Crown Flour Mill’s Flagship Programme Achieves Target

September 11, 2022
Crown Flour Mill

By Adedapo Adesanya

Crown Flour Mill (CFM) Limited, the wheat milling subsidiary of Olam Agri, has unveiled an impressive first-year report of its Seeds for the Future programme, stating that it produced 10Kg of pre-multiplication wheat seed varieties that suit the unique local topography and climate.

The report was unveiled during the third edition of the agribusiness stakeholders’ consultative forum, the Olam Agri Greenland Webinar Series.

Developing and cultivating wheat seed varieties that suit Nigeria’s unique topographic and climatic conditions, in addition to a wider engagement of smallholder farmers and adoption of modern agronomic practices, have been the bane of wheat production self-sufficiency in Nigeria.

CFM sought to address these challenges through the Seeds for the Future initiative, its signature N300 million wheat value chain development project that was launched in 2021.

Speaking on the project’s report, Mr Ashish Pande, the Country Head for Olam Agri Nigeria, said, “We have made quite an impressive stride on the Seeds for the Future programme going by the first-year report. It is a journey. We will continue to inject human, financial, and technical resources into the programme to ensure we meet our targets and derive the best results in the years ahead.”

According to Mr Pande, “There are challenges currently in the global food value chain. What this means is that we must look inward to ensure a consistent supply of food to feed our population by channelling investment into agriculture. At CFM and Olam Agri, we are committed to investing at the production level of the wheat value chain, in line with the Federal Government’s food security and agriculture development agenda.”

Unveiling the project report, Mr Filippo Bassi, a professional seed breeder from the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and consultant on the project, revealed, “The 10 Kg pre-multiplication wheat seed varieties produced so far will be planted next season in 1,000m2 plots at the Azumbu farm research station in Jigawa. However, to ensure larger quantities of seeds as backup, a subset will be planted also during the rainy season in August.”

On his part, Dr Kachalla Kyari Mala, the Principal Research Officer at the Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI), who is the project lead researcher, said his team conducted a detailed survey into the agronomic practices of local smallholder farmers at the commencement of the project to understand the realities in the wheat value chain.

He stated that the approach of combining data from multiple stations across the West African region helped the team identify and resolve bottlenecks in the value chain.

“The outcome of the first-year trial and testing of the seed varieties gives some assurance that the investment of Olam Agri will accelerate seed production while pre-release yields actual improvement in productivity in the country’s wheat farming belt,” Dr Mala said.

Harping on factors necessary for achieving improved local wheat production self-sufficiency, Dr Zakari Turaki, the Director of Agricultural Research at LCRI, a panellist at the forum, mentioned strong partnerships and collaborative efforts between public institutions and private firms as key to raising the current level of the local wheat harvest.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

Leave a Reply

NEM Insurance
Previous Story

NGX Index Rises 0.09% as NEM Insurance Tops Gainers Chart

MMA Customs
Next Story

MMA Customs Records 17.6% Revenue Growth in Six Months

Latest from Economy

Don't Miss