The federal government will support potato farmers to achieve all year round production in order to reduce wheat flour importation in 2017, the minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has said.
Dr Onu, who said this in Abuja when the executives of the Potato Farmers Association of Nigeria (POFAN) paid him a visit in his office, added the government’s interest in cutting down wheat import by 50% starting from 2017 was borne out of its efforts to conserve foreign exchange.
The minister said Nigeria was spending too much of its foreign exchange on commodities it could produce locally.
He said cassava and potatoes which Nigeria produces in large quantities were veritable alternatives to wheat flour.
He said the major challenge confronting the potato farmers was their inability to cultivate the crop all year round, but added that government would help them surmount it.