Emefiele: CBN Disburses N42b To 15 States To Support Wheat Cultivation

 CBN fines three banks N800 million for cryptocurrency transactions
 CBN fines three banks N800 million for cryptocurrency transactions

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, it has allocated N42 billion to accelerate wheat cultivation on 132,799 hectares spread across 15 states in the country.

Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, stated this at the inauguration of the 2021/2022 Brown Revolution Field Day/Harvest in Gabarin village, Ringim Local Government Area, Jigawa State.

Emefiele, represented by Hajiya Sa’adatu Ibrahim, CBN Controller, Dutse Branch, stated that the facility was provided to address challenges in the wheat value chain during the 2021/2022 dry season activities.

He stated that the strategy was based on making high yield seed varieties available through the implementation of a local seed multiplication program, as well as expanding wheat cultivation land through collaboration with state and federal agencies.

According to him, the apex bank seeks to increase the annual cycle for wheat cultivation during wet season activities through international collaboration and to promote Good Agronomic Practices.

“In Nigeria, wheat remains one of the commodities with the highest demand, and despite this high demand, Nigeria produces less than 2% of its annual wheat consumption needs,” Emefiele said.

“In light of the circumstances confronting wheat cultivation in Nigeria, the bank launched a strategic approach in 2020 through its flagship Anchor Borrower Programme aimed at facilitating import substitution by promoting self-sufficiency in the wheat value chain.”

This, he said, encouraged wheat farmers’ income to rise, allowing for more job creation and a ready supply for millers.

He also stated that the bank trained over 250 extension workers with a total reach of over 120,000 farmers in order to cascade learning to farmers in their respective locations via the GAP.

According to him, the apex bank identified, validated, and cultivated demonstration farms in collaboration with the Flour Milling Association of Nigeria to holistically showcase the improved protocol for wheat farming in Nigeria and the impact of GAP on high yields to farmers.

“Four seed companies have been commissioned to process 25,000 metric tonnes for the next planting season,” Emefiele added.

“This strategy aims to reduce wheat imports by 60% in two years and eliminate wheat imports in the long run.”

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According to him, the aim is to reduce the gap by a minimum of 15% during the 2021/2022 planting season

Emefiele stated that the bank distributed N975.61 billion to over 4.52 million smallholder farmers cultivating 21 agricultural commodities, among other interventions aimed at addressing financing needs to improve the agricultural value chain.

In his remarks, FMAN Chairman John Coumantaros stated that the organization was dedicated to providing a market for the country’s wheat farmers.

Coumantaros, represented by Segun Flade, stated that the organization was expanding its procurement across the wheat-producing states by adding aggregation, staff, and warehouses.

“Specifically, under the CBN-ABP scheme, we’re establishing procurement centers across 15 northern states to offtake all wheat grain from up to 150,000 farmers,” he said.

Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Bauchi, Adamawa, Katsina, Gombe, Plateau, Taraba, Zamfara, Niger, and Yobe were among the states he mentioned.

The Chairman also stated that the association would cultivate 504 demonstration farms in the states in order to provide GAP training to 250,000 farmers under the ABP, as well as loans to over 2,000 outgrowers farmers in Kano, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kaduna, Bauchi, and Gombe States.

“Seed production expansion with six certified seed companies, including both dry and wet season seed production to produce enough seed for 5,000 outgrowers next season,” he said.

“Research and trials on FMAN’s 10-hectare research farm in Jigawa to test new seed varieties and improve agronomic practices, including collaboration with the Lake Chad Research Institute, among others.”

“A portion of it also includes grant funding for the National Agricultural Seed Council to expand their capabilities to test seed quality, certify seed production, and train farmers to distinguish high-quality seed from others on the market.”

In separate remarks, farmers Dauda Ali, Alkasim Aliyu, and Muhammad Ado praised the CBN and FMAN for their efforts to increase wheat production in the country.

Ali stated that the new farming techniques introduced had helped them achieve higher harvest yields.

He also urged the Jigawa State Government to build an access road to facilitate the movement of produce to markets.