Olam empowers female wheat farmers with irrigation equipment as border closers revive Nigeria’s idle milling plants

NIGERIA – Female wheat farmers in Nigeria’s Kano state are set to boost their production after receiving irrigation equipment from Crown Flour Mill (CFM) Limited, a subsidiary of Olam Nigeria Limited. 

The irrigation equipment comprising mainly of high-pressure water pumping machines was formally presented to the female farmers at a ceremony held in Giyamusu, Ajingi Local Government Area of Kano State. 

According to the flour milling company, the irrigation equipment is meant to assist the female smallholder wheat farmers and ultimately enhance their productivity levels. 

In a statement, CFM stated that the move was part of its ongoing strategic investment drive to support Nigeria’s food production self-sufficiency and food security aspirations. 

According to the company, the irrigation project also aligns well with its short to medium-term value chain developmental efforts aimed at raising the current local production levels of wheat in the country. 

Indeed, wheat production has declined in Nigeria due to harsh weather conditions and seed varieties according to Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN). 

WFAN’s argument collaborates with data from the USDA which revealed that Nigeria’s production has declined 40% over a period of 10 years. 

To reverse this problem, CFM is investing in smallholder women farmers who have largely been constrained by poor access to land and farming tools, especially irrigation equipment. 

To CFM, access to modern irrigation infrastructure on the farms boosts the yield of crops. 

“Wheat crops yield higher returns when properly irrigated. The presentation of the pumping machines to the women smallholder farmers marked a needed upturn in women farmers’ aspiration to scale as well as support and meaningfully contribute to the ongoing federal government’s agricultural development programmes,” CFM said. 

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Border closers revive milling industry 

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Mohammed Sabo Nanono, has stated the decision of the federal government to shut the country’s borders has started paying off with the resuscitation of many rice milling plants. 

“You know, if you take in Kano for instance which is the center of these processing plants, there are now about 52 rice milling plants in Kano doing about 400 tons per day and in addition to employing people between 200 to 400,” Nanono said.  

 He further noted that nation’s agricultural sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has also improved as a result of the directive which is also serving as a catalyst for agro-allied and industrial development. 

He maintained that the directive to shut the borders was one of the best decisions ever taken by a sitting administration adding that the policy would set Nigeria on the right path of achieving self-sufficiency in food production. 

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