Nigeria Can Save 635bn Naira From Wheat Importation – Ogbeh

Audu-Ogbeh--Agric-Minister- economyNigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, says the country can save 635 billion Naira annually from wheat importation starting from 2018.

The Minister, on Tuesday said “Nigeria is expected to become self-sufficient in wheat production by 2018”.

Mr Ogbeh told reporters that 350,000 tonnes of wheat were expected in the coming harvest season from up to 100 hectares of land cultivated in the northern part of the country, nearly 30 years after Nigeria’s wheat yield was labelled unacceptable.

The Minister said that the new breed of wheat recently nurtured in partnership with a Tunisian firm was gluten free.

“The Nigerian Milling Association is already queuing up to buy the entire harvest,” he stated.

“Nigeria runs a risk of going hungry unless it ceases to engage in agriculture as a one season event.

“To ensure the needed expansion, land clearing, quality control and crops certification and mechanisation are a must now,” the Minister stressed.

Other areas Mr Ogbeh said required urgent attention were: irrigation plans for farmlands across the states to rule out the threat of drought and the successful lobbying of banks to bring down interest rates so that as many Nigerians as possible, would be encouraged to get into agriculture especially the youth.

We’re sorry for increasing the price of bread – Bakers

The President of the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers, Lagos State Chapter, Jacob Adejorin, on Monday, appealed to the public over the hike in the price of bread.

Mr. Adejorin said in Lagos that the increase is unavoidable because bakers can no longer run the business at a loss.

“It is not our desire to make life uncomfortable for members of the public. We have seriously considered them before increasing the price of our products,” he said.

He said that ingredients used in the production of bread have become too expensive for bakers.

The master baker said that a bag of wheat is now being sold for N7, 100 as against the previous price of N5, 750; while a bag of sugar is now N9, 000 from N5, 000.

“Many of our members have gone out of business. Some of them have been forced to return to their villages, while others have taken to other businesses,” he said.

Bread vendors said a loaf of Val-U bread and UTC bread, which used to cost N180 no sells for N220 while loaves that used to cost N100 and N120 now cost N120 and N150 respectively, and the N150 loaf now sells for N200.