The Flour Millers Association of Nigeria (FMAN) and Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on measures to boost wheat production in the country.
Under the pact, both parties have expressed commitment to further boost wheat production in the country with FMAN expressing willingness to purchase wheat produced by WFAN at a guaranteed price of N140,000 per metric tonne for the 2015/2016 farming season, while members of WFAN consented to the deal.
Speaking during the signing of the agreement at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development recently in Abuja, Managing Director of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc., Lanre Jaiyeola, stated that "the event marks a milestone in the development and growth of the Nigerian wheat value chain and aligns with FMAN's objectives to provide affordable and nutritious flour based foods to Nigerians in addition to developing the wheat value chain and contributing to the growth of agriculture in Nigeria.
"This initiative seeks to replicate the modest successes achieved in our intervention in the cassava value chain where Nigeria is the number one producer of cassava in the world".
Jaiyeola also expressed gratitude to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh; the Executive Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and the officials of the Lake Chad Research Institute for their support.
Speaking on behalf of WFAN, Alhaji Farouk Mudi assured Nigerians that with the support of FMAN and LCRI, farmers are ready to mobilize and produce the required quantity of wheat to meet local demand.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri said that increased production of wheat will lead to food security, job creation, savings on foreign exchange and growth of the Nigerian economy.
He further encouraged other crop growers and agro associations producing rice, maize, cassava and other crops to emulate what FMAN and WFAN have done, while the describing the actions of the two stakeholders as commendable.
On his part, the Executive Director, Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI), Dr. Oluwaseun Olabanji, who worked closely with both organisations to forge the partnership, said that the primary goal of the Institute is to support wheat growers and ensure that Nigeria achieves self-sufficiency in wheat production.
Meanwhile Jaiyeola also noted that FMAN has concluded plans to further show support to wheat cultivation in Nigeria through the donation of equipment, provision of water irrigation pumps, pilot (demonstration) farms, purchase of seeds towards the next planting season, sponsorship of technical support and research and development initiatives aimed towards improving yield.