A pilot dry season wheat production project in three local government areas of Bauchi State is expected to provide 8,000 metric tons of wheat for Nigerian milling companies to meet the needs of confectionaries in the country.
The local governments selected for the pilot projects are Misau, Shira and Ganjuwa.
Managing Director of Madaki Agro Services, a private company engaged in agricultural development activities, Mr. Akubo Adegbe, disclosed the plan to increase wheat production in Bauchi State at the launch of this year’s wheat farming season held at Zindi village in Misau LGA.
He said the company planned to help farmers cultivate 1,965 hectares of land in the three LGAs.
Mr Adegbe said the pilot projects would engage 1,116 farmers with an expected minimum yield of four metric tons per hectare which, he added, would give a combined production of 8,000 metric tonnes of wheat at the end of the season.
“So everywhere in Bauchi State where we have flat plains, we can drill wash boreholes to plant wheat, but it also depends on the communities’ willingness and ability to work with us,” he said.
According to him, Madaki Agro Services is working with its partners, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Nigeria Incentive Base-risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) as its subsidiary and Stanbic IBTC Bank through which funds were disbursed.
“Lands have been prepared, boreholes dug and seeds provided by the Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria, as farmers commence crop planting from December 1 – 10 this season,” he added.
Also speaking, a NIRSAL official, Malam Usman Yahaya, said the agency organised the farmers, aggregated them, made them into single entity; registered them and offered them money for farming activities, as well as linked them with up-takers who would buy the produce.
Launching the scheme, the Emir of Misau, Alhaji Ahmed Suleiman (mni), represented by the Sarkin Sudan of Misau, Alhaji Bala expressed gratitude for the dry season wheat farming in Misau, and assured that the farmers would cooperate to ensure the success of the programme.