…As Flour Mills backs high yielding seed
Nigeria has put plans in place to reduce wheat importation by 60 per cent by 2025 as the Flour Mills Nigeria (FMN) has initiated and supported the production of improved and high yielding wheat seed in Jigawa and Kano states. The Team Leader, Wheat Value Chain in Nigeria and Executive Director, Lake Chad Research Institute, Dr. Oluwasina Olabanji, stated this recently after inspection of wheat seed production farms in Ringim and Hadejia Local Government Areas of Jigawa.
According to him, the firm had supported farmers with seed and fertiliser to cultivate 45 hectares of the improved seed, with 30 hectares in Kano and 15 in Jigawa. He said seed was critical to crop production, hence the need to support and encourage its production.
However, Olabanji described lack of adequate seed as a major challenge in the value chain agenda in Nigeria, adding, “we are here today for a farm work on wheat seed production. This project is the initiative of FMN; they empowered our farmers with inputs to produce wheat seed. Seed is very critical in crop production and in the value chain, our major challenge is seed. We don’t have adequate seed in this country, not only for wheat, even for most crops.
“But FMN has in no small measure helped us to bridge the gap in our seed production. They have intervened in two states; Kano and Jigawa. And I want to thank the state’s Director of Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), Malam Isa Awwalu, for his support in the programme,” he added.
He noted that the wheat value chain team will soon come up with another project in which wheat seed production is a component, adding that the team will collaborate with Jigawa State government to ensure that by 2025, Nigeria would have reduced importation of wheat seed by 60 per cent.