Nigeria: “Last season I planted 2ha of wheat and got 70 bags which I sold for N23,000 (USD 58) per 100 kg bag and made 1.61 million naira (USD 4,120),” says Alhaji Sabiu Abdullahi from Alkamawa, Nigeria. Alhaji explains that out this he spent N600,000 (USD 1,500) to go to Saudia Arabia for the Hajj, which has been his lifelong dream. He says he deposited half of the remaining money into a bank as savings and used the rest to expand his farming ventures. Alhaji started wheat farming in 2000. Previously he grew wheat on a very small piece of land that barely gave him a bag for domestic consumption. Back then he grew wheat bought from the market and other old varieties but is now growing Atilla Gan Atilla.
Alhaji is a member of the Alkamawa Innovation platform of the AfDB funded SARD-SC Wheat project of ICARDA. The innovation platform is managed by the Institute of Agricultural Research at the Ahmadu Bello University- Zaria and the Lake Chad Research Institute. Alhaji says that through the SARD-SC wheat project they have learnt new and better methods of growing wheat. He was trained on the importance of row planting as opposed to the broadcasting method that he previously practiced.
“Before we used to just drop fertilizer, but we were taught the benefits of covering and distributing evenly, also because we are now planting our wheat in rows, fertilizer application is easier and we use less,” adds Alhaji. Alhaji has attended several other trainings including pre- season training workshop and demonstration that were held in Gombe State, training on post-harvest handling that was held in Bauchi State where he learnt the best time to harvest wheat, how to winnow and thresh and various storage methods including the Perdue Improved PICs bags. Alhaji is one of those issued with the PICS bags in the trials to demonstrate its efficacy on wheat. He has attended National Wheat Field Days and has been part of the on-farm demonstration at the Kadawa research station. His future plan is to expand his wheat farm so that he could get more income.
Alhaji says together with other farmers they approached the Governor for Kano Hon. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who sunk 34 boreholes in the region and also gave 1,500 water pumps to be distributed among the wheat farmers. These, he says, came because they were organized as a farmers group by SARD-SC.