In a bid to boost food security in Nigeria, the Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN) has donated 2,500 units of 3-inch water pumps and 2,500 units of plantable seeds in 50kg bags for distribution to farmers in wheat producing states of Nigeria, with a total value of N150 million.
This, according to a statement, is the first part of the association’s two-phase support programme to wheat farmers.
Under phase 2, FMAN has placed firm overseas orders for some multi-crop threshers, which will be distributed to farmers sometimes in February 2018, for use by farmers at the beginning of the next harvest season.
Speaking at the presentation to the Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN) in Kano recently, the Chairman of FMAN, John G. Coumantaros, said that the association was in the forefront of championing the production of wheat in Nigeria.
In his address by the Vice Chairman of FMAN, Olanrewaju Jaiyeola, he recalled that under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between FMAN and WFAN, signed in the office of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja on 7th June, 2016, FMAN gave an undertaking to purchase all the available wheat grains that meet specifications set out in the MoU; this has continued for two seasons and is expected to continue in the coming season.
Coumantaros noted that the presentation was a follow up to a similar action, which took place in Kano last November.
The Chairman also recalled FMAN’s release of a Research and Development Grant of N20 million to Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI) in September 2016, to enable the Institute conduct research into improved wheat farming, wheat technology and modern agronomy practices.
FMAN believes that its actions would strengthen and improve the collaboration and co-operation between wheat farmers and flour millers to attain a common goal – accelerated wheat production in Nigeria in total alignment with Government policy to achieve food sufficiency and security, create jobs and reduce dependence on importation and save foreign exchange.
Coumantaros said, “We see our role as complementary to Government policies and measures particularly the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP), which is aimed at transforming how the financing of small holder agriculture is addressed.”
Responding to the gesture, the Chairman of WFAN, Alhaji Salim Sale Mohammed, identified the event as a milestone in the journey the two associations had embarked upon towards the promotion and sustainable development of Nigeria’s wheat value chain.
He appreciated FMAN for the kind gesture, which had become regular and consistent.
He challenged his colleagues, the wheat farmers to make the best use of the seeds, work harder and produce greater volume of wheat for flour millers to take off.
Alhaji Salim identified lack of funding as a major constraint towards achieving accelerated wheat production and therefore appealed to the apex bank to extend the Anchor Borrowers Programme to wheat farmers.
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