Nigeria to Benefit from AfDB TAAT $850m aid

As African Development Bank (AfDB) announces $850m aid with about 25% going into wheat production; the Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has called on the government to come to the aid of wheat farmers in the country as imported wheats coming into the country come with prices below production costs.

The governor while addressing team of wheat farmers and stakeholders
in flour processing industries from across African countries stated
that governments of wheat producing countries are trying to make sure
Nigeria and other Africa countries continue to depend on them for wheat.

“Most of the wheat coming into African countries is literally been
dumped. Somebody is selling subsidized wheat to us so that we are
unable to produce.” He said.

Governor Bagudu advised that even if policy-makers are to continue to
allow importation of wheat which does not reflect the real production
costs from the country in which their coming from, there is a need to
give equivalent support to local farmers to enable them stay in
business.

In a related development, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has
announced its plan to eject $20.8 million into boosting wheat farming
in Africa, decrying huge amount spent on importation of the product
into the continent annually.

The bank speaking through its Director of Agricultural and
Agro-Industry Department stated that, “it is putting in place another
project call ‘Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation’ that
will cover more agro-based commodities.

“This new program will cost about $850 million which wheat alone is
$20.8 million.” He said.

“The idea is to reduce the level of import. As at today, Africa is
importing $35.4 billion of food annually and if we don’t check it, in
the next ten years it is going to rise $110 billion.”

On their part, the Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria speaking
through its president, Salim Saleh Mohammed stated that the greatest
challenges facing the farmers in country are lack of improve seeds,
poor and inadequate mechanization tools as well as shortage of
irrigation water arising from the discordance that exists between the
Ministry of Agriculture and that of Water Resources.

Mohammed advised that if the two ministries cannot be merged to form
one, they should be a strong synergy between the two to ensure smooth
farming activities in Nigerian farms.

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