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Olam set to hold wheat value chain stakeholders’ consultative forum

Olam, an agribusiness conglomerate and parent company of Crown Flour Mill Limited, a top flour milling firm in Nigeria, is set to hold the second edition of its wheat value chain knowledge-sharing and development event.

Tagged the Olam Green Land Webinar Series, the second edition of the industrywide consultative event is themed “Rethinking wheat farming in Nigeria – Seeds I Research I Partnerships”. The event will hold virtually on November 24, 2021.

The wheat value chain development event is part of the organisation’s wheat value chain intervention programmes targeted at helping the Federal Government achieve its national food security, food production self-sufficiency and employment generation agenda.

As the country grapples with galloping staple food prices and as consumers contend with shrinking income levels and purchasing power, the wheat value chain event is aimed at galvanizing key stakeholders and stimulating useful discourse that will proffer suitable, actionable and measurable solutions to the national wheat production challenge and self-sufficiency aspiration.

Speaking about the upcoming event, Ashish Pande, managing director of Crown Flour Mill Limited, said, “Olam is committed to helping Nigeria achieve food production self-sufficiency in the agricultural sector. The second edition of the webinar is coming on the heels of an extensive research that culminated in the launch of our N300 million ($750,000) 10-year community-based seed enterprises project aimed at fostering Nigeria’s wheat production capabilities.”

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“By focusing conversations on critical areas of research, development of suitable seed varieties and strategic partnerships, it is possible to accelerate the local wheat production capacity and remove the bottlenecks in local production.”

Speaking further, Pande stated: “The move is critical at this moment as the efforts will ultimately strengthen the nation’s food security position, sustain the creation of jobs by the wheat value chain and help achieve the targeted agriculture-led economic development agenda of the Federal Government.”

The CFM boss said the webinar is going to deep-dive into crucial developmental issues to generate suitable solutions from a host of experienced guest speakers and panellists.

The special guest for the webinar series is Muhammad Abubakar, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development while the keynote speaker is Tiberio Chiari who is the former manager of the Agricultural Value Chains Programme in Oromia, Ethiopia (the overarching Ethio-Italian development cooperation programme). Ethiopia is a country regarded as the centre of diversity for durum wheat in Africa and so, the country’s learnings and experiences will be invaluable to Nigeria. Sall Amadou Tidiane, a Senior Scientist, Senegalese Institute for Agricultural Research (ISRA), is a guest speaker.

The event panelists include Stephen Ambore, wheat champion, Central Bank of Nigeria; Munir Babba Dan Agundi, chairman, House Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions, Nigeria’s House of Representatives; Karima Babangida, director at FMARD; Salim Saleh Muhammad, national president, Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN); Sarah Hubber, head of wheat development programme, Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN) and Alhassan Bibinu, executive director, Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI). Others are Zakari Turaki, director of Research, LCRI; Kachalla Kyari Mala, project lead researcher/principal research officer, LCRI; and Filippo Bassi, project scientist/senior scientist, International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA).

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