Wheat farmers under the aegis of Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN) allege that they have been neglected by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture since Chief Audu Ogbeh took over as a minister.
The National President of the Association, Alhaji Salim Muhammad, made the allegation during a media chat on the current situation of wheat farming in the country.
He said it is disheartening that despite the present government’s plan to shift from the oil sector to the non-oil sector, wheat farmers are left without any serious interventions that could boost their production.
“Last year, we cultivated about 600, 000 tons of wheat nationwide and unfortunately farmers were left with their produce as the market wasn’t favourable and they couldn’t sell at what the market offered then.
This development has indeed affected this year’s wheat production and from all indications, the production will be lesser than that of last year,” he said.
He added that, though the association had recorded increase in number of members, many wheat farmers in Kano State have not gone to farm this season due to the fact that their last year’s produce is still unsold.
According to him, wheat production level is at 30% presently and indicators show that there is going to be a slight fall in production this year.
The president also revealed that to make matters worse, the Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI) that has the national mandate on wheat production in Nigeria has failed to provide certified seeds to farmers for about three years now.
“To us wheat farmers in Nigeria, LCRI is dead, because it failed in discharging its mandate to the extent that wheat farmers have to rely on seeds obtained from the market,” he said.
When contacted on phone, Media Adviser to the Minister, Dr. O. Oyeleye, said he was away but would get back to our reporter as soon as he returns.