THE Federal Government has made known its intention to support Olam Nigeria, a food and agribusiness conglomerate and other companies involved in the production of food in the country to boost local wheat production.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, made the disclosure while featuring as a special guest during the Olam Green Land Webinar themed:”Deepening the wheat farming development programme in Nigeria through innovation, increasing investments and collaborations” which held recently.
Nanono, who was represented by his Technical Adviser on Knowledge Management & Communications, Dr. Richard-Mark Mbaram Esq. noted that the Federal Government is poised to reduce importation of wheat products into the country, hence the need to stakeholders in the wheat value chain.
He stated that the Federal Government would explore the area of research and mechanisation, stating that at the end of it all, major stakeholders in the Nigerian wheat value chain such as Olam Nigeria would be exporting wheat products to the rest of the world.
The keynote speaker, Senior Scientist, Durum Wheat Breeder at the International Center for the Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Morocco, Dr. Filippo Maria Bassi, called on farmers to always apply the right techniques while cultivating wheat.
He reminded them that wheat does not need too much water to grow, unlike rice which requires a lot of water. He further stated that there are mordern equipment which can aid the smooth cultivation of wheat which is very high in protein and microelements it creates jobs and income in the rural areas.
Panelists at the webinar are: Chairman, House Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions, Alhaji Munir Babba Dan Agundi; Principal Research Officer, Lake Chad Research Institute, Maiduguri, Borno State, Dr. Kachalla Kyari Mala; Head, Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN), Wheat Development Programme, Sarah Huber and National President, Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN), Alhaji Salim Saleh Muhammad.