The National Land Development Authority (NALDA) has disclosed that it is targeting to produce 2.7 million metric tonnes of wheat across the country.
This, it said, would crash the price of wheat, save the country from paying huge money on imports and create job opportunities for Nigerians.
Executive Secretary of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday while playing host to Gombe State Governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, said the effort by the Authority to expand wheat production will also make flour accessible to people.
Ikonne, who said the projected target is achievable, noted that the country has all it required to achieve the targeted wheat production with the willingness of farmers. “It is very urgent for Nigeria to take advantage of what is happening in the world towards producing our own wheat, maize and other crops”.
“The Governor [Gombe State] has pledged 4,500 hectares for our aggressive production that NALDA is collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the result we got shows that it’s achievable”, he noted.
The Executive Secretary noted that the Authority is working with the Ministry of Education through the Minister, Adamu Adamu to get 30,000 hectares of land from Universities that are not being used to be channelled towards food production.
“As we speak, we are clearing 100 hectares land in Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) Imo State, we already have 100 hectares of land at University of Agriculture, Umidike and we have already cleared and planted plantain at one of the universities in Aba, Abia State. We are grateful to God and we thank President Buhari for his mindset of putting Nigerians on the path of sustainability for the country to be food sufficient”, he concluded.
On his part, Governor Inuwa while commending NALDA’S effort towards achieving good security, said Gombe State is already in line with the target.
“We cultivated 200 hectares of wheat this year and the result is good, that is why we are working with NALDA to expand our production. With the recent development of the Russian – Ukraine war, we need to do more to stop the importation of wheat”, he said.
On sustainability, Inuwa noted that Gombe State has about 80% of its population in active agriculture, adding that the state will expand and sustain its food production with the support of the people for the country towards self-sufficiency.
Reporting by Zaccheaus Babalola; editing by Muzha Kucha