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Wheat is a political crop — Wheat farmers’ chair

The Chairman of Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN), Kebbi State chapter, Alhaji Abdullahi Saidu Argungu, has described wheat as a crop suffering from calculated tactic by certain people in high places to frustrate local production.

Speaking on the politics of wheat production in the country with Daily Trust at the just concluded National Agricultural Show, he said wheat had political side to it in Nigeria.

Alhaji Abdullahi stressed that while farmers made every effort to produce, carefully underhand market forces continued to discourage them despite the fact that what the country produced was not even up to a quarter of national demand of 4.2 million tonnes.

He also accused millers of deliberately frustrating local production because they got wheat cheaper from abroad.

“Wheat is a political crop, you and I know that we can achieve this in the country, but there are people up there who do not want to see that self-sufficiency in wheat is successfully achieved in the country because it will affect their economic interests,” he said.

He further said government must step up engagement and necessary intervention to save the future of wheat in the country otherwise those who continued to benefit from the crop’s poor performance in the market would have a field day importing auctioned wheat at the expense of local farmers.

Meanwhile, the acting Permanent Secretary of the Kebbi State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Alhaji Mohammed Lawal Shehu, speaking on the recent flood disaster that destroyed thousands of hectares of rice farms in Kebbi, said although the farmers suffered severe losses, they would go back to farm in the next few days given all the necessary support from government.

Alhaji Shehu said all the farms along river belts were completely submerged and destroyed, adding that thousands of farmers were affected.

He said Gov. Bagudu Atiku, who is the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Rice and Wheat, had ordered the disbursement of financial assistance to farmers to enable them begin production again.

Source: Daily Trust

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