Wheat consumption is rising rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and imports account for over 70% of the region’s needs. Change is needed to protect ordinary Africans from the vagaries of global commodity markets and strengthen the continent’s wheat security – without change, the Continent’s population will remain vulnerable to sudden food price hikes.
Nigeria, for instance, currently imports four million tons of wheat, spending $4 billion on the commodity every year – a figure that is expected to reach $10 billion by 2030 when Nigerians are predicted to consume over 10 million tons of imported wheat to satisfy their growing demand for non-traditional foods like pasta, noodles, and bread.
In Africa we cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of the past. The status quo – the ever-expanding demand-supply gap – is unsustainable and the prime cause of many societal problems, including widespread hunger and periodic violence.
SARD-SC Wheat believes that efforts are needed to boost domestic production – seeing this strategy as the principal means of tackling the Continent’s rising import dependence.
Over the coming years the Initiative’s plans include:
- The development and dissemination of improved high-yielding wheat varieties
- Fast-track seed multiplication programs
- The promotion of proven technologies and farming practices
- Policy intervention packages to create the right enabling environment.