The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Wednesday began a one-day training for wheat farmers in the north/east region and Plateau on best agricultural practices on wheat production.
Declaring the training opened in Gombe, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, says the training was timely considering the ongoing Russia/ Ukraine war.
Russia is considered among the largest exporters of wheat in the world.
However, as the war persists there are fears of imminent shortage of wheat which may affect several economies Nigeria inclusive.
Represented by the Zonal Director FMARD, Umaru Yusuf, said products from wheat are one of the most consumed foods in the country.
He added that its value chain is quite large as it can be processed into different range of foods including,pasta, bread, noodles among others.
While urging the farmers to grow wheat in large quantity, he noted that the training would also equipped them with modern technology on wheat farming and storage as well as marketing.
He urged the participants to put into practice the knowledge they had acquired during the training because of the immense benefit attached to wheat farming.
In his goodwill message, the National President, Wheat Farmers Association, Dr Salim Saleh, described wheat as crude oil in disguise because of the economic benefits its production will accrue to the country.
Represented by Mr Elisha Mohammed, Dr Saleh commended the Federal Government for introducing wheat farming and urged farmers to embrace it because of its huge market potential.
In his vote of thanks , Mr Telta Naftali , Desk Officer, Wheat Value Chain, FMARD, described wheat as a very important crop with huge potential to transform the nation’s economy.
He emphasised the need for farmers to explore the opportunity provided by the training to become self-sufficient in wheat production.
He said according to CBN reports, Nigeria imports 2 billion U.S. dollars worth of wheat annually which is equivalent to N1 trillion, which according him is unacceptable.
According to him the the huge amount the nation’s is spending on importing wheat is akin to Nigeria exporting wealth to other countries and importing poverty.
Mr Naftli said it was high time Nigeria channeled the money into wheat production in order to save the nation’s lean foreign reserve.
“Farmers should not rely on the Federal government to provide farming inputs before embarking on wheat production because agriculture is a business not a developmental project” he said.
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