The Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN) has said it will establish procurement centres across 15 Northern states to offtake all wheat grains from about150,000 farmers under the CBN’s Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP).
Dr Aliyu Samaila, FMAN’s National Programme Manager, Wheat Development Project, stated this during the Green Wheat Farmer Field Day at Gawon-Bature near Dambatta Local Government Area of Kano State.
According to Samaila, the FMAN wheat programme is being implemented through the Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He listed the states to include Kano; Kaduna; Jigawa; Kebbi; Sokoto; Bauchi; Adamawa; Katsina; Gombe; Plateau; Taraba; Zamfara; Niger; and Yobe States.
”The programme adopted proactive farmer support services to sustainably encourage wheat production and yields per hectre, to enable it to compete with rice and other dry season crops in the 2021-2022 dry season activities.
”The programme has resulted to cultivation of 504 demonstration farms each on 0.5 ha across the 15 states to provide training on Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) to 250,000 farmers under the CBN ABP,” he explained.
Samaila further said plans to expand the scope of its direct outgrower through provision of input loans to 2,000 farmers in Kano; Jigawa; Sokoto; Kebbi; Kaduna; Bauchi; and Gombe states.
The Programme Manager added that the programme would also expand seed production with six certified seed companies, including both dry and wet season seed production, to produce sufficient seed for 5,000 outgrowers next season.
According to him, the programme is cultivating a 10-hectare research farm in Jigawa for testing new seed varieties and for improved agronomic practices.
Samaila added that the project was in collaboration with Lake Chad Research Institute, International Centre for Agricultural Research and Development (ICARDA).
He said that FMAN also provided grant funding to the National Agricultural Seeds Council to expand their capabilities to test seed quality, certify seed production and train farmers to differentiate high-quality seed from others in the market.
He said that the country required a strong vision backed by clear roles and responsibilities for all stakeholders.
According to him, FMAN will organise state-wide field days in all their major areas of operations to bring together key stakeholders in order to address challenges and learn from each other.
“We will also organise Wheat Farmers Yield Championship at the end of the season to recognise the highest performing farmer.
“We are looking forward to partner with organisations across the value chain to improve farmer yields through high-quality seeds, expanded extension services, and improved access to irrigation,” he said.
In his remarks, the Deputy governor of Kano State, Alhaji Nasiru Gawuna, who lauded the initiative, said that it would boost wheat cultivation in the area.
Gawuna, also the state Commissioner for Agriculture, represented by Abdulkarim Sani, Director Agricultural Services, said the state government had introduced programmes to support wheat farmers in the state.
Also, Alhaji Salim Muhammad, National President, Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria, commended FMAN and the CBN for the wheat farmer support programme.
Muhammad also reminded wheat farmers to repay the loan as stipulated in the preconditions for ABP loans, adding that loan repayment should be timely to enable others to benefit from the scheme.
Some of the farmers praised the Federal Government and FMAN for the `unprecedented’ attention given to the agricultural sector.
They also commended the CBN and other coordinating banks for their efforts to address the challenges facing the farmers.
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