NIGERIA – Flour Mills of Nigeria has announced that it is undertaking a wheat seeds multiplication initiative by cultivating 75 hectares of wheat farms in Nigeria, according to the newspaper PM News.

The company has made the program possible by providing farmers with certified and high-quality wheat seeds and fertilizers.

In addition, through a collaboration with local farmers by giving them agronomic support and extension services support.

The initiative is currently on a pilot scheme in Kano and Jigawa states with plans to expand into other Nigerian states by 2019.

According to Alhaji Salim Muhammad, president of the Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria, the program will play a vital role in helping farmers address the issue of declining seeds availability.

Also, the project would strengthen efforts to tackle the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inadequacy of wheat seeds facing farmers across the country.

“We are happy to be part of this initiative and our driving force is to see how we can develop the integration of the commodity which we use,” said Victor Oritedi, head of contract farming and extension services at Flour Mills of Nigeria.

“The largest commodity we use presently in Nigeria is wheat.

There are so many challenges surrounding wheat production in Nigeria; so, we have decided to support the initiative by tackling the problem from the root through wheat cultivation for seeds.

What we noticed is that even if you want to grow wheat in Nigeria, you don’t have enough seeds to engage in the project.”

The company assured the wheat farmers under the program of quick returns on their investment as they’ll be building on capacity to uptake whatever quantity of wheat the farmers will be able to grow.

Wheat forms an ideal grain in the Food Segment, which recorded an increase in revenue to US$932.69 million, food remaining the main driver of growth, led by flour, semolina and pasta.

While other locally grown crops are limited by higher prices, there is an increase in wheat consumption forecast at 4.632 million tonnes in 2016-17, up nearly 14% from 4.070 million tonnes in 2015-16, based on USDA report.