The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has alleged that western countries are playing politics with wheat production in order to block the country from becoming self-sufficient in the production of the crop.
Speaking with newsmen during a Capacity Building for Wheat Farmers on Good Agricultural Practices for Wheat Storage on Thursday in Kano, a Director at the ministry, Karima Babangida, said the countries are using propaganda to label Nigeria’s wheat as poisonous for containing gluten.
Represented by the National Wheat Value Chain Desk Officer, Naphtali Telta, the director averred that gluten has never been a poisonous content in wheat.
According to her, the assertion is baseless and plots to block Nigeria’s wheat market in order to be exporting the crop into the country.
She said: “One of the challenges of wheat production in Nigeria is politics centred around the crop by some western countries.
“Some western countries are trying all they can to ensure that Nigeria does not become self-sufficient in wheat production.
“If wheat were poison, it would have finished the European race. It would have finished the Arab race and it would have also finished the Israeli race because their food depends on wheat.”
“One of the strategies these countries use is that, they always publish that our wheat is poisonous, and that is not true.
“It is unfortunate that we don’t keep record here in Nigeria. I have never seen anybody that is allergic to gluten in this country.
“It is a wrong precedence for you to say wheat is poison. It’s about 0.001 percent of people that are allergic to wheat,” she said.
In his remarks, the National President of Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria, Salim Muhammad, attributed the challenges of wheat farming in the country to the failure of the government to fund the farmers.
He also said that the Federal Government does not support the farmers with seed varieties and loan facilities, lamenting that the production of wheat is dropping annually in the country.
Mr Muhammed, therefore, called on the government to support the association with all its different types of interventions to agriculture in the country.