Crown Flour Mill (CFM) Limited, a subsidiary of Olam Nigeria Limited, has empowered some female wheat farmers in Kano State with farming irrigation equipment to boost wheat production in Nigeria.
Indeed, wheat production has declined in Nigeria due to harsh weather conditions and seed varieties according to Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN).
The CFM stated that the move was part of its ongoing strategic investment drive to support Nigeria’s food production self-sufficiency and food security aspirations, and its short to medium term value chain developmental efforts aimed at raising the current local production levels of wheat in the country.
The irrigation equipment, according to the flour milling company, is meant to assist the female smallholder wheat farmers and ultimately enhance their productivity levels.
The company explained that the irrigation equipment comprising mainly of a high-pressure water pumping machine, were formally presented to the female farmers at a ceremony held in Giyamusu, Ajingi Local Government Area of Kano State.
The firm noted that the realisation of the productivity potential of women smallholder farmers in the country has largely been constrained by poor access to land and farming tools, especially irrigation equipment.
To CFM, access to modern irrigation infrastructure on the farms boosts the yield of crops.
“Meanwhile, wheat crops yield higher returns when properly irrigated. The presentation of the pumping machines to the women smallholder farmers marked a needed upturn in women farmers’ aspiration to scale as well as support and meaningfully contribute to the ongoing federal government’s agricultural development programmes,” CFM said.
The Olam’s subsidiary firm further stated that the recipients of the farming irrigation equipment were Lauratu Kassim, a 40-year-old wheat farmer with three years wheat farming experience, Maryam Ahmad, who has been practicing crop cultivation for many years but went fully into wheat farming four years ago and Atika Shuaibu, another 40-year-old female farmer who started wheat farming two years ago.
The farming profiles of the CFM’s wheat recipients indicated that Shuaibu owns a very big farm where she plants rice and other crops and a wheat farm, but has no pumping machine for irrigation. Hasiya Muhammad, who has had to rely on her husband’s farming equipment to sustain operations on her farmland, and 40-year-old Liti Audu are the other beneficiaries of the farming infrastructure support.
Special guest at the presentation of the irrigation equipment to the female farmers, the Executive Governor of Kano State, Mr. Umar Ganduje, ably represented by his Senior Special Adviser, Youth Empowerment, Hon. Faruk Sule Garo, appreciated and applauded the effort of CFM in empowering women and investing in the agricultural sector which helps in ensuring the livelihood of millions of Nigerians and in boosting the economy of our country.
Speaking about the intervention, the Wheat Development Programme Officer, CFM, Ms. Rauda Musa Umar, said the organisation is committed to assisting the government achieve its food security and economic diversification agenda.
In her words, “We will keep providing the necessary farming support and modern agronomic capacity-building training to local wheat farmers to boost wheat farming practices and yields in the country. Our focus, of course, is food security and improving livelihoods.”
Also, the President Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria, Dr. Salim Saleh, said the various intervention programmes implemented by CFM are laudable, adding that the presentation of this farming equipment to women would go a long way to boost women farmers’ productivity and raise the economic contribution levels of the women.
“Let me seize this opportunity to encourage other corporate organisations and well-meaning Nigerians, especially those operating in the agric value chain, to emulate Crown Flour Mill Limited in developing and boldly executing impactful agricultural development programmes that will reverberate across the local landscape,” he added.
Atika Shuaibu, who spoke on behalf of the other women smallholder farmers, expressed her appreciation for the delivery of the irrigation facility.
She said: “I am so, so happy to receive the machine. With the irrigation machine, most of us will stop hiring pumping machines to water our crops. We will also have a bigger and better harvest. I thank Crown Flour Mill for this assistance.”