February 06, (THEWILL) – Amid scarce resources and conflicts which impact negatively on their economy, African countries spend a whopping $20 billion annually on wheat importation.
This disclosure was made by the Head of Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) Clearinghouse, Dr. Solomon Gizaw during a Train-the-Trainer workshop on wheat seed production in Kano.
According to him, the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis has led to supply disruptions and increased wheat prices in Africa, resulting in substantial financial burdens for the continent.
Dr. Gizaw pointed out that Nigeria possesses the necessary resources to cultivate wheat domestically, not only to sustain itself but also to supply neighboring African nations.
He said, “The fight between Russia and Ukraine impacted the whole of Africa.
“You can imagine, two countries fighting elsewhere in Europe but the fight has caused a lot of supply disruption because Africans were the major importers of wheat across the continent.
“This means that as a continent, we don’t have food security as our food security is in the hands of the others.
“Africa around this time annually spends nearly $20 billion to import wheat from other parts of the world.
“They import fertilizer and wheat from Ukraine and Russia and as a result, the war between the duo has disrupted the supply of wheat and fertilizer,’’
Speaking further, Gizaw noted that the result of the Russia-Ukraine war has been an increase in both wheat prices and disruption in supply across African nations.
However, he expressed optimism that Nigeria could achieve self-sufficiency if the current trajectory of wheat production is sustained.
Wheat tops Nigeria’s agricultural importation figure followed by sea foods, palm oil and canned meat.
About the Author
Sam Diala is a Bloomberg Certified Financial Journalist with over a decade of experience in reporting Business and Economy. He is Business Editor at THEWILL Newspaper, and believes that work, not wishes, creates wealth.