Many farmers in Kano State have abandoned wheat cultivation because of the lack of market for the commodity.
Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, in Kano State, Faruk Rabi’u, disclosed this in an interview in Kano on Friday.
He said that the wheat farmers had no other option than to shelve production due to the massive importation wheat into the country, adding that the development had negatively affected local wheat production.
Mr Rabi’u said that in 2017, over 33,000 hectares of wheat farms were cultivated in Kano State, adding, however, that the figure plummeted to only 10,000 hectares in the current irrigation farming season.
“Many wheat farmers in the state have stopped producing the commodity due to lack of market and other challenges.
“Last year, we cultivated over 33,000 hectares of wheat farms but this year, only 10,000 hectares are under cultivation,’’ he said.
Mr Rabi’u urged the Federal Government to ban wheat importation in the country so as to boost local wheat production across the country.
He also said that the call was necessary in order to encourage wheat farmers to remain in business.
He underscored the need for the Federal Government’s intervention on the issue so as to save wheat farmers from going out of business.
Mr Rabi’u said that the Federal Government’s intervention was imperative because most farmers in the state had lost interest in wheat production due to the unwillingness of wheat flour milling companies to buy locally grown wheat.
“Our local wheat is better than the foreign one in terms of quality but the cultivation of foreign wheat is largely subsidised; so the flour mills prefer to buy the foreign wheat because it is cheaper.
“We hope the Federal Government will totally outlaw wheat importation so as encourage wheat farmers to engage in massive production of the commodity and force flour milling companies to patronise the local wheat,’’ he said.
“If the Federal Government can ban importation of rice, I see no reason why the same measure cannot be taken to boost local wheat production and encourage wheat farmers to sustain their cultivation,’’ he added.