The Centre for the Study of Economies of Africa (CSEA) has said that aside from funding, the Central Bank of Nigeria needs to strengthen partnerships with the Bank of Agriculture and the Ministry of Agriculture to address the non-financial challenges that lower wheat farmers’ productivity.
In its weekly newsletter titled ‘Nigeria Economic Update – issue 13’, the Centre noted that Nigeria imported N1.29 trillion worth of durum wheat in 2021 based on foreign trade data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
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The data showed an increase of 71.1 per cent over the N756.92 billion recorded in 2020 and more than tripled the N401.31bn recorded in 2019. Wheat is the third most consumed grain in Nigeria after Maize and Rice.
The product was the second-highest contributor to Nigeria’s import bill in the review year and the highest imported food item, accounting for 6.2% of the total import bill.
Durum wheat is a variety of spring wheat that is typically ground into semolina and used to make pasta, couscous, bulgur, noodles, and bread, all of which are highly consumed meals in Nigeria. Durum wheat imported in 2021, represents the highest on record.
According to the newsletter, the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia has affected the wheat supply chain globally, pushing prices of wheat to record highs.
“The current happening suggests that the demand for wheat produced in Nigeria would increase from firms within and outside the country,” it stated.
Prior to the invasion, the CBN had created the Nigeria Brown Revolution to reduce wheat importation by 35% this year and had as of November 2021 disbursed N41.2bn to improve funding of large-scale wheat production.