As part of measures to boost the country’s self-sufficiency in wheat production, Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN), comprising Dangote Flour Mills, Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN), Honeywell Flour, Dufil, and Life Flour, has donated 50 units of multi-crop thresher machine worth N70 million to wheat farmers in the country.
Speaking at the presentation of the machines in Lagos, the Group Managing Director of Dangote Flour Mills, Mr. Thabo Mabe, said the equipment would deepen mechanised farming in wheat production, increase volume of wheat produced and reduce cost of wheat in the market.
He, however, lamented that 70 per cent of wheat used by flour millers is imported despite the huge potential of the country’s wheat sector, adding that the multi-crop threshers would enhance yield, empower more farmers and save foreign exchange.
“The important thing on our engagement is to try to assist Nigeria start developing wheat farming in large quantity and to ensure sustainability in terms of wheat farming,” he said.
Also, the Chairman of FMAN, Mr. John Coumantaros, who was represented by Group Managing Director, FMN Plc, Mr. Paul Gbededo, said the presentation was a demonstration of the association’s commitment to continuously support wheat farmers and Federal Government’s agriculture promotion agenda.
“There is no gainsaying that self-sufficiency in wheat production in Nigeria will have an unprecedented impact on the Nigerian economy through attainment of food security, poverty reduction and of course save the much needed foreign exchange,” he said.
He said FMAN signed an MoU with Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN) in 2016 to purchase all available wheat grain produced by farmers in line with agreed quality parameters and prevailing market prices.
“In 2017, FMAN fulfilled its promise by purchasing over 2,400 metric tonnes of wheat valued at N469 million and in 2018. Even before the start of harvest, we have purchased over 1600 metric tonnes of wheat valued at N237 million.