During a recent briefing with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Governor Umar Namadi of Jigawa State, he expressed his belief in the federal government’s agricultural policies, particularly in regard to wheat production. He emphasized that these policies have the potential to not only achieve self-sufficiency in wheat production but also pave the way for its export. Governor Umar Namadi’s remarks came after he discussed a range of developmental issues concerning Jigawa State during the briefing with the president.
Discussion further, the state governor extended his appreciation to the president for reserving a vast expanse of 40,000 hectares within their State for the National Wheat Development Programme. The Governor elaborated on his detailed objective of generating a staggering two million tonnes of the output by utilizing both the National Wheat Development Programme as well as their State’s independent efforts, with the ultimate aim of achieving self-sufficiency in food production while also tapping into potential exports.
Many resources were allocated to the production initiative.
In addition to this, President Tinubu’s unwavering support and commitment were underscored as he reiterated his full support to guarantee the fruitful achievement of these objectives. On the other hand, the Nigerian government launched the dry season initiative in Jigawa in November 2023; this initiative seeks to endow a grand total of 100,000 hectares across the nation for its cultivation, with Jigawa State exclusively receiving 40,000 hectares for the dedicated implementation of this program.
Governor Namadi assured that the president is fully dedicated to extending all essential assistance to the state government to accomplish its set goals. The Governor emphasized that their State holds the foremost position in wheat production within Nigeria. Consequently, the noteworthy fact is that they have already made a significant impact by attaining the number one spot. Nigeria has allocated 120,000 hectares of land, with an impressive 40,000 hectares being assigned solely to Jigawa State. This allocation highlights their exceptional efforts in making a significant impact.
Self-sufficiency in its production will be achieved.
He expressed confidence in Nigeria’s ability to achieve self-sufficiency in production. Specifically mentioning the State, he highlighted their possession of an expansive FADAMA land spanning over 400,000 hectares. This vast expanse offers them the opportunity to cultivate crops throughout both rainy and dry seasons, making it a valuable resource for increasing cultivation. Namadi affirmed that without a doubt, in due course, they will be engaged in the exportation of wheat, commencing with their initial endeavour, followed by a shift to rice and subsequently returning to wheat again; this is the perpetual cycle they have chosen.
Through this process, they envision achieving self-sufficiency in food production, a goal they have indeed accomplished. Nigeria’s wheat production has long faced challenges, resulting in heavy dependence on imports to fulfil local needs. Nonetheless, a shortage in supply emerged as a consequence of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, combined with the collapse of the Black Sea grain agreement. This global scarcity has subsequently led to a surge in wheat prices worldwide. Nigeria’s expenditures on wheat imports during the period from October 2022 to September 2023 amounted to approximately ₦970 billion.
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Notably, during the initial nine months of 2023, Nigeria allocated approximately ₦783.26 billion towards the purchase of imported wheat primarily sourced from countries like Latvia, Canada, Lithuania, the United States, Poland, and Argentina. Governments greatly benefit from wheat, which not only generates substantial revenue through taxes and tariffs but also plays a crucial role in ensuring food security. It holds immense significance as a staple food globally, serving as a reliable source of sustenance for countless individuals. Moreover, during periods of scarcity, it frequently serves as a vital commodity for food assistance initiatives, aiding those in need.