Minister of agriculture and rural development, Mohammed Abubakar has disclosed that Nigeria will look for alternative suppliers of grains amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
This was made known by the agriculture minister while speaking with state house correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja.
In Nigeria, wheat is reportedly the third most consumed grain.
By the end of Q3 2021, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that Nigeria imported durum wheat and mackerel worth N88.46 billion and N30.69 billion, respectively, from Russia.
Speaking with journalists, Abubakar said the Russia-Ukraine conflict is an “issue of concern” to Nigeria’s wheat importation.
“As a result of that, Mr. President has directed that we sit and discuss and not just the Ministry of Agriculture, but NALDA, NCFI, all of those that are concerned, the Central Bank,” the minister said.
“We have met about two to three times to discuss the issue of Ukraine. Yes, indeed, Nigeria imports grains and other agricultural input from Ukraine, we are making sure that we look inwards and outwards to make sure this conflict does not affect our agricultural sector.
“Inwards, looking at fabrication of certain equipment that we can do. Also surveying and looking for areas that we can even produce our own fertilizer because we have the mineral deposits that are precursors to fertilizer production and also other places where we can import, apart from Ukraine, but the most important thing is to up our own agricultural production.
Asked to identify the countries, the minister said, “There are countries that produce other grains or the grains that we need, we’re still in the process. Like, I said, we’re also looking inward to see what we can do to cushion the effect.”