By Jacob Ajakaiye, in Kano
The Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN) has presented 50 units of AMAR multi-crop threshers worth N70 million to wheat farmers in the country.
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The donation is part of the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into by the Milling Association and the farmers geared at boosting wheat production in the country.
Speaking briefly at a presentation ceremony held at the premises of the Northern Nigeria Flour Mill (NNFM) in Kano, John Coumantaros, chairman of the FMAN, said that the presentation was a demonstration of the association’s commitment to continuously support wheat farmers under the Federal Government’s Agriculture Promotion Policy.
Coumantaros, who was represented at the occasion by Sani Umar, disclosed that his Association resolved to donate the farming equipment to the farmers as a way to assist boost the quality of their wheat production.
He noted that the provision of the equipment will also assist the farmers improve the market value of their wheat commodity, and enable it meet international standard.
“There is no gainsaying that self-sufficiency in the production of wheat in Nigeria will have an unprecedented impact on the Nigerian economy through the attainment of food security, poverty reduction and of course, save much needed foreign exchange,” he said.
Coumantaros, who is also the chairman of Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC, further stated that the donation is in furtherance of an MoU signed with Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria in 2016 to purchase all available wheat grain produced by farmers in line with agreed quality parameters and prevailing market prices.
“In 2017, FMAN fulfilled its promise by purchasing over 2,400 metric tonnes of wheat valued at N469 million and in 2018, even before the start of harvest, we have purchased over 1600 metric tonnes of wheat valued at N237 million.
“Also, as part of the implementation of the agreement, FMAN presented the sum of N20 million, as Research and Development Grant to the Lake Chad Research Institute to conduct research into enhanced wheat farming technology and modern agronomy practices aimed at improving wheat varieties with good yield,” he said.
Coumantaros assured the farmers that the association would continue to invest effort and resources on initiatives that would improve local supply chain, promising that the association is fully committed to ensuring that the nation`s aspiration aimed at achieving self-sufficiency in wheat production is attained.
Receiving the wheat threshers on behalf of the farmers, Salim Saleh Muhammad, national president, Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN), thanked the Milling Association for the donation.
Saleh said the equipment would go a long way in boosting the operation of the farmers, most of whom, before now, were harvesting their cultivated wheat manually, which results in poor market quality of their product.
Meanwhile, business.a.m noted that the benefiting farmers are drawn from the wheat growing belts of Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, and Kebbi