Russia-Ukraine War: Wheat Import to Africa Hits $20b
As the war between Ukraine and Russia lingers, the cost of Africa’s dependency on wheat importation from Europe has risen to $20 billion.
The increased dependency of Africa on the European market, including Nigeria that sources about 90 per cent of its wheat demand abroad, has continued to weaken efforts to harness production levels in the continent.
The Head of Clearinghouse, Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), Dr Solomon Gizaw, made the revelation, yesterday, in Kano at the opening of a workshop on wheat seed production in Nigeria.
Gizaw explained that African countries were paying the price for the Ukraine-Russia crisis, which had obstructed the supply chain and escalated the cost of wheat importation, failure to take advantage of its potential.
Gizaw regretted that African countries had refused to build a self-sufficient mechanism in wheat production despite its abundant arable land, available resources and technology deposits, describing it as an ugly development threatening food security in the continent.
He said: “In Africa, we have the technology, land, water and the people. If we bring together and work together, Nigeria can feed itself and the rest of African countries.”
Earlier, TAAT programme coordinator, Dr. Chrys Akem, expressed worry that Nigeria was still backward in the wheat production revolution compared to Ethiopia and Sudan, which had become self-sufficient in wheat production.
He said the workshop was intended to chart ways for the production of varieties of wheat seed in Nigeria and to build capacity on best agronomy practices in the continent.