Musa Na Allah Sokoto
The African Development Bank (AfDB) foresees success and every potentiality of Sokoto State becoming major wheat exporting States in the near future, in Africa and rest of the world.
Dr. Solomon A. Gizaw, Coordinator TAAT Wheat program in Africa, a project funded by the AfDB stated this in Sokoto shortly after inaugurating “Wheat Innovation Platform Plan,” held in the state Ministry of Agriculture.
He said the state has all what it takes to produce adequate wheat for use in Nigeria and for exports.
The coordinator further described Nigeria as one of the largest Wheat importing country in the Sub-Saharan Africa.
The AfDB noted that Nigeria imports over 5.1 million metric tonnes of wheat, which amounted to $2 billion.
He said the figure represents over 90 per cent of wheat consumption in Nigeria.
“In Nigeria, what we are witnessing today, there are technologies that can transform wheat production,” Gizaw added.
The AfDB Coordinator noted that Nigeria can utilize its fertile land, adequate water and population resources under the wheat innovation platform in transforming wheat production, processing and marketing.
He expressed optimism that, with good innovative plan of action that provides farmers with right technology, policies, extension system, in addition to inputs and outputs market linkages, Nigeria will definitely achieve self-sufficiency in wheat production in no distant future.
Dr. Gizaw also maintained that, with the involvement of all the actors to work as a team in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the project, after five years, Nigeria can produce the wheat it requires for its consumption without importing from countries such as Ukraine, Russia, Canada and America
He stated that AfDB plans to support African countries with knowledge and new innovations to expand wheat production not only with current farmers, but also to engages more farmers and private sector in wheat farming, processing and marketing.
Earlier, the State Commissioners of Agriculture, Alhaji Aminu Abubakar Illela said the inauguration of the wheat innovation platform was in preparation for the state to boost wheat cultivation for economic purposes.
Alhaji Illela said this is necessary because Sokoto State is among the wheat-producing states and the intervention of AfDB would enable the state to improve on wheat farming for self-sufficiency.