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Wheat production in Nigeria projected to rise to 450,000MT

Wheat production in Nigeria has been forecasted to increase for the 2020/2021 harvest year by seven per cent due to the availability of improved seeds, Nature News gathered.
This information was made on Tuesday by the President, Wheat Growers Association of Nigeria, Salim Muhammad, stating that wheat is now projected to yield 450,000 metric tonnes, up from 420,000 metric tonnes produced by farmers in the last season.
Muhammad said, about 100,000 farmers would be given the necessary incentives to improve wheat production and would be purchased by flour millers based on a Memorandum of Understanding already signed with them, under the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He said, “In total, we are thinking of cultivating over 150,000 hectares this season. Our projection for this season based on the test we conducted and available planting materials, we are expecting not less than three tonnes per hectare, meaning we are looking at 450,000 metric tonnes.”
According to him, the apex bank has procured improved wheat seeds from other countries for this purpose.
He said the CBN would act as off-takers of the seeds and make them available to farmers in the next planting season.
“This season, the CBN has two programmes for wheat. The Seed Multiplication programme covers about 80,000 hectares and the programme is going specifically for wheat seed multiplication against next season,” Muhammad said.
“CBN will off-take whatever seeds have been produced and recirculate them in the next season for the farmers to plant.”
Nigeria’s wheat production has been hampered by inadequate seed and lack of technical knowledge transfer on the production of improved seeds.
Every year, Nigeria makes up for the production deficit by importing the product from other countries.

Read also: Stakeholders decry decline in millet, sorghum cultivation

The National Bureau of Statistics data showed that durum wheat valued at N127.85bn was imported from the United States, Latvia, Canada, Argentina, Russia and Lithuania in the first quarter of the year.
Last week, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, while speaking at the National Wheat Stakeholders Workshop in Kano State, stated that through the wheat value chain of the FMARD, it had put in place measures to increase wheat production and reduce its import bill.
Nanono said the ministry had procured 30MT of breeder seeds, which would translate to 1,650MT of foundation seeds; and 50MT of foundation seeds, which would also translate to 2,500MT of certified seeds.

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