The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has developed strategic action plans to boost wheat production by urgently addressing existing challenges in its value chain and ultimately strengthening the country’s foreign exchange reserves. .
CBN Development Finance Department Director Mr. Philip Yila Yusuf revealed it in Abuja over the weekend during a wheat conference and stakeholder engagement, on ‘Improving and sustain the development of the wheat value chain in Nigeria â.
He highlighted the enormous potential of the wheat value chain for revolutionary impact in the agricultural sector, noting that the Bank has sought to draw attention to the wheat value chain for 2021 dry season plantings / 2022, after sustainable progress in rice and corn. value chain.
According to him, “CBN plans to address key value chain issues by financing massive wheat production in Nigeria and seeks to facilitate the sustainable availability of high-yielding seed varieties in the country and improve overall productivity.” .
He revealed that wheat was the second largest contributor to the country’s food import bill, putting pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves as more than $ 2 billion was spent annually on importing more than $ 5 million. metric tons (MT) of wheat.
Further, he estimated that only 1 percent or 63,000 tonnes of wheat, of the 5-6 million metric tonnes (MT) of wheat consumed annually, was produced locally, noting that CBN intervention had become critical. due to the high demand for wheat in Nigeria and the inability to meet this demand.
While acknowledging the enormous challenge facing the Bank, which would require concerted efforts to tackle, he assured stakeholders of the Bank’s will to change the discourse in the sector with all stakeholders.
Earlier in his remarks, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Mohammed Abubakar, who was represented by Abdullahi Garba, expressed dismay that the country’s wheat import bills and wheat import bills continued to drop. ‘increase in recent years. He therefore urged all stakeholders to work together to reverse the trend over the years by investing more in the value chain. make more investments.
Also speaking, the Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, in his message of goodwill delivered by his deputy, Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, called on all stakeholders to be transparent in their dealings and to start preparing for both agriculture and wheat production.
While commending the CBN for its efforts to boost the wheat value chain, he encouraged the Bank to accelerate action by releasing funds, stressing that the partnership between stakeholders in the production value chains of wheat remained essential to spur Nigeria’s quest to be self-sufficient in wheat production.
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