By Chinyere Anyanwu
A major player in the wheat milling industry in Nigeria and a subsidiary of Olam Group, Crown Flour Mill (CFM), has reiterated its commitment to assist the Federal Government of Nigeria achieve sustainable food sufficiency in the country.
The plan was revealed when the Wheat Development Team of CFM, led by Damilola Adeniyi, the Corporate Affairs Manager and Moshood Quadri, Head, Human Resources, along with other senior management staff of the company were on a courtesy visit to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, in his office recently in Abuja.
Adeniyi stated that the company’s management decided to visit the minister to intimate the ministry of the company’s commitment to build Nigeria’s wheat growing capacity by bringing in new seed varieties and innovative ways of agriculture.
CFM is looking to partner with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), state governments and other major stakeholders in the agricultural sub-sector to achieve the objective. She said the company plans to introduce the findings of research trials and cultivation of a heat-tolerant durum wheat variety carried out by the company in Senegal into Nigeria.
CFM, through its contribution to the wheat millers’ association under the auspices of the Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN) where CFM is a key member, has also made some valiant strides through FMAN’s wheat development programme and various initiatives in areas such as research and seed trials, capacity building in modern agricultural practices, distribution of input, seed production, etc., targeted at smallholder wheat farmers and other players in the wheat production value chain and downstream sector and aimed at boosting the quantity and quality of local wheat production.
Speaking at the meeting, Rauda Musa Umar, the company’s Wheat Development Programme Officer, stated that the company will soon be embarking on research and seed trials, trainings in modern agricultural practices in a block farming pilot project. According to her, plans are at an advance stage to commit Kano State to make land available for the project.
The Managing Director of CFM, Mr. Ashish Pande, believes strongly in Nigeria’s potential to grow good quality wheat and will support by training local farmers, gathering resources for new seed development and bringing in new technology to boost the capability of Nigeria.
Responding, the minister thanked the team for coming and promised that government will extend to the company all the support it needs to succeed in the developmental programmes it has elected to undertake.