Secretary to Borno state government, Dr Bukar Tijani at an event to commemorate International year of millet organised by Lake Chad Research Institute, Maiduguri.
By Dauda Iliya
The Secretary to Borno state government, Dr. Bukar Tijani has called for increased investment in the production of millet in the country.
Dr. Tijani who was the former minister of state for agriculture stated this at an event to commemorate the international year of millet organised by Lake Chad Research Institute, Maiduguri.
He observed that Nigeria was a key producer of millet in West Africa sub region, but currently less than two million metric tonnes is being produced in a year.
Dr. Bukar Tijani warned that the country is at the verge of losing millet unless farmers increase production, marketing and consumption of the crop.
“If we are not careful, we will lose millet as a crop in the next few years to come, because if farmers refuse to produce and if consumers refuse to consume it because of the perception that it is a local product ” Tijani said.
He identified some of the challenges affecting the production of the crop to include insecurity, desertification, flooding and drought.
“Borno state government will continue to support Lake Chad Research Institute in different ways to boost the production of millet”
The Secretary to the State government stressed the need for increased collaboration with federal, state governments, research Institutes, farmers associations and development partners to improve farming activities.
Executive Director Lake Chad Research Institute Professor Babagana Jugudum said the United Nations in 2021 declared 2023 as the international year of millet because of its health and economic values.
He explained that the Institute has developed and released eight new varieties of millet, noting that attention is now focused on enhancing value addition of the crop.
Highpoint of the event is the display of value added products from millet.