeting (AGM), of the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG), held at the Muson Centre in Lagos recently. Arc Echono disclosed that in the past, wheat was introduced based on the need to do so, since wheat were imported; this according to him, was a drain on our foreign exchange and the wheat produced then was not economical but was subsidised. “This is because at a breakeven price, if the cost at which we produce a metric ton of wheat is less, how much are we going to sell?” He said Echono however noted that with the development of two major varieties, “Norman Borlaug” and “Reyna-28” by Lake Chad Research Institute, Nigeria is now getting yield that will enable her wheat farmers compete with imported wheat. He further said that due to the new development, the ministry is multiplying the seeds using farmers, in other to ensure that there will be enough seeds for enough farmers to plant and upscale, also the ministry has gotten the sympathy and support of Nigeria millers, to ensure that a similar quota for rice is put in place for wheat, in order to protect the local production industry and ensure that all the wheat we produce locally are first exhausted before allowing the importation of supply gap for our industry. Echono disclosed that the ministry is also promoting substitution of wheat, so as to reduce our dependency on imported wheat, especially now that Nigeria do not have the foreign exchange to expend on wheat importation. He noted that the ministry is targeting all the wheat farmers in the country and making available to them seeds at a very subsidized rate of about 80%; ensuring that everyone who produces wheat, if the industry have not up taken it, it will be bought from them and also ensuring that the right quality of these seeds are given to all the farmers who want to grow wheat in the wheat region. The Government, Arc Echono disclosed, has also procure for lease a lot of implement to assist the wheat farmers such as water pump, stretchers and so on, and it will be made available to wheat farmers to encourage them to grow more wheat in the dry season. http://agronigeria.com.ng/

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