Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria, has appealed to the federal government, to provide high quality seeds and fertilizer to boost wheat production in the country.
The national president, wheat farmers association of Nigeria, Alhaji Musa Shehu made the call in Kano.
According to him, in the Nigerian setting, research institutes that breed seed only do so on demand, as very few seeds are in the hands of farmers.
Alhaji Musa explained that, the certified seeds in circulation, are insufficient to meet the needs of all farmers in Nigeria, involved in wheat cultivation.
The national president emphasized that, availability of subsidized fertiliser is another issue of great importance, especially in Kano state, despite the federal government’s directives.
“one of the problems we’re facing is that certified seeds are not enough. I know a research institute and other agencies are doing their best now to ensure availability of seeds”, he explained.
Speaking on dry season and rainy season wheat farming, he pointed out that, countries like Russia, Ukraine and other Asian countries do rain-fed wheat farming but it never happens in the country, saying that, it was tested last year in Plateau and parts of Jigawa states.
Alhaji Musa stressed the need for mechanization as the best, not only in wheat, but any system of farming, which can promote the process and yield, as well as bring more development in the future.
The national president said, federal and state governments have a vital role to play in the area of agriculture, by increasing their budgetary allocation, particularly those in the northern states, where agriculture has the potential for poverty alleviation.
He pointed out that, few years ago, farmers ignored wheat production because there was no market suitable for them, as they were always losing, but with the engagement of flour mills association, wheat farmers sell to them without fear.
Alhaji Musa however, decried over the increase in the price of flour, by the flour millers association, without consulting the wheat farmers association as agreed.
The national president explained that, each year’s bilateral discussions were held, between flour millers and wheat farmers, to avoid high cost of food items consumed by house holds.
He reiterated the association’s commitment in boosting wheat production, saying that, Kano has a potential for 350,000 hectares, which is underutilized due to shortage of seeds and other difficulties.
“My goal is to see that we cultivate 500,000 hectares in Kano alone if the government supports farmers who are prepared to do more. If we expand in all producing states, we will be one step closer to self-sufficiency”