Flour Mill Nigeria (FMN) an agro-based company said, it has cultivated 75 hectares of wheat farms in Jigawa and Kano states to stimulate wheat seeds growth in the country.
The Head of Contract Farming and Extension Services in the country, Mr Victor Oritedi, made this known after examining two of the farms in Dabi and Yandutse communities in Ringim Local Government Area of Jigawa.
Oritedi stated that the company had provided farmers with certified and high-quality wheat seeds and fertilisers, adding that the initiative was to address the challenges wheat farmers face in their effort to obtain quality wheat seeds in the country.
“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,’’ he noted.
He noted that the firm resolved to collaborate with local farmers who understood seed production processes, while reinforcing them with seeds and fertilisers which they required to cultivate the 75 hectares of wheat farms successfully.
“We also gave the farmers agronomic support and extension services support.
“So, looking at what we have today, we are happy with the outcome and this is an initiative we hope to sustain because this is a pilot programme of wheat seed multiplication in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Oritedi, also revealed intentions of the company to promote the project in 2019. “This will depend on the outcome of the pilot project in Kano and Jigawa states,’’ he said.
In the mean time, farmers, who are participating in the pilot programme, have urged the firm to ensure the prompt uptake of the seeds, to enable them utilise the proceeds for rice production.
He then assured the farmers of the readiness of the company to uptake the seeds on time, adding that it was the reason for being a part of the initiative from start to finish.
Speaking, the National President, Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN), Alhaji Salim Muhammad, applauded the company for embarking on the initiative, adding that the project would go a long way to address the challenges farmers face with regard to seeds availability.
The Chairman of WFAN in Jigawa, Abdullahi Hussani, said that the project would combine efforts to combat the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inadequacy of wheat seeds farmers face across the country.