As the shortage of wheat looms due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, the Federal Government (FG) has disclosed its plan to harvest 1,000MT of the grain.
Amongst the economic stakeholders that have raised alarm over the food shortfall that is likely to be experienced in Nigeria as a result of the war was billionaire Aliko Dangote, who predicted that wheat would become scarce in the coming months.
His words: “There will be a shortage of wheat, maize and a lot of products because as we speak, Russia and Ukraine do almost 30 percent of the world’s urea and 26% of the world’s potash; and even phosphate also, they are one of the largest (producers) in the world.
“There would be a scarcity of food generally, we would not be able to access fertilizers going forward, we would not see the effects now, but in the next two, three months. Even the US will not be able to do the same number of tonnage they did last year because of this.
“Right now, you start seeing people exporting maize to earn foreign exchange, which I think we need to stop so that we don’t create a shortage; and we need to make sure we grow more so we don’t have a shortage. It is about food security, and it is very, very serious.”
However, in what appears to be a move to mitigate the shortfall of wheat, the FG, which had already commenced the harvesting of the grain from its first dry season wheat farm in Papa community, Nafada Local Government Area, Gombe State, stated that more is expected from the project.
In a statement in which this development was disclosed, the Executive Secretary of the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), Paul Ikonne, noted that the harvest of an additional 1,000MT of wheat is expected from other states.
“The authority observed that wheat, an agricultural product, is the third item in the national importation list, and resolved to rewrite history on this. This made NALDA collaborate with some states including Gombe to produce wheat,” he added.