Dangote, others boost wheat production with threshing machines
The General Managing Director, Dangote Flour Mill Plc., Thabo Mabe, at the presentation of the multi-crop threshers to the wheat farmers association of Nigeria, urged the beneficiaries to prioritise breeding quality to suit the specification for confectionary purposes like bread or spaghetti.
He noted that with the threshers, the current output of wheat production would be doubled reducing the current 4.5million metric tonnes importation of wheat into the country.
He lamented that 70 per cent of wheat used by flour millers are imported despite huge potential in the country’s wheat sector, adding that the multi-crop threshers would enhance yield, empower more farmers and save foreign exchange.
“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, cost comes down and then the consumer is happy and prices will be sustained”, he added.
According to the stakeholders, the threshers were specifically designed to suit wheat threshing and would be initially allotted eight units each to Kano, Jigawa, Kebbi and Katsina while Sokoto, Bauchi, Kaduna and Zamfara would subsequently receive four units each.
Also, the chairman, Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN), John Coumantaros, who was represented by Group Managing Director of the company, Paul Gbededo, said the initiative would effectively accelerate the government’s drive at attaining internal sufficiency in wheat production while saving foreign exchange.
He said the Flour Millers Association of Nigeria (FMAN) had signed a pact 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.
The body, a union of giant industrial wheat consumers including Dangote Group, Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN), Honeywell, Olam and Dufil among others fulfilled its pledge of purchasing over 2,400 metric tonnes of wheat valued at N469million 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 out continued partnership with wheat farmers 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”, he said.