Given both its burgeoning population and current global health and economic crisis, the need to improve food security in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. Wheat has arguably become one of the most important agricultural commodities. The nationwide demand for low cost, convenient staple and baked foods are increasing demand for wheat products (flour and flour-based foods). Most wheat is imported today, and, as such, the country is in dire need to accelerate local production.
Nigeria’s total local wheat production last year was about 200,000 metric tonnes, according to sources from the Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN), which was lower than expected due to harsh weather conditions and poor seed varieties available. Wheat imports by flour millers averaged 4.7 million tons per year over the last few years according to the FAO, making Nigeria’s local wheat production grossly insufficient to meet demand.
With an appreciation for the urgency to close the Wheat production gap, it has become imperative for all stakeholders in this value chain to work together in scaling up local production and minimizing the level of imports.