The Chairman, Wheat Farmers Association in Gombe State, Mr Batari Dauda, said 9,000 tons of wheat was harvested in 2016/2017 farming season in the state.
Dauda, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Monday, said 1,200 registered farmers cultivated 2,000 hectares of land across the state.
The chairman described the yield as fairly good, but added that the initial target was cultivating 10,000 hectares of land across the state. He said the cultivation was limited by lack of quality seeds and farming implements. “Most of the farmers said the seed they secured was plantable material that is seed that was planted for over five years. “This results to deterioration in terms of quality because the yield will not be good. “Initially Lake Chad Research Institute brought us foundation seed, but the problem we have with them is that the seed is not sufficient, he said.
Dauda said those that were able to plant the crop early realized three to four tons on each hectare while those that planted late, realized between one and two tons per hectare. “This is because the temperature has to be low before planting wheat. “It does not grow during the rainy season, it can only be planted between first and last week of November.| “Therefore, a farmer must cultivate his land in October and wait for November to plant and harvest in March,” he explained.
The chairman said farmers had no problem getting market for the produce because the association had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigeria Millers Association. “They became our off takers; in fact what we are producing is not even enough for them. “Apart from them, there are local end users, those that want to turn wheat into bread and other things,” Dauda said.