NIGERIA – The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has impounded 80 bags of alleged unwholesome wheat in Gombe state, Nigeria.
Mr. James Agada, the Gombe State NAFDAC Coordinator, told newsmen in Gombe shortly after the exercise that the wheat was treated with insecticides meant for planting and hence not healthy for public consumption.
Following investigation, it was discovered that the suspect, Adamu Hassan, 32, was selling a measure of wheat at reduced price to the public for consumption.
“One measure of this wheat goes between N200 (USD 0.48) to N300 (USD 0.72) and a measure of wheat in the market goes for over N1,000 (USD 2.41). The public were already consuming insecticide treated wheat, this is something that supposed to be planted in the farm not for consumption,” he said.
Agada said the Anchor Borrower Programme of the CBN was boldly written on the bags of wheat meant for farmers but was however being sold to the public at a subsidized rate.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in line with its developmental function established the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP). The Programme which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) on November 17, 2015 is intended to create a linkage between anchor companies involved in the processing and small holder farmers (SHFs) of the required key agricultural commodities.
The programme thrust of the ABP is provision of farm inputs in kind and cash for farm labor to small holder farmers to boost production of these commodities, stabilize inputs supply to agro processors and address the country’s negative balance of payments on food.
At harvest, the SHF supplies his/her produce to the Agro-processor (Anchor) who pays the cash equivalent to the farmer’s account.
The NAFDAC Coordinator informed that as soon as they finish investigation the suspect would be charged to court.
Reacting, the suspect (Adamu Hassan) told newsmen that he sells seeds, insecticide, fertilizer and other farming inputs at Herwagana area, close to Gombe market.
However, he denied the accusations claiming that the wheat he is selling is for farmers and not for public consumption hence is oblivious to the situation on the ground.
“I am not aware that people are consuming it,” he explained.