Abuja, Jan.12, 2024: The Federal Government says it is targeting an estimated 472,000 metric tonnes of wheat product at the end of the implementation period of the wheat production programme.
Mr Ishaku Buba, National Project Coordinator, National Agricultural Growth Scheme and Agro Pocket (NAGS-AP), stated this at the NAGS-AP Stakeholders Review and Planning meeting on Thursday in Abuja.
He said this is at an average yield of four metric tonnes per hectare.
Buba said the 15 wheat producing States are, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Katsina, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara.
He said that the stakeholders aimed to review the implementation of the 2023/2024 dry season wheat production implemented in the fifteen States of the Federation.
” This is based on their respective comparative advantage and preparatory meeting to chart a new course for the implementation of the second phase for rice, maize and cassava,” he said.
Buba said that the 2023/2024 dry season implemented via the National Agricultural Growth Scheme, and Agro Pocket (NAGS-AP) project focused on four major crops, wheat, rice, maize and cassava.
Buba said the programme commenced with wheat production in the 15 wheat producing States.
He said the decision to start wheat production was informed by the fact that, the crop was time specific in nature especially its fixed or pre-determined planting window.
” The implementation under the 2023/2024 dry season programme was then designed to be caried out in two phases (i.e. wheat value chain from Nov. 15, 2023 to Dec.15, 2023.
” It will later be extended to Dec. 20, 2023 for Jigawa and Borno while rice, maize and cassava value chains was slated for January – February.
” A total of 118,657 hectares were redeemed out of the 123,000 hectares targeted representing 96.47 per cent achieved as at Dec. 21, 2023.
” It is our expectation that at the end of the implementation period of the wheat production progrmame, an estimated 472,000 metric tonnes of wheat product at an average yield of 4 metric tons per hectare would be realised,” he said.
He, however, said that in the course of implementing the programme, some challenges and constraints were experienced and observed.
Buba listed the challenges to include network interruptions, poor or non availability of network or limited release of SMS messages thereby keeping farmers redundant for certain periods of time among others.
In an address, Mrs Oluwatoyin Alade, Acting Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, said the success achieved was a testament to the dedication and hard work of those involved in the management of the Programme.
” On the records we achieved 97 per cent redemption.
” We have come together here not necessarily to celebrate our seeming success, but also to admit that a whole lot of inimical things have happened downstream.
” We are aware that round tripping has been rife. Farmers, agro-dealers, helpline staff, security agents have all had rogue elements in their ranks who sought to make ‘negative’ profit from this programme,” she said.
Alade was represented by Mr Ibrahim Tanimu, Director, Planning and Policy Coordination, ministry of Agriculture.
In a goodwill message, Mr Azeez Olumuyiwa, a representative of the African Development Bank (AfDB), said that the Bank would continue to support the NAGS-AP project.