Wheat farmers in Katsina State say they have cultivated 7,500 hectares this season, an increase of 5, 000 hectares from the previous season.
Alhaji Hassan Salihu-Kwai, Katsina State Chairman, Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday that more farmers were engaged in wheat cultivation because of its huge profits.
“Wheat cultivation started in four local government areas in Katsina State and has expanded to 34 local government areas with larger number of people,’’ he said.
He commended the Federal Government for its support to wheat farmers and called for increased supply of fertilizer and inputs to enable more farmers embrace wheat production across the country.
“More inputs should be provided to our members to encourage them to expand the scope of production,’’ he said.
According to him, the association and flour mills support farmers with water pumping machines, improved seedlings, fertilizer, chemicals and other inputs.
He appealed to Gov. Aminu Masari to include wheat farmers in the state’s agricultural support schemes, stressing that Katsina had abundant land suitable for wheat cultivation.
Salihu-Kwai, urged the Federal government to facilitate the supply of fertilizer to wheat farmers and stop the importation of the commodity to save foreign exchange.
He said that the ban on the importation of wheat was necessary to tackle unemployment, especially among the rural dwellers in the country.
He also urged government to assist farmers with combine harvesters, multipurpose thrashers, tractors and other high-powered machines as well as provide markets for the commodity to improve the economic status of farmers.
A wheat farmer, Alhaji Ali Garba, told NAN in Katsina that he invested N160, 000 in wheat cultivation and with support of techniques, inputs and fertiliser, he made N200,000 profit after harvest.