The Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN) has invested about N35 million in the provision of 50 AMAR multi-crop threshers for the Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria in line with its commitment to strengthen the country’s production capacity.
The implements specifically designed for wheat threshing will be initially allotted eight units each to Kano, Jigawa, Kebbi, and Katsina while Sokoto, Bauchi, Kaduna and Zamfara will subsequently receive four units.
Paul Gbededo, the managing director Flour Mill Nigeria, unveiling the equipment on Tuesday said the initiative would effectively accelerate the government’s drive at attaining internal sufficiency in wheat production while saving foreign exchange.
FMAN, he said, had signed a MoU with the wheat farmers in 2016 to purchase all available wheat grain produced in the country in line with standard parameters and prevailing market prices.
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The union of giant industrial wheat consumers, including Dangote Group, Flour Mill Nigeria (FMN), Honeywell, Olam, and Dufil, among others, fulfilled its pledge of purchasing over 2,400 metric tonnes of wheat valued at N467million and recently 1,600 metric tonnes valued at N237million.
“As we unveil and present 50 units of the AMAR Multi-Crop threshers, it is with the firm belief that our continued partnership with WFAN will see further improvements in the yields of wheat, as we collectively work towards our goals of reaching self-sufficiency in wheat production in Nigeria. This is the type of support that we have given in the past and will continue to give to develop wheat value chain in Nigeria,” said Gbededo.
Thabo Mabe, the general managing director, Dangote Flour Mill Plc., urged beneficiaries to prioritise breeding quality produce to suit the specification for confectionary purposes like bread or spaghetti, noting that the mechanization support could double the current output and drag down the 4.5million metric tonnes of importation.
He said: “The current unsustainable ways of threshing is the reason why majority of the wheat in the country is imported. We are trying to drive Nigeria to self-sustainability since we have huge arable land that can be used for the benefit of the country. We are now mechanising the way we are threshing wheat. Our poor men and women do this manually but this equipment will mechanise, reduce cost and improve yield. That increases the amount of wheat produced per hectare. Once the yields are up, the cost comes down and then the consumer is happy and prices will be sustained.”
According to Rotimi Fadipe, Honeywell’s executive director, the association looks forward to a geometric increase in production after the application of the equipment. He noted that production was already nearing a million metric tonnes, marking a significant shift from the previously low output.
“About two years ago, it was far less than 200 metric tonnes. What we did was to consult the farmers association who gave us specification and we tried to source from the best manufacturer. The product is a multi-crop thresher specially made for wheat threshing. I congratulate farmers as we look forward to strengthening your capacity,” he said.