The prolonged conflict between Russia and Ukraine has increased African countries’ annual expenditure on wheat imports to $20 billion. Solomon Gizaw, Head of the TAAT Clearinghouse at Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), shared this information with stakeholders at a wheat seed production workshop in Nigeria.
He stated that African nations were facing the brunt of the crisis, which had a significant financial impact, according to the Independent newspaper. According to him, the battle between these two countries has created significant supply interruption because Africans are the continent’s largest wheat importer.
He explained that Africans have food insecurity because it is in the hands of others. He stressed that Africa pays almost $20 billion to import wheat from other parts of the world.
He is of the opinion that since Africa nations purchase fertilizer and wheat from Ukraine and Russia, the war between the two has affected the supply of both wheat and fertilizer. This had an impact on wheat pricing and supply in African countries.
Gizaw remarked that the continent must unite and collaborate. He revealed that Africa has many high-yielding wheat types that can produce 6 to 7 tonnes per acre. However, in Nigeria, current wheat production does not exceed 2 to 3 tonnes per hectare.
According to him, the productivity of wheat in Africa can be doubled or even tripled on a single farmland and the African Development Bank is collaborating with the Nigerian government to grow wheat but the government was not being supportive to the cause.
He also noted three nations, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Nigeria, that have begun attempts to achieve wheat self-sufficiency.