Nigeria to become Africa’s largest wheat producer in less than 10 years – Minister
The Federal Government has announced that despite Nigeria only producing 420,000 metric tonnes of the 5.7 million metric tonnes of annual demand, the country is still planning to become Africa’s largest wheat producer.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, at the Stakeholders Validation Workshop of the National Wheat Strategy Document for Self- Sufficiency on Tuesday in Abuja.
He added that Nigeria imported over $6 billion worth of wheat from 2016 to 2020.
The minister stated that the multiplier effect of COVID-19 pandemic and the current Russian-Ukraine War had drastically affected the supply of wheat in the international market.
“The wheat industry has been a serious concern to the government of this country because our national requirement of wheat is 5.7 million metric tonnes annually while our production is only 420,000 metric tonnes as against the 71,000 metric tonnes.
”According to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s statistical report of 2020, Nigeria imported over $6 billion worth of wheat from 2016 to 2020.
”This is quite worrisome and unsustainable for a crop that could be produced locally to meet our national demand and beyond,” he said.
He added that due to growing population of the country, the consumption rate for wheat and wheat products, Nigeria has no option than to boost its own productivity and production to meet national demand. He however stated that the success story of the Rice revolution through the National Rice Strategy Document had transformed the rice industry in Nigeria.
He added that a replication in the wheat industry would change the narrative of the Wheat Value Chain.
- ”If countries like Sudan and Ethiopia can do it why can’t Nigeria? We are bigger, more populous, with more resources of all kinds; all kinds of climate, geological and ecological.
- ”In fact, I am thinking 10 years is even too long for us to achieve sufficiency. We can do it. All we have to do is to push the buttons and we will get there.
- ”I can assure you, I will leave no stone unturned. I will go from here to the moon while I am still a Minister of Agric to see that we achieve these goals of making sure that we produce wheat just as in rice that has made us number one in Africa today.
- “I see no reason why we cannot be number one in wheat in Africa, and then go beyond,” he said.