The Minister of Agriculture, Mr Audu Ogbeh, on Thursday said Nigeria can save N635 billion annually from wheat importation starting from 2018 when the country is expected become self sufficient in wheat production.
Mr Ogbe said 350 thousand tonnes of wheat is expected in the coming harvest season from up to 100 hectares of land cultivated in the northern part of the country, nearly 30 years after Nigeria’s wheat yield was label unacceptable.
He said the new breed of wheat recently nurtured in partnership with a Tunisian firm is gluten free and the Nigerian Milling Association is already queuing up to buy the entire harvest.
The Minister said Nigeria runs a risk of going hungry unless it ceases to engage in agriculture as a one season event, adding that to ensure the needed expansion, land clearing, quality control and crops certification, and mechanization are a must now.
Other areas that, according to him require urgent attention, are irrigation plans for farmlands across the states to rule out the threat of drought, the successful lobbying of banks to bring down interest rates so that as many Nigerians as possible will be encouraged to get into agriculture especially the youth.
Channels Television’s Omelogo Nnadi reports that if global projections that Nigeria’s population will grow up to 450 million by the year 2050 are anything to go by, then Nigeria must start now to produce more food domestically.
She adds that this is to ensure there is enough food to feed Nigerians, plus more to export to North Africa where up to 80 million people are said to depend on produce exported from Nigeria.
Audu Ogbeh Says Nigeria Can Cutdown $4.6bn Wheat Import By 2018
Reviewed by Link Naija