ABUJA-Following the ongoing transformation in agriculture and the Federal Governmentâ€™s Agricultural Transformation Agenda, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development , Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said that Nigerian farmers will soon generate N42 billion from wheat production.
Adesina made this known at the occasion of 2014 Wheat Farmersâ€™ Field day in Kadawa, Kano State, organised by the Lake Chad Research Institute.
He also said that the farmers will not only generate income from wheat production, but an estimated 1 million jobs will be created especially in the Northern part of the country.
The Minister however frowned at the level of wheat import as N635 billion was annually spent by the country on wheat importation, which he described as unacceptable.
â€œToday Nigeria wheat import is about 4 million metric tonnes per year and itâ€™s estimated to grow by 5 per cent per yearâ€.
â€œBy the year 2030, Nigeria will be importing 10 million Metric tonnes of wheat every year. That means Nigeria will be spending $10 billion every year on wheat importationâ€, Adesina said. He therefore explained that Federal Government is planning to raise wheat production from 300,000 MT to 1.5 million metric tonnes by 2017.
â€œThis is not a mirage, thatâ€™s why we are here, a silent revolution is happening on farms across northern Nigeria. â€œWe have begun the massive distribution of hybrid wheat seeds which gives five to six tonnes per hectare to our farmers through the Growth Enhancement Support and the E-wallet systemâ€, Adesina stated.
The Minister further said that In 2013/2014 wheat dry season 9,143 farmers benefited from the dry season wheat farming in the northern states which includes Kano, Jigawa, Kebbi, Borno, Yobe, Gombe and Sokoto. â€œA total of 2,500 hectares of wheat field was cultivated in 2013, by 2014/2015 we expect to cultivate 95, 000 hectares by 75,000 farmersâ€, he assured.
While assuring the farmers of government support, Adesina said that the government will provide guarantee minimum price for wheat. He also said the government will also provide access to wheat farmers to processing equipment.
In his remarks, the Executive Director of Lake Chad Research Institute, Dr. Olusina Olabanji expressed happiness over the inclusion of wheat in the Agricultural Transformation Agenda this year.