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April 17, 2024

Wheat Farmers Decry High Cost of Inputs 

The removal of subsidies, leading to a surge in fuel prices, looms as a formidable challenge for wheat farming in Gombe State. 

Among the concerned voices is Malam Kawu Sa’idu, a wheat farmer from Nafada LGA, who underscores the indispensable role of fuel in powering machinery, watering fields, and enabling transportation for a successful wheat cultivation.

Despite the challenges posed by escalating fuel costs, farmers have received support from the All-Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security. 

However, the National Publicity Secretary of AFAN, Alhaji Muhammad Magaji Gettado, stated that the association is collaborating with the government to provide farmers with necessary support and affordable inputs. 

Additionally, efforts are being made to connect farmers with major flour mills, which are closely monitoring farms and offering competitive prices for wheat harvests.

To address the issue of high fuel costs, the government plans to distribute solar water pumps to farmers. This initiative aims to alleviate the burden of diesel and fuel expenses, particularly for dry season farmers. 

However, the increased fuel prices have already impacted the overall cost of production for wheat farmers, potentially leading to decreased profitability and reduced cultivation.

Sa’idu highlighted the challenges faced by small-scale farmers, who are forced to reduce the size of their farms due to escalating costs. In addition to the high cost of production, farmers are facing difficulties in accessing modern seed varieties and timely government intervention. Late distribution of government support has further compounded the challenges for farmers, as many had already planted their crops by the time assistance arrived.

One of the major concerns for wheat farmers is the lack of a local market to sell their produce at favorable prices. Despite having sufficient wheat to meet demand within the country, farmers are often compelled to transport their harvest to distant locations, such as Kano, where flour mills are located. This not only incurs additional expenses but also poses logistical challenges for farmers.

Despite these obstacles, farmers remain optimistic about the upcoming harvest season. They express gratitude for the initial support provided by AFAN and hope for a successful yield, despite the ongoing challenges posed by fuel price hikes and market limitations.

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