The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, made this known in a statement signed by the Director of Information of the ministry, Mr Theodore Ogaziechi, on Sunday in Abuja.

The Federal Government has expressed its readiness to partner with Crown Flour Mills to expand the capacity for wheat production in the country.

Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, stated this at the weekend in Abuja when a delegation from the top management of the company led by its Corporate Affairs Manager, Ms. Damilola Adeniyi paid him a courtesy visit in his office.

Nanono said the initiative would reduce wheat importation, enhance food security and nutrition, conserve scarce foreign exchange and create jobs in the country.

Nanono said the Ministry had put in place deliberate measures to ensure increase in wheat production capacity including, the provision of quality seeds and in the distribution of agricultural inputs to Nigerian farmers, adding that the ministry would support the group in its developmental efforts.

The minister said with the intervention by Crown Flour Mills and other interventions from the Central Bank of Nigeria, Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN), Transformation for Africa Agricultural Technologies (TAAT) and the Wheat Compact Project , Nigeria would experience a sustainable local production of wheat.

In her remarks, the Corporate Affairs Manager of Crown Flour Mills, Ms Damilola Adeniyi , said that the purpose of the visit was to update the Minister on the group’s activities as well as seek collaboration with the Ministry to leverage on Nigeria’s wheat growing potential by bringing in new seed varieties and modern technology to facilitate growth and expansion of wheat production in the country.

Adeniyi said the company plans to introduce the findings of a research trials it conducted recently on the cultivation of a heat tolerant variety of wheat.

She expressed optimism that the process wouls boost local production of wheat, increase quantity and improve quality .

She also informed the minister that the Crown Flour Mills has been involved in various developmental efforts such as research and seed trials, capacity building in modern agricultural practices, distribution of inputs, among others, targetted at smallholder wheat farmers and key players in the wheat production value chain

As one of its corporate social responsibilities, Adeniyi, said the group was committed to the sustained training of Nigerian wheat farmers, provision of quality seeds for increased productivity and in the patronage of their produce.

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