The national association of wheat farmers, processors and marketers of Nigeria has said that all the northern states are now viable for wheat cultivation with the new varieties being developed locally.
The president of the group, Wing Cmdr. Shuaibu Hamza (rtd.), said this in an interview with newsmen in Maiduguri on Saturday.
Mr Hamza spoke at the end of the group’s visit to the Lake Chad Research Institute, Maiduguri, which has developed 17 varieties of wheat.
“We got acquainted with 17 varieties of seeds that have been developed by the institute.
“Four of them were very fresh with high yield, maximum of about eight tonnes per hectare, which is highly commendable.
“I am very happy to announce that with these varieties, all the states in the north are viable for wheat cultivation.
“Indeed, the institute has developed rain-fed variety that can be cultivated during the rainy season.
“So, very soon, Nigerians will cultivate wheat both during the rainy and dry seasons.
“I am also very happy to announce that the highlands in Jos in Plateau, Mambila in Taraba, and Obudu in Cross River, are for wheat production with these new varieties,” he said.
Mr Hamza urged Nigerians to embrace wheat farming, which he described as very lucrative, where one could get up to a million naira profit in a hectare.
Mr Hamza, who blamed the apathy toward wheat farming on poor yield, said that with the present development, things would change for the better.
He said that training would be provided to farmers on the new varieties by the association in collaboration with the institute.
He said that the association was targeting the mobilisation of 50,000 youths and women in each state.
According to Mr Hamza, the association’s aim is to boost food security and export potentials of wheat commodities in Nigeria, among others.
He said that this year’s dry season wheat production would be launched at the farm of the national grand patron of the association and Shehu of Borno, Abubakar Umar-Garbai.