The Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) has organized a two day Stakeholders meeting/workshop for Wheat farmers on the need to restratagizes in wheat farming across the Nigeria.
The event which is holding in Kano, attracted Stakeholders from within and outside the country, who deliberate on the challenges facing wheat farming in Nigeria and creating awareness about new heat tolerance wheat seed for adoption.
The TAAT program which was launched in 2018 by the African Development Bank, seeks to improve agriculture as a business across Africa by deploying agricultural productivity-increasing technologies in priority commodities such as cassava, wheat, rice, maize, soybeans, sorghum/millet, orange-fleshed sweet potato, high iron beans, aquaculture, vegetables, and small livestock. TAAT has provided high-quality seeds, breeds, and fingerlings to beneficiaries in 31 countries, helping African food production increase by more than 12 million metric tonnes.
The program has also financed the provision of heat-tolerant wheat varieties in Sudan and Ethiopia, reducing wheat import by 50% and expanding wheat cultivation to 400,000 hectares.
During the two-day stakeholders’ engagement on wheat seed sector workshop, Dr. Chris Akem, the TAAT programme Coordinator, emphasized the need to revive Nigeria’s potential in wheat production.
He expressed concern about the challenges that have limited the country’s progress in this area and stated that Nigeria could catch up with Sudan and Ethiopia in wheat production if the right policies were implemented.
Dr. Akem identified several bottlenecks, including a lack of political will, bureaucracy, and policy inconsistency, that have hindered progress. He noted that the government could introduce policies that are working well, only for a new government to cancel them and introduce new policies, creating inconsistency and confusion.
However, Dr. Akem was optimistic that Nigeria could increase its wheat production through good agricultural practices, quality seeds, and expanding areas of production.
He and Aliyu Samaila, the National program manager Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMN), both emphasized the importance of the right attitude and partnership of critical stakeholders in achieving this goal.
Samaila disclosed that FMN’s investment in manpower development and technology in wheat production in seven states has yielded 3.2 tonnes per hectare and is an indication of Nigeria’s bright future in wheat production. He acknowledged that significant reduction in wheat importation might take some time, given the wide gap in existence, but stressed the need to convince farmers to adopt the right attitude towards wheat production.
Munir Babba DanAgundi, the Chairman of the House Committee on agricultural institutions, advocated for more technical and financial support for farmers to achieve the set target.
TAAT technologies have been linked to Feed Africa loans, with a total of $3,322,200 committed across five value chains.
MTAAT aims to improve food security, encourage inclusive growth, and promote improved resilience to climate variability and shock while involving more women and youth in agriculture.